Mod Lovin 9-3 in Syd-er-ney

Joe Lobo lives in Australia’s most recent Olympic city, Sydney (but don’t hold that against him*). This is late model OG 9-3 and once again, the wheels maketh the car.

Ok, the body mouldings on these late 9-3s look pretty good, too. But Joe emailed me these pics shortly after my feature showing Paul H’s 9-5 wagon and the transformation a new set of rims made to that car, so it’s the wheels that are a real point of difference here.


Joe searched high and low for a good set of rims for his 9-3. He scoured websites from various countries, only to find what he felt were the perfect rims right here in Oz, at Swedish Prestige in Melbourne.

They’re 18″ and they look like they were tailor made for the car.

The rims aren’t the only story here though. Joe’s also boosted his output with a BSR ECU upgrade, an intake pipe from Taliaferro, an anti-roll bar also from Taliaferro and a set of Eibach springs and shocks, which lowered the car around 30mm.



* I’m an old Melbourne boy and there’s this old Melbourne-Sydney rivalry. Any chance for a quick dig’s a good one. And Melbourne is Australia’s original Olympic city, hosting the games in 1956.

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  1. That will be off the subject but I don’t care.
    Today my 10 yr old son graduated 5th grade,was wearing blue suit,blue shirt,yellow(monte-carlo) tie and…………….GREEN T-SHIRT WITH 900 CONVERTIBLE ON IT AND “THAT IS HOW I ROLL” AND SAAB WATCH !!!!
    Since we do not have cup holder in our 1988 convertible and I like to drink coffee in the morning ride to school my 10 yr old knows how to shift gears for me watching RPMS and my foot on the cluch HA!!!!!

  2. Sydney is a more complete olympic city than Melbourne. In 1956, the equestrian events of the olympics were held in Stockholm. 🙂

  3. ok, so i’ve read about what a difference the intake pipe makes and I’d like to hear it from you. Is the diference that great?
    Also, how $$$ were those wheels?

  4. And i’d also love to hear about the BSR since i’ve been thinking about it for some time but heard mixed reviews.

  5. Thanks Swade for posting these pics. The wheels are about the A$450 each mark which quite frankly are dam competitive. Many people have asked me why these are not shown in any publicity from Saab as they look as if they are original. The BSR upgrade has been the best of all the bits I’ve added to my Aero. I know that there is a lot of debacle on which is better than the other but my experience is fantastic especially from the practicality of adapting the upgrade and having the option to take it out later. But anyone doing an ECU mod must also have the rescue kit, the lower springs & shocks and the ARB too. With out these the car will get simply way too much more power and will be very hard to control. The benefits far outweigh these costs as it feels like a new/different car altogether with all these mods. The intake pipe is another bit that has made a noticeable difference overall. It won’t give you more KW and torque but it simply allows the turbo to kick in earlier and runs it much smoother. Especially when coming out of tight corners, in slow traffic when you need to take off etc etc it shows of. Another noticeable difference is in the petrol consumption. As the turbo runs much freely it simply delivers more for less. I love this car and will have serious dilemmas when I need to sell it. I wish I had the room at home to keep it and hand it over to my son as some other saabatiers have. I would keep 3 or 4 maybe forever if I could !!!

  6. congrats jacek, cool kid you got. i contacted you about a 9-3 but most likely my dad will wait for the rebates to get better. i hope you keep a 9-3 in the end for my dad 🙂

  7. I’ve always thought that if four doors will FIT on the car, then four doors should BE on the car. Losing those extra doors just makes it so inconvenient. I never got the appeal of the large coupe (or the two-door sedan). To me, buying a two door car that isn’t a pony car or a two-seater would be like willingly buying a car with no trunk.

    Even so, I wish I had a car like this.

    Except with 4 doors.

  8. gorgeous. absolutely. makes me so jealous. i have owned a ’99 900, two 9-5 sedans, and now a 2006 9-3 combi aero – love it! but i still pine for that first saab. beautiful. enjoy it!

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