This is a story about two buddies and two cars.
Two work friends, Gustav Larsson and Anton Bäcksholm, decided to purchase Saabs but never expected the cars to be so closely related. The cars were built at the same time in 2007 on the same assembly line in the Trollhättan factory. Now they have found each other once more – and each car is receiving a royal treatment.
Gustav’s Head Start
Although the two friends had long talked about purchasing Saabs as a shared project, Gustav found his red Saab 9-3 Vector Kombi in Gothenburg first. He had spent a year looking for the right car and was the first to find his Saab.
Anton was on his way to look at a white 9-3a and glanced at Blocket, the Swedish classified ads site, to see if anything new had come in.
“That’s when I saw a black Saab 9-3 Vector Kombi had come in, which was even better than the one I’d meant to buy because it was black and had a sunroof. I decided to go and look at that car instead,” Anton says.
When Anton sent Gustav the registration number so he could look up the car, Gustav noticed the number was almost the same as that of his own car.
After Anton bought his Saab, they looked at the cars together and discovered the factory numbers were almost identical: they were numbered consecutively.
Further research revealed the Saabs had been manufactured on November 26, 2007. The cars have now been reunited and are parked side-by-side outside Orio, where Anton and Gustav work in operations and maintenance.
Spurring Each Other On
Both guys have always rebuilt and fixed up cars individually. When they started working together four years ago, they discovered a shared interest in tricking out their vehicles.
According to Gustav and Anton: “Every part can be replaced with something better.”
Just six months after their purchases, the two have replaced more or less everything on the outside of their cars. The Saabs now resemble the latest deluxe model, which was manufactured in 2012.
“Orio has ready-made upgrade kits, which we installed,” says Gustav. “We then repainted details on the car to make them truly unique.”
The two spur each other on to give their Saabs unique facelifts.
“It’s turned into a bit of a competition between us: who can pimp out their car the best,” adds Anton. “But we push each other, too, and bat around ideas about what we could do. If we were to add an insignia to the cars now it would be really long,” Anton says with a laugh.
“Saab is iconic today,” says Gustav. “If you’re going to buy a car from the same model year, Saab is absolutely the best value on the market.”
Facebook Enthusiasts Meet Saab Enthusiasts
After the guys posted their project cars on Facebook, lots of people got in touch asking for advice and tips on upgrading their Saabs.
“Even though Saabs are no longer manufactured, they’re really good cars to own because spare parts are still produced,” says Gustav. “It’s even better for enthusiasts like us, because there are so many upgrade kits that allow you to build a truly deluxe model.”
Both Gustav and Anton have now upgraded most of the bodywork that can be replaced.
Now the work starts on the inside. The latest accessory is a comfort light: a green LED light for the front legroom, which makes evening drives more comfortable. After that, it will be the panel, rims, upholstery, and…
“It’ll have a completely different finish and feel,” says Gustav.
They haven’t calculated exactly how much they have spent on Saab parts – or perhaps they’d rather not say.
“The fun part is standing out a bit and putting your own mark on the car,” says Anton. “Obviously, it costs a bit to do that. But you have to take it a little at a time.”
If you want to see more of Gustav and Anton’s cars, click here.
If you’re looking for parts to update your Saab or really trick out your ride, check out these options: