“People who say it cannot be done, shouldn’t interrupt those who are doing it.”
That quote is a mantra of sorts for Nathan Blackmore, the owner of this 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X that we’re about to take a look at. Nathan is a true Saab connoisseur, and when we asked how this love affair first started, his response seemed to be soaked in nostalgia.
So I’ve kind of been a Saab fan since the age of 8. My dad had a 99 EMS, which he road rallied; yes the family car. He then went on to buy an Acacia Green T8 C900, then shortly afterward he acquired a silver, flat-front T16S. I still remember the registration number: b772rnc. Back in the day the cars were awesomely fast and uncommon, and just totally cool to be in or around.
Need further proof of Nathan’s appreciation for Swede speed? Have a look at the rather long list of Saabs he’s owned:
- 900 T16s (four of ’em)
- C900 Carlsson (three of ’em)
- 9000 CS Carlsson
- 9000 Carlsson (two of ’em)
- 9000 Aero (two of ’em)
- 9000 base
- C 900 SE
- 9-5 SE
- 9-5 Aero SportCombi
- 9-5 Aero Sedan (two of ’em)
- 9-3 Sports Saloon
- 9-3 SportCombi Aero
- 9-3 Aero Convertible
- 9-3 Aero Sedan
- 9-3 Turbo X Saloon (two of ’em)
- 9-3 TTiD SportCombi
- 9-3 TTiD Sports Saloon
If you’re sitting there thinking, “what the heck is a saloon,” it’s what they call sedans over in Europe.
As you can see, Nathan has owned quite a few Saabs, and we plan on taking a look at the ones he still has in his possession. As we mentioned, in this article we’re focusing on the Turbo X sedan that he’s kept, as he’s sold the second. This Turbo X seems to have as much time into it, if not more, than that strikingly awesome 9-3 Aero SportCombi racer we checked out previously.
Mr. Blackmore originally purchased this Turbo X about three years ago, back in 2015. At the time of purchase, the car had just 34,500 miles on it. Nathan quickly fell in love with the car, and racked up 10,000 more miles in the first three months of owning it.
Back in 2008 I went to Swedish day, and saw a turbo x was present. I fell in love and said to myself, “one day I’ll have one.” Fast forward 7 years and I was lucky to have found this little gem tucked away in Scotland (totally opposite end of the country) with 34,500 miles—it was a beauty. Drove up in the day, drove back at night, loved it. Being totally honest ,a standard Turbo X is an awesome car, however, it’s completely and utterly underwhelming in standard form (boarder-line boring). [But] I never intended to build such a highly specced car.
And highly specced it is, with a lengthy list of modifications, including 6-piston calipers from Maptun with 360mm rotors, Maptun coilovers, DO88 induction and cooling components, an upgraded turbocharger, bigger injectors, a CG Motorsports Clutch, and a custom turbo-back exhaust with 4.5-inch Akaprovic exhaust tips. If you’d like to see the lengthy parts list in its entirety, we’ve included it at the end of this article.
Nathan has enhanced the aesthetics of his Turbo X as well, equipping it with hard-to-find parts, including the Maptun carbon fiber front bumper insert and rear diffuser. The Maxton Designs body-kit, along with the aftermarket rear spoiler and Hirsch front grilles help to make this Turbo X seem a bit more aggressive, a bit more menacing than the rest. The fantastically done retrofits, or modified headlights, with the red “Demon eye” mod really completes the look. Again, the entire list of interior and exterior mods can be seen below, along with the aforementioned performance parts.
We’d like to thank Nate for sharing his impressively built Saab 9-3 Turbo X with us. It’s difficult to convey the amount of time and work that he put into this car. Finding the rare Maptun and Hirsch bits, reconditioning the subframe, he even got carbon fiber badges that bear his Turbo X’s production “211/223”. We commend his attention to detail, and look forward to going over the highlights of the other two Saabs he currently owns, a 9-3 Aero convertible and a 9-3 TTiD saloon, which are both modified as well.
Below you’ll see an entire gallery of Nathan Blackmore’s work. The entire modifications list is shown under the gallery.
- Maptun 6-piston calipers
- 360mm rotors and upgraded brake pads
- Hel braided brake lines
- Maptun coilovers
- Maptun strut brace
- Full Powerflex poly bushings kit
- Do88 intercooler
- Do88 intercooler pipework
- Do88 air intake pipework and heat shield
- Do88 alloy radiator
- AEM dryflow air filter
- Genuine Saab alloy coolant tank
- Do88 silicone coolant hoses
- Bosch 630cc injectors
- Billet flywheel
- CG Motorsports clutch kit
- Mhi-Tdo420T (upgraded turbocharger)
- Forge Motorsport turbo blanket
- DEi titanium exhaust wrap
- 3.5-inch downpipe with 5-inch, 200 cell race catalytic converter
- 3-inch mid-pipe
- WG Motorsports quick-shift kit
Aesthetics (Interior and Exterior)
- 4.5-inch carbon fibre and stainless-steel Akaprovic exhaust tips
- Maxton Designs body kit
- Aero Force twin scan gauge kit
- Hirsch 3-piece grille set
- Hirsch carbon leather dash surround
- Hirsch carbon leather gearshift surround
- Hirsch carbon leather glovebox trim
- Hirsch carbon leather door inserts front and rear
- Hirsch leather door handles front and rear inc handbrake and smart slot
- Hirsch aluminium door sill trims
- Hirsch steering-wheel
- Hirsch number plate surrounds
- Hirsch pedals
- Premium leather door cards front and rear
- Premium leather seats front and rear
- Saab comfort light kit
- “Demon eyes” kit with LED high beams
- LED number plate light bulbs
- LED fog lights
- Osram Diadem tail light and indicator bulbs
- Team Heko wind deflectors
- Rear roof spoiler
- Pair of 10mm spacers
- Pair of 15 mm Hubcentric spacers