An update from the Saabs United Historic Rally Team

Thumbnail image for Saabs United Historic Rally TeamThings are really starting to take shape with our competition car.
Now that it’s had its paint stripped, it’s ready for the next stages of construction. That’s included some re-fabrication in areas and the delivery of some new bits and pieces.
Here’s the break down:

  • We’re just about to take delivery of some fibreglass fender extensions thanks to the guys at RP Glasfiber. They run a workshop in northern Sweden where they make a whole heap of reproduction panels and pieces in fibreglass, many of them replicas of Saab factory items or the original Saab Sport and Rally catalog items.
  • We’ve fabricated an exhaust tunnel though the area where the spare tyre normally sits in order to allow adequate space for our new exhaust system when it comes.
  • The car has now been completely stripped of paint, is ready for its roll cage and will shortly go in for a paint job, being finished in black truck paint (tougher and cheaper!)
  • We managed to get hold of a whole swag of images from Tekniken’s Varld, showing the original 1978 competition car that we’re basing our build on. These have been invaluable in nailing some of the finer details of that car.
  • And finally, just yesterday, J├Ârgen took delivery of a groovy little toy – a genuine 1978 Coralba rally tripmeter, which will be fitted inside to aid Bo’s navigation.

Check out all the updates at the Saabs United Historic Rally Team website. The excitement is building slowly as we aim to get the car finished in time to run it and iron out the bugs before the Midnight Sun Rally in mid-2010.

An update from the Saabs United Historic Rally Team

Did you know that Saabs United is sponsoring the build and the running of a historic Saab race car? This effort is being chronicled over at the Saabs United Historic Rally Team website.
Thumbnail image for Saabs United Historic Rally TeamWork continues on the preparation of our Stig Blomqvist replica Saab 99 Turbo for the 2010 Midnight Sun Rally in Sweden.
Since the last update was posted here at Saabs United, the car has been totally stripped down and has undergone a fascinating process called Dry Ice Blasting. It completely removes all of the paint leaving you with a totally clean body to work your graphical magic on.
You can view the ‘before’ videos here and the all important ‘after’ video here. The car is now ready to have it’s roll cage installed and Jorgen called in on the guys who’ll be doing that work last week.
Jorgen also attended a huge Saab swap meet and picked up some much-needed and hard-to-find parts for the car (we have a huge parts list that needs to be filled).
And finally, I had the good fortune to call in at 99T headquarters and meet Jorgen personally during my brief trip to Sweden a few weeks ago. The competition car was away getting blasted, but it was good to see where it all happens. There’s nothing like a little person-to-person face time to get your perspective right.
You could follow all of those links individually, or you could just click through and see all those entries on the Saabs United Historic Rally Team website (It’s a site layout and a project that I’m quite proud of, actually)
It seems we’ve selected the right car at the right time and there might be several 99Turbos competing in next year’s Midnattssolsrallyt. the dominant car of the era was actually the Audi Quattro, but the early Quattros had a poor fuel injection system that didn’t allow them to be really competitive until later on, when the system was modified. As last year’s (disqualified) winner knows, you can’t run a newer injection system on an older car.
So 99T’s will be very competitive for the next couple of years. How competitive? Well, we’ve got a pretty good idea that the man we’re modelling our car after is actually in the process of building one himself – yes, Stig Blomqvist.
(The) Stig’s been racing Ford Escorts for some time now, but we’ve got it under pretty good authority that he’s taking a step back in time and reuniting with a 99T just like the one he ran back in 1978.
No wonder he wished us luck in finding parts for ours – he’s probably had the parts locked up for some time ­čÖé

An update from the Saabs United Historic Rally Team

Thumbnail image for Saabs United Historic Rally TeamTime marches on and so does the work preparing our Saab 99 for the Rally to the Midnight Sun in 2010.
For those of you who don’t know about it, Eggs and I have teamed up with some Swedes (J├Ârgen and Bo) to rebuild a Saab 99 Turbo and run it in next year’s historic Swedish Rally – the Rally to the Midnight Sun.
We’ve purchased three cars so far and the best shell of the three is currently being stripped down and made ready for its re-birth as a replica of Stig Blomqvist’s Saab 99Turbo from the RAC Lombard Rally in 1978.
The main page for the rally team is here: Saabs United Historic Rally Team.
The most recent instalments in the journey are as follows:
A visit to the Saab museum to look over the original Saab 99T from the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show as well as another Blomqvist replica.
The arrival of our competition roll cage.
J├Ârgen visits a massive Saab swap meet in Gistad and picks up some mint condition parts for our rally car.
Our car gets frozen! We send the 99 shell in for dry ice blasting, which is an incredible process that I’d never heard of before.
It’s all happening and I can’t wait to get over to Sweden and see the car for myself in the next couple of weeks!
Please do check out the progress and if you feel so inclined, subscribe to the RSS feed as well. We’re updating the site regularly with new information about the progress with the car and it really is going to build up to an exciting event.

Autocar on the Saab 99Turbo

I was just doing a little Googling of stories to do with the 99T. A little dydreaming to pass the time while I wait for someone to buy the MX-5.
I came upon this gem and couldn’t resist sharing it here, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the 99T is my favourite Saab of all time because it’s the start of the turbo revolution and holds a specuial place in Saab’s history because of that.
Aside from that, though, there’s also a message here for the Koenigsegg Group and the new Saab Automobile:
Build cars about which the press will write things like this again and all should go well.

Very occasionally a car comes along which shocks the staff of Autocar out of our complacency: a car which is not simply fast, but one which is unpredictably thrilling.Such a car is Saab’s Turbo. It’s not the quickest car we’ve tested, or the best-looking. But we will remember it long after many exotica have faded from our minds. For it is such a surprising package, full of interest and excitement.Yet the Saab is essentially a very untrendy design. It will be sought after by those who value engineering quality rather than style, and relish the thought of owning a powerful car that is, for the present anyway, so mechanically unorthodox.

From Autocar’s original road test of the Saab 99 Turbo in 1978.

And whilst we’re talking about Saab 99T’s, the Saabs United Historic Rally Team just picked up a roll cage!

Quick thoughts at bedtime – iPhone and Saab Museum

It’s late and there’s so much going on, but I just wanted to drop a few quic thoughts and links.
I posted a question last night asking what you’d like to see in an iPhone app for Saab. There were a lot of great comments, though many of them were about Apple software, bluetooth and compatability issues, rather than suggestions for the actual functionality that an iPhone application could provide for Saab owners.
So I got to thinking about it. What would I want from Saab if I had an iPhone? What sort of functionality could it provide that I’d find interesting and useful?
Being a blogger, I’m an information guy. I always love to have information at my fingertips and one of the kicks I get is providing information through the writings here at SU.
For me, it’d be cool to have what would basically amount to a portable electronic owners manual in my phone.
You enter your VIN, or model and year, and the app can provide you with all sorts of handy info. Wheel and tyre sizes, air pressures, lubricant grades; all sorts of handy facts and figures about various model Saabs. How to program the profiler options for your car, for example.
You could have different apps for different models or one big app with all the info and the user selects their model.
It’d be very Saab-nerdy, but it’d also be quite handy for solving arguments over details at the bar after your local Saab Club outing.
Some of the MINI app functionality (see link, above) with regard to roadside assistance would no doubt be handy as well. Perhaps a list of recommended repairers for those who are travelling?
I’m just thinking out loud here. I don’t have an iPhone, but if I did, then that sort of app is something I’d pay my $5 or $15 for (I don’t even know how much these apps sell for).
On completely unrelated matters……
Thumbnail image for Saabs United Historic Rally TeamI’ve just posted a bunch of new videos over at the Saabs United Historic Rally Team website.
J├Ârgen paid a visit to Trollhattan last weekend, visiting the museum and paying special attention to the Saab 99Turbos there.
There’s a great story I didn’t know about the original 1977 show car from Frankfurt, as well as a good look at the cutaway 99T engine they have on display there.
Work continues on our competition car, too. Painstaking work, actually.

7 days with the Saabs United Historic Rally Team

Saabs United Historic Rally Team I hope you’ve been checking in on the efforts of the Saabs United Historic Rally Team. You can check the website directly or load the RSS feed into your feed reader.
There hasn’t actually been 7 days with the team as far as the website’s concerned yet as the site was launched only 6 days ago. Nevertheless, I’ll be taking the opportunity to summarise events each week here to keep everyone up to speed.
So – the first week for the Saabs United Historic Rally Team……
J├Ârgen had a chat with retired Saab designer, Bj├Ârn Envall, about the paint schemes of the Saaab rally teams in the 1970s.
We bought three car(casses) to build our competition vehicle(s) – Car 1, Car 2 and Car 3.
Of course, we also had the official launch of the SUHRT website!
Whilst picking up Car #3 in Obrero, J├Ârgen and Bo called in on 2009 Midnight Sun Rally winner and Saab legend, Stig Blomqvist.
We also welcomed Saab tuning company Maptun as sponsors and partners in the team.
J├Ârgen and Bo got busy on Car #1, removing the engine from the vehicle on the hottest day of the year.
They then turned their attention to the cleanest car of the lot, Car #3, and dismantled that one, too.
To blow off some steam after all this work, J├Ârgen took his Turbo X to Mantorp Park and a track day hosted by the Saab Turbo Club of Sweden – some great video there.
I’m not sure that next week will be as busy, but it’s sure off to a great start.
Remember, if you’re part of a company that could support this fun and significant tilt at the Midnight Sun rally in 2010, please contact us.
For now, we’d like to thank our current sponsors:

Saabs United Historic Rally Team

This is something I’ve wanted to be involved with for a long time now. I can’t tell you just how exciting this is for me to be involved with.
When I decided to archive Trollhattan Saab and came up with the name Saabs United for a new site, it was meant for something exactly like this – something that gave a wider Saab community the chance to watch, share and participate in a big Saab project.
It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of the Saabs United Historic Rally Team!
The aim of the team is build at least one, perhaps two, vehicles to compete in the Rally to the Midnight Sun in 2010, with an eye towards the Monte Carlo historic rally as well.
We have already purchased three vehicles, with an eye towards building two competition cars from these. The cars will all be Saab 99 Turbos when they’re finished, replicas of Stig Blomqvist’s car from the 1978 Lombard RAC Rally.
The Rally to the Midnight Sun (Midnattssolsrallyt) is now run as an historic rally. In 2010 it will feature cars built before 1981.
As you may know, the 2009 event was held in July and the winner of that event, only announced last week due to some late penalties, was none other than the man who made our base vehicles famous – Stig Blomqvist!
We plan to take you all the way – from the purchase of the vehicles that happened just last week, to the transformation of those vehicles and then on to the event itself. You’ll be with us every step of the way.
Eggs and I are both playing an active role as partial financial supporters of this effort. We’ll also be administering the website set up for the team, which we hope you’ll use to follow the build and the general preparations for the event. We both hope to travel to Sweden next year to crew with the team as well – it’s going to be a fantastic experience!
Jorgen Saab SportWhilst SaabsUnited’s name is written at the top of the website, the real hard work will be done by the core of the team on the ground in Sweden: our driver and co-driver, J├Ârgen Trued and Bo Janzon.
Those of you with reasonable memories will be famliar with J├Ârgen’s name as we covered a little of his 2009 rally effort. In that event, he was driving his Saab 96 V4 Monte Carlo – which was the very first car he ever bought, by the way.
J├Ârgen and Bo came sixth in their class in the 2009 rally, but only half a second away from fourth position.
We hope to go a few places better in 2010 and might even look for a position on the podium!
There’s a lot of work to be done before that can happen, though.
We have sourced the cars already, but there are a lot parts to find and a LOT of wrenching remains to get at least one, and hopefully two, vehicles ready to roll in 2010.
If you are able to provide some help or support for the team, we invite you to do so and would welcome contact from you. There are lots of parts to find for the build, for starters, and we have them listed over at the website.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available for corporate financial support. All interest is welcome. Please don’t think that your contribution may be too small. ALL supporters will be recognised on the cars.
This is a project that we want to give everyone access to. The aim is to try to re-live some of Saab’s former glory and share it for everyone to enjoy, to the greatest extent possible.
We hope that you will join us.
Please start by visiting the Saabs United Historic Rally Team website. There’s heaps of information already there about the rally, the history, the car and the team.
There’s a lot more to come, too. Look who we paid a visit on yesterday!
It’s the original Stig – Mr Blomqvist himself!!

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