I wrote about this one a month or so before it was due and didn’t write again because they were deliberately capping the numbers to keep things manageable. I hope we helped get a few people along but regardless, it looks like a fantastic time was had by all which is the most important thing.
October 10 (10-10-10), brought a beautiful, sunny day with very mild temperatures and 22 Saabs to “Just Saab” (www.justsaab.com) in Cincinnati for the third rally sponsored by the dealership.
Owners Dave and Robin Horstmeyer as well as sales manager, AJ Murphy have been staunch supporters of the event since it first was run in 2007. Some of the Saabs that arrived for the rally included a highly modified 900 SPG, a 9-3 Viggen, a 9000, a Turbo-X and a variety of sedans, combis and convertibles. 44 enthusiastic drivers and navigators listened intently as Rally Master John Souhrada explained the rules and definitions of terms and provided a few helpful hints to keep the drivers safely on course.
The first car launched from the dealership lot at 11 AM and headed out over some of the most interesting and fun to drive roads in Southwest Ohio. The run covered about 40 miles of scenic terrain, enhanced by blue skies and brilliant fall colors.
Checkpoint 1 was located at an historic wooden covered bridge that was built to span the Stonelick Creek in 1878. From there, the contestants traversed a series of challenging turns and hills chosen to allow their Saab’s to stretch their legs on the kinds of roads for which they were designed.
Checkpoint 2 was chosen to celebrate Saab’s aviation heritage. The volunteers at the Tri-State Warbird Museum located at the Clermont County Airport welcomed the participants with tours of the facility. The Museum houses an exceptional collection of World War II fighters and bombers, all of which are in flying condition or are being restored to fly again. Included are a B-25 Mitchell twin-engine bomber, a P-51 Mustang, an AT-6 trainer and a TBM-3 Avenger torpedo bomber, all of which are flyable. A Chance-Vought Corsair, a P-40 Warhawk and a German FW-190 are in restoration and are on display. Everyone who experienced the Museum and its collection came away impressed.
The rally finished a few miles later at one of the local restaurants where “Just Saab” treated all the contestants and rally officials to lunch. Scores were calculated and the top three finishers were announced before everyone headed for home. All agreed that the event was great fun and were already looking forward to “Just Saab Rally IV” in 2011.
A gallery from the event follows below. Click to enlarge – some very nice rides there!