Held snugly in the carbon/Kevlar MOMO Acropolis seats by Crow Enterprises five-point belts, the lucky driver gripping the MOMO "Race" wheel has a clear view of nine extra gauges supplementing the stock instruments. In addition to the stock tach, speedometer, boost, fuel and temperature gauges and, of course, idiot lights, accurate measurements are taken of boost, air/fuel mixture, fuel pressure, volts, oil pressure and exhaust, transmission, coolant and oil temperatures. The gauges fit nicely in the center console and radio slot. There are no rear seats, just a large expanse of new carpet and the top of the relocated battery box. The wood-paneled dash adds an unexpected hint of elegance to the otherwise purposeful interior.
Of course, this car is no trailer queen, and Proposki is tantalizingly close to his goal of 300 bhp. The last dyno run showed 298 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque from the turbocharged 2.2 liter. Starting with the normally aspirated 2.1-liter Saab engine (instead of the 2.0 liter the factory turbocharges) in order to take advantage of the larger intake and exhaust ports, Proposki ordered a set of custom JE pistons. The pistons lowered compression from 10:1 to 8.5:1, and a .040 overbore brought the displacement to 2.2 liters.
Custom-grind Crower cams reside in a stock head that has been carefully ported, polished and gasket matched by Lesco Automotive in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The rest of the engine internals are stock pieces, balanced and stress-relieved by a local drag motor builder, Boucher's Machine Shop. The 45-lb/hr injectors are controlled by a programmable Haltech E6K computer, an MSD ignition delivers the spark, and a Greddy Profec Boost Controller keeps things from blowing apart. The Garrett T-3 hybrid turbo uses a Q-Trim compressor wheel to pump the intake charge through mandrel-bent Custom Tubes (Woburn, Mass.) aluminum pipes to a 1000cfm Spearco intercooler. The big-bore throttle body is from SPG9 in Atascadero, Calif
Power flows to the stock five-speed (with a beautifully finished Swedish short-shift kit) through a Mueller Fabricators aluminum flywheel and dual friction Centerforce clutch to a custom limited-slip differential from S+J Automotive in Atlanta. The 16-in. wheels, with their polished lip, were only made for two years in the early '90s, and Proposki has two sets-one gray set shod with 205/45-16 Falken GRs for the street and one black set with Hoosier R3S03s for the track.
Modified Saab 9000 front calipers replaced the stock 900 calipers-Proposki would smoke a set of pads in a day and a half of track time. The 9000 units have a larger piston and larger pad and grab slotted KVR Performance rotors with PBR Metal Master pads. Stainless-steel lines and ATE Super Blue brake fluid round out the brake system modifications.
The local dyno has been sold, but as soon as time allows and the dyno is back up and running, Proposki plans to go back and find those missing ponies. Meanwhile, expect to see the winner of the 2000 National Saab Owners Convention Modified and People's Choice Award at a track near you soon. And log onto www.NESAAB.org for more info on the New England Saab Association.
And no, as of yet there is nowhere to contribute to help find a cure for the "Saab Disease."