Stig Blomqvist´s birthday is today!

Ex-world champion in rallying Stig Blomquist turns 67 today. He is one of Saabs rally heroes in the Saab heydays. When Saab withdrew from rallying Stig worked with Audi and Ford plus some other brands as well. See list below.

A white Saab 96 Sport and with his dad as a co-driver he debuted in rallying in August 1964 and won his Junior class and second in all. The rally included 10 Special Stages (SS) and was 60 km long.

Stig is still active in rally and racing, doing historical rallies and supporting his sons in their respectivley racing careers. He is also doing work with S2AB Corp. a company run by Magnus Roland where Stig is the tester of new chassis designs.

Stigs carrer started with Saab in the 70íes but here is an interesting list of the cars he has competed with:

Saab 96 Sport, V4, 99 16V, 99 Turbo
Ford Sierra XR4x4, Sierra Cosworth RS, Escort RS Cosworth, Sierra Cosworth 4×4, RS 200,
Audi Quattro, 200 Quattro, Quattro S1,
Renault Clio Cup
Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
Lancia Stratos
Volkswagen Golf Gti
Opel Calibra Turbo 4×4
Volvo N12 Truck
MAN-Phoenix Truck
Chevrolet Camaro
Brabham BT35 Formula 3
Merlyn Mk.21 Formula 3
Skoda Felicia
Volvo 240 Turbo Cup, 240 Turbo ETC.
Nissan Sunny GTI-R

Happy Birthday Stig!

Johnny Johansson And His Story

A few weeks ago we had a SAAB Of The Week that featured a 9-3 Independence model that we were pleased to find out was owned by a former SAAB employee by the name of Johnny Johansson. This past week Johnny was kind enough to forward us his own personal SAAB story and it is quite the read. As I said before and will say again, thank you for all you did with Saab Johnny and thanks for sharing your story.

My Saab Story

Some weeks ago, my Saab 9-3 Convertible IE was ‘Saab Of The Week’. I got a lot of attention, not only for the car, but also because I worked 39 years at Saab. I was asked if I had any interesting story from Saab or the cars I have owned. Then an occurrence came to my mind, something that nearly made me loose my job, but also shows how the small Saab could hold its own against the big GM.

After eight years at Saab, I got my dream job. In April 1981 I became a modeller in the design studio. It was a very interesting job, building clay models of the future Saab cars.

image033 (1) image034

Left image: I work with the cover of the C-pillar, 9000. Right image: I am not sure, looks a little like the front of the EV-2, a concept car from the late 80’s. A reportage about EV-2 in the Swedish magazine Automobile, #4/2008.

Read moreJohnny Johansson And His Story

Saab White paper on FWD vs RWD

Saab’s first chief engineer, Gunnar Ljungström, in 1960 authored a white paper covering many aspects of basic chassis design.

Mr Ljungström came from a family of engineers. Both his uncle and father were accomplished engineers who among other things designed turbines, an automatic transmission and apparently a bike with a freewheel hub. It was Mr Ljungström’s team who engineered the first Saabs and they must have done something right…

I accidentally stumbled across Ljungström’s whitepaper last summer. Anders Isaksson, a former Saab employee, kindly made available a copy of the whitepaper on his blog.

Unfortunately the document is written in Swedish. As a Norwegian I can understand most things written in Swedish, but half-way thru I abandoned my translation project due to the complexity involved. (sorry)

But even so, I wanted to draw some attention to this little gem. Who knows, maybe a good English translation exists out there somewhere?

In any case, the document can be summed up in one sentence: “FWD good, RWD bad, mmm’okay?”.

Some of the key elements discussed:

Read moreSaab White paper on FWD vs RWD

The Saab 900 SuperAero & aerodynamics issues

When designing a car there are dozens of conflicting issues to negotiate. Some wants a super sporty sleek car other a more family practical oriented. For a manufacturer this is a tough issue to deal with especially when You are a small player with a limited number of lines of models and nothing is then allowed to go wrong the cars just have to sell like cupcakes.

Saab started out of an airplane maker with the range of B-17 Dive-bomber, J21 and the jet powered J21R interceptors, so aerodynamics was nothing new. The 92 model was slick for its time but low speed up to its modest top speed of 110km/h was all-fine. The issue is when going faster, when the airstream over some areas of a car body creates lifting power just like what a wing does on a plane and the 92 was more or less across section of a wing. At high speeds the rear part of the body on the 92-93-96 models create lift, this force has a negative impact in the performance on the road. A tuned 96 V4 with an Sonett gear box (high 4 gear) would make that car go 190 km/h, that is not a pleasant experience, rear wheels hardly touches the ground.

Read moreThe Saab 900 SuperAero & aerodynamics issues

The Saab Museum – some pictures

Erik Carlsson signing his book for my dad (Museum director Peter Bäckström can be seen lurking in the background)
March 14th 2009 marks the day when I first visited the museum in Trollhättan. It also happened to be the day they celebrated Erik Carlsson’s 80th birthday and I have to admit that my knowledge of Erik’s epic rally victories was severely limited at the time, but I was eager to learn more.

According to wikipedia, Erik won the Monte Carlo rally in 1962 and 1963 driving a 96. In 1961 he placed 4th in, of all things, a 95. It was quite unusual to race a combi, but the 95 was equipped with a new four speed transmission that was sorely needed. Next year SAAB had finally fitted the 96 with the same transmission and Erik went on to win the race. He also won the RAC rally three years running (1960-62), but the organizers still did not let him keep the trophy permanently (each time he won they promised he would get to keep it if he won the race just one more time…).

The museum is filled with priceless relics from SAAB’s past. Prototypes and race cars share space with neatly kept representatives of their respective model ranges. There is of course the very first prototype, the URSAAB (“ur” probably short for “ursprunglig” — the original) from which the 92 was derived. Next there are the Sonetts, and I think it is safe to say the AeroX steals a lot of attention towards the end.

Read moreThe Saab Museum – some pictures

Dr. Saabish: On the Physics of the Front Strut Brace

Dr. Nio Saabish, Ph.D Physics It’s precisely eight past noon.  Normally any resident of the lecture hall would be submerged in complete darkness, surrounded by rows upon rows of empty seats.  Of course, as one would expect, the auditorium’s regular occupants are hard at work preparing for their upcoming mid-terms.  But tonight: is a special night.  For a room that is typically bathed in sunlight, has found itself illuminated by the soft glow of several banks of fluorescent lights.

Read moreDr. Saabish: On the Physics of the Front Strut Brace

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