Viggen Update – in pictures

For those of you not in the know, I smashed my Saab 9-3 Viggen around 4 months ago, whilst participating in a driver training event at a track here in Hobart.

It’s been sitting at my mechanic’s workshop ever since, but I finally bought the Viggen home a few days ago. So here’s where we’re at.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge.


This is the Viggen’s new home in the garage at my place. It’s a tight fit, but it’ll be safe here, which is more than what I can say about where it’s been for the last four months. It was out of view, but publicly accessible – yikes!


As you can see, below, the front bumper was ripped off and in a pretty violent fashion, actually. The right-front wheel took the initial impact as the car hit the embankment. Both front and rear wheels on the driver’s side ate a fair bit of dirt, which flattened the front wheel instantly and caused a slow leak in the rear.

I’ve still got the mesh grille in the front bumper, but the foglamps are wrecked.


The back is where the fun starts, though. This is where the real impact was made.

As you can see, the rear bumper will need to be replaced as well, and yes, the rear wheel’s not supposed to be sitting like that….


Here’s a photo look directly down on top of the wheel arch. That wheel’s supposed to be 1) invisible from this angle, and 2) pointing straight ahead. The next shot should give you a better idea as to the bend in the axle.



This photo’s taken at ground level from the rear. The rear axle is fine on the other side of the car, but on this RH side it’s quite bent, resulting in this weird angle. A replacement axle shouldn’t be too difficult to find, but I’ll need a few other bits as well, including wheel bearings for both the front and rear.


The photo below is of the LHS rear wheel. What you’re looking for here is the contour in the wheel arch panel. There’s not supposed to be that much contour there. That’s your indicator that the car’s going to have to go in for some physiotherapy.


Below is the same wheel arch but photographed from the rear. If you look down you can see the gap between the side skirt and the rest of the car. Again, this shows you the twist that’s taken place.

It can all be fixed, no problems. It’s just going to take some time.


And finally, a shot of the wheel that’s off the car. These were painted earlier this year and were quite pristine before the accident.

They’ll most likely be replaced with some 17-inch Hirsch six spokes, which are much stronger.


So there you have it. A sad state of affairs, but one that’s of my own doing.

Hopefully the ongoing battle with the insurers will work out OK. Time will tell.

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  1. ouch 🙁

    Chin up matey, as i told u the other weekend, you have to fix it!!

    if u need any parts i have a few contacts here on the mainland that could be of assistance

    al 🙂

  2. Fowles at Brighton have a ’99 9-3 vert in their salvage auction on the 20 Nov. Check their website and let me know if you want me to suss them out. They know me!

  3. To make the side skirt pop out does not have to be that much damage. Mine is sticking out just about 0,5cm in exactly that place and all I did was apply some ‘sticky goo’ against winter road salt. It seems there is some small drop of goo on a bad place pushing it out …

  4. It doesn’t look bad at all. Is there any body damage beside the bumpers? If not, then there isn’t much to do really. A good day of work to get it back on the road ;]. Find a used rear axle from ANY NG900 or 9-3. They often come with hubs too. Takes two hours to install on a hotel parking lot ;]. Is the front suspension intact, or was the control arm bent? Either way, you’ll be removing the whole strut to fit a new bearing in, so you’ll have a chance to inspect that. The front bumper might be the hardest item to locate used, but you can probably find a cheap base model bumper instead if you want to get the car on the road quickly (and then take your time with a proper replacement).

  5. Swade ,
    Are you sure you need a rear bumper?

    It looks as though a reheat should bend it back into place- unless there is damage I did not see or spot.

    Bumpers “remember” their shape- heat up lightly with a hair dryer for localised dents, or for a few minutes in a paint booth or a big oven for the whole bumper!

    Yours should just clip back on once reheated -briefley

  6. Well Swade, I’ve submitted a letter to Saab’s public relations people suggesting it would be worth their while to offer some form of help to a gentleman who’s done a great deal of good for Saab’s public image over the past couple of years, etc, etc, and gave them the full story. It will be interesting to see if they write back.

  7. Saabill, have already sussed out the vert. I don’t reckon Swade needs it.

    Did I mention I’ll be back in Hobart from next week?


  8. Slap a wooden bumper on. Etch the phrase “I always demand quality GM replacement parts” in the wood. Don’t know if this is street legal for you, but it seemed to work for a guy with a Chevy pickup in Southwest Ohio about 20 years ago. 8^)

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