Back in June of 2014, Gary Anderson bought a 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero SportCombi. He had always wanted a ‘combi because he believes they’re the “best looking estate car in the world.” Many will have a hard time disagreeing after they’ve seen the masterpiece Gary has created by using the SportCombi as his canvas.
Off the bat you’ll notice that this 2006 model features the face-lifted front-end of the 2012 Griffin model, and that’s just one of the many ways in which Gary has made this Saab his own. The other obvious change is the Avery Gloss Lightning Ridge vinyl wrap that was installed by Amigo Wraps. The eye-catching colors shift from purples, to yellows, to greens, and while it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, we’re certainly fans. (To get a better look at the color-changing effect, view the video embedded at the bottom of this page.)
Other exterior bits include Hirsch 3-spoke wheels, a Hirsch spoiler and diffuser, Hirsch front-grill kit with a Nissan Titanium Grey finish, U.S.-spec tail lights, and gloss black accenting on the window pillar trims and mirror bases.
Our favorite modification would have to be the Corsa OPC/VXR Recaro wingback seats, which made for a rather time-consuming project. Many of the original Saab bits were swapped over, including the power-seat motors, switches, wiring loom and plugs, seat-belt assemblies, weight sensors so that the airbags still function properly, and elements for the three-stage butt-warmers. Gary had to fabricate adaptor brackets out of 5mm-thick steel, which he welded across the Saab’s seat runners, since the Recaros’ mounting points are 1-inch narrower. Kudos to him for taking the time to rewire everything for an OEM look, as opposed to hacking up the original looms.
To further enhance the interior, Gary installed a few goodies from Hirsch, including a leather dash, leather door handles, and aluminum pedals. In addition to that, he also fitted Mercedes AMG paddle shifters, a custom foot rest, Maptun carpet mats, an Aeroforce scan gauge, and an 11-speaker MAC audio system.
The Recaro seats and vinyl wrap were just recently installed two weeks ago. The revamped interior and exterior might lead you to believe that this is a show car, but Gary says that while it would make for a sound daily driver, he instead uses the turbocharged V6-powered wagon regularly for track days. In order to make it a more stout competitor, Gary equipped this SportCombi with the following performance-enhancing parts:
- VTuner software
- 6 pot AP Racing 362mm floating brakes (custom made)
- 3″ cat-less down-pipe
- 3″ midpipe
- Do88 intercooler
- Do88 radiator
- Custom radiator for turbo coolant
- Custom strut brace
- Bilstein B6 shock-absorbers
- Hirsch springs
Gary’s SportCombi is a great example of what one can produce when no corners are cut. Before sending the car to be wrapped, he had to first correct a few corrosion issues. While he was at it, he decided to replace the weathered windshield. And when it comes to tracking the car, he spares no expense in keeping it in tip-top form.
We tip our hats to Gary, and we’ll use this inspiration as we move forward with our own builds. To see more images of this SportCombi racer transformation, peep the gallery and video below.