Erik Carlsson celebrated the first of three consecutive RAC Rally wins in 1960. He was driving a three-cylinder 750cc Saab 96 in that event and it was the beginning of a golden era in rallying for Saab Automobile.
Today, the RAC honored the 50th Anniversary of that win with a function, which Saab GB used to launch the new 2011 Saab 9-3 Carlsson Edition for the British market.
When mt wife and I visited England earlier this year, we stayed a few days with Mike and Hilary P (I got to have my first drive of a Sonett in Mike’s white one). Mike and Hilary are good friends of Erik Carlsson’s and were fortunate enough to attend today’s ceremony in honour of the 50th Anniversary of Erik’s RAC Rally win.
Hilary & I were lucky enough to attend this historic event today in London. It was fantastic to be part of this celebration along with around 40 other people from Saab GB, great names from the world of rallying, authors & journalists.
The event took the format of a photo session with the car which was actually in the building, interviews with Erik, pre lunch drinks, introduction & launch of 9-3 Carlsson by Mr. Nash, formal lunch followed by some great stories from Erik, Stuart Turner & Peter Backstrom.
The whole experience was just priceless!! Only [died in the wool Saab nuts] like us understand this. On the way home I asked Hilary how in the hell can we ever drive anything but a Saab????
We were each given a limited edition print signed by Erik which you will see in the press pack (below).
The RAC building was magnificent & it was quite moving to find myself wandering around all that history and nostalgia.
A few of Mike’s photos from the event start the gallery below, followed by some of the images released by Saab documenting some of their over all history in rallying – in honour of the event.
Thanks to Mike for sending this stuff through and most of all – CONGRATULATIONS TO ERIK CARLSSON on receiving such an honour.
Click to enlarge.
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