Modified Saab 900 Talladega – very classy

This is a Saab 900 SE Talladega as they were originally delivered in the US:

UPDATE: I should have looked this up earlier. The Talladega model enhancements were as follows:

“Talladega 900SE Turbo” models feature 185-horsepower 2.0-litre Turbo engine; black, silver metallic or cayenne red metallic exterior; 7-spoke light alloy 16″ wheels; leather seats and accessories; colour-matched front spoiler, exterior mirrors and turbo rear spoiler (not available on convertible); “Talladega” exterior identification graphics; bumpers with colour-matched top surface; blacked-out bumper trim strips; and black plush floor mats (four)

Last weekend, in Washington, I met a guy named Jeremy who bought a Saab 900 SE Talladega just like that one, and subjected it to one of the most tasteful makeovers I’ve ever seen on a Saab. In fact, my 17 year old stepson, who’s been immersed in the Fast-and-the-Furious-style Japanese automotive culture (as many teenagers are) is now interested in Saabs again thanks to this car.
Here’s a front and rear view of Jeremy’s Tally:

As you can see, this looks quite a bit different to the original Saab 900 shown above. The list of modifications is extensive, as follows:
– Viggen front and rear bumpers,
– 9-3 SE side skirts,
– 9-3 smoked fender blinkers,
– e-Code headlights and corner lights,
– Viggen spoiler,
– Saab UK top spoiler,
– 9-3 grille with a stainless steel mesh insert,
– 17″ dual three-spoke wheels,
– a Remus-made Viggen Sport Exhaust muffler.
Jeremy writes as follows:

The bumpers came from an east coast Saab dealer on eBay that’s now out of business, the skirts were from my local Saab dealer, Carter Saab; and the top spoiler, wheels, and muffler came from Turner’s Hill Garage, a Saab dealer in England. Their online store doesn’t seem to be around anymore. Everything was painted by a local body shop with BASF Glasurit paint, which I think came out very nicely.
The grille was courtesy of my insurance company after the car was backed into by a pickup truck while parked two days after I bought it. I added the mesh myself, using a piece from eBay. The Viggen front bumper was also paid for by an insurance company a couple of years ago after a Ford Explorer tore off the original bumper, also while my car was parked. The front edge of his rear bumper snagged the back edge of my front bumper while he was pulling out. I also had to put a Fuba Betaflex-D amplified antenna on the roof since the original antenna hole is covered up by the spoiler. It has a shorter 6″ VW mast on it.

Interior mods are as follows:
– carbon fiber dashboard,
– carbon fiber door pulls,
– gearshift knob (official Saab accesories);
– Saab’s accessory armrest,
– Saab door-mounted cupholders,
– a Blaupunkt Bahamas MP46 radio
– all new Boston Acoustics speakers,
– a 10″ subwoofer
– outboard amplifiers for the rear speakers and sub.
Mounted on the center console is a Dension IceLink iPod cradle on Saab’s 9-3 small cell phone mount.
Here’s a few of the interior carbon fiber bits. Australians who have seen a Viggen will be familiar with the carbon fiber dashboard, which was standard kit on the Aussie Vig:

Performance mods are as follows:
– Viggen Sport Exhaust,
– a 3″ stainless steel Taliaferro downpipe,
– Viggen intercooler,
– a Forge bypass valve,
– custom 3″ air intake (3″ plastic pipe fitted into the stock airbox with a K&N air filter),
– SAS rear swaybar,
– 17″ wheels with 215/45R17 front and 225/45R17 rear Pirelli P-Zero Nero M+S tires,
– Abbott springs,
– a TD04 turbocharger.
Jeremy also replaced the original cable-operated clutch with a hydraulic mechanism and a Viggen clutch and pressure plate.
In terms of what he’d like to do in the future, Jeremy has the following plans:

There are only a few things I’d like to add in the future. First is a stage 4 ECU. I haven’t decided which company to go with, though. If I can ever find a good deal on them, I’d also like to install Viggen side skirts, and last, I need to hook up the headlight levelers on the headlights and get a new pair of middle mudflaps. I threw the originals away, but decided I’d like them back for that quirky Saab look. This weekend or next the red LEDs in the radio will get replaced with green ones to match the rest of the dashboard. There’s always something to do with that car!

I really, really like the look Jeremy’s created with this car. If the next generation Saab 9-5 follows the Aero-X in having a wraparound rear light assembly, then this car is quite possibly going to look more contemporary that any Saab 9-3, thanks to its 9-3 Aero/Viggen body effects and that beautiful red decor panel that stretches between the tail lamps.
Jeremy’s done a really good job of capturing the all the best parts of the 900/9-3 model range and combining them into one car.
Kudos to him, and thanks also for being willing to share the details of the vehicle here with the rest of us!

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