SUHRT: Petroleum and straight pipes

SaabsUnited Historic Rally Team: Here we go again!

Tomorrow, Wednesday 13´th of July to the 17´th of July the Midnightsun Rally will take place in Västerås, Sweden.

In light of this and the fact that Rally cars are in my heart, I grew up when Saab still had a factory team, I went to Sundbyberg in Stockholm yesterday to meet a group of people with a passion for Saab, Rally and Performance.

I am talking of course about, The SaabsUnited Historic Rally Team, SUHRT.

Read moreSUHRT: Petroleum and straight pipes

Friday Snippets – Red J edition

This is my first snippets edition, let’s see what I found.

For the Canadian Saab fans:

The first Saab to arrive in Edmonton is expected to arrive next week. It will be an Independence Day convertible. Other “normal” Saabs are expected to arrive in Edmonton mid-April.

Saab Canada is telling a different Story about the dealer in Edmonton.

One dealership in Edmonton is selling high-line certified used vehicles and doing a booming business in import service, as well as carrying the new Saab line-up.

Source: The Edmonton Journal, Autonet

For the US American Saab fans:

Saab is having really interesting incentives in February in the US for the 2010 Models, upp to $7,000 for a 2010 Saab 9-3 Convertible.

Source: Autoloaddaily

For the Rally fans:

Saab’s friend and rally enthusiast Vladimir Antonov said to have cleared North One Sport’s (a WRC team) outstanding debt and is providing significant investment for the future.

So people are starting to speculate if this means the return of Saab to Rally racing, maybe next year.

I think, not with the current cars and not next year.

Source: Rallybuzz

For the Swedish Saab fans:

BIL Sweden County and Municipal distributed statistics for January 2011 shows that diesel cars with carbon emissions of up to 120 g / km dominate green car market. In Stockholm County, every newly registered clean car in January, a diesel-powered “120-gram down”. While losing both ethanol cars and gas vehicles market.

Better translation thanks to Börjesson:

In Stockholm County, every second newly registered clean car in January was a diesel-powered “120-grammer”. At the same time, both ethanol cars and gas cars are losing market shares.

BIL Swedens läns- och kommunfördelade statistik för januari 2011 visar att dieselbilar med koldioxidutsläpp på max 120 g/km dominerar på miljöbilsmarknaden. I Stockholms län var varannan nyregistrerad miljöbil i januari en dieseldriven ”120-grammare”.Samtidigt tappar både etanolbilar och gasbilar marknadsandelar.

I think there is indeed a reason for a sub 120g Saab Wagon.

Source: Bil Sweden

For the BioPower fans:

There is a fascinating article at just-auto explaining why bio-ethanol days of glory are already history in Europe.

I think the last 2 paragraphs tell the hole story.

A spokesperson for Renault, which now sells more FFVs in Europe than any other carmaker, told just-auto that “what is clearly lacking is a stable EU policy environment that delivers a clear and consistent signal to industry.” Meanwhile, Jonathan Nash, Managing Director of Saab Great Britain is clear about what he thinks are some of the reasons behind such inconsistencies: “There has always been a high level of government policy sensitivity around biofuels. This scepticism has been caused in part by the powerful anti-biofuels lobby, while the lack of credible well-to-wheel certification for biofuels’ emissions also makes policy makers ambivalent towards them.”

Whatever the reasons, it is clear that biofuels continue to divide opinion on a major scale in Europe. The fact though, that Europe’s policy makers are as confused as the general public about them is helping no one.

Source: Just-Auto

If I’ve forgotten somebody please rise your hand!

Video: 50 years sideways

I was going to wait for the weekend before I posted this on site, but now that Autoblog’s got hold of it, I’m getting emails left, right and centre.

Here’s a bit of weekend entertainment for you.

It’s 90 minutes long, so make sure you’ve got a good supply of popcorn and a comfy chair. It’s well worth taking a break for this one.

The film is mostly about racing and its history, with an emphasis on rallying. There’s a good deal of Saab vision in there, too. But it’s not a Saab enthusiasts’ film, it’s a motoring enthusiasts’ film.



Thanks to Gunnar for the tip!

SAAB returning to Rally racing?

Not exactly.

But an exact replica of Erik Carlsson’s car from 1963 will start at this week’s XIVth Monte Carlo Historique.

The press-release from Saab reads as follows:

The classic Saab 96 has been created by German vintage car magazine Oldtimer Markt and will be driven by chief editor Peter Steinfurth and navigator Thorsten Loeber .They will take the start at Reims this Friday (28 January) in a car that recreates the original in every detail, right down to the 283 entry number Erik used that year. He will be on hand to wave them off.

Saab 96, 1963 Rallye Monte Carlo. Specification:
Engine: 3 cylinder, two stroke longitudinal
Displacement: 841 cc.,
Power: 70 hp (52 kW) @ 6000 rpm
Front wheel drive, 4 speed gearbox with freewheel
Brakes: Discs at front
Tires: Dunlop SP 155×15


Report: Saabs at the 2010 RAC Rally

The following report has come through from the guys in the Saab Historic Rally Team, who participated in the 2010 Roger Albert Clark Rally on the weekend.

My thanks to Steve W for passing it on and congratulations to the rally team!


Saab Historic Rally Team
Roger Albert Clark Rally 26 to 29 November, 2010

  • Event a great success
  • 1000 miles
  • 22 Stages
  • -17C lowest temperature
  • 12 inches the deepest snow on a stage
  • 64 entrants in the main rally event
  • 43 finishers
  • 9 hours sleep in four days

Nick Pinkett/Mark Casey
Second Historic Winners Class B1

They holed a piston on Saturday evening. The spare engine was fitted in the dark, in one hour thirty seven minutes, at the roadside, without a hoist or power tools, so that they could rejoin the rally. Nick’s result is particularly impressive as his car had no limited slip differential, which makes driving in snow virtually impossible, a heroic effort.

Jim Valentine/Andy Harris
Third Historic Second Class B1

Though fast on some of the stages, punctures, ignition and fueling problems in the extreme conditions hampered their rally with the car only running properly on the fourth day. Despite the problems they finished second Historic but ended a run of three previous class wins.

Colin Hope/Nick Patrick
Fourth in Class C3 31st Overall

Their result doesn’t tell the whole story. They started 59th overall and made up 28 positions despite having problems with the head gasket and cooling from Saturday night. Nonetheless, on Stages 12 and 13, in the Forest of Ae in Scotland they set really fast times in the top 30. That is some drive on a surface you couldn’t walk on, it’s hard to believe that his team finished building the car on the Friday of the event and this was the first time Colin has driven a Saab in anger.

Richard Simpson/Debby Myer
Retired Stage 21

Richard was challenging for the lead of the Historic category from day one of the event. As the other leaders retired or fell behind, Richard started stage 21 with a ten minute lead over his nearest rival. On Monday morning a win in the Historics seemed within the team’s grasp, all Richard had to do was complete the last two stages at half speed to secure the position. The team put their efforts into supporting him trying to plan for various possible scenarios, with limited servicing opportunities between the last two stages, the B1 competitors would double up as “on stage” service vehicles to try and ensure Richard the win: Nick took on spares and Jim carried an extra spare wheel for Richard’s car. Cruelly Richard’s car lost the clutch on the start of stage 21 and that victory slipped away.

Magic/Craig Wallace
Retired Stage 17

Magic’s rally ended when they holed the gearbox casing on stage 17. Poor Magic, two weeks before the rally the car was still a shell, and despite holding down his day job he managed to completely build the car back up and get it on the start line for the event (the team pretty much took the last spanner off the car as it went into the noise test for scrutineering on Friday). His late entry meant he started last in the rally, but the weather conditions dealt him the cruelest blow. As the last car on the competitive stages any car in the rally that went off or blocked the stage would hold him up. Sure enough he was baulked on the first six stages, and to add insult to injury since the stages are so narrow, having unstuck the car in front it would take off and, despite rescuing it, he would have to be stuck behind it for the rest of the stage. Where he could find some “clean air” the former works car was quick on the stages, but sadly a gearbox failure late on brought what must have been a frustrating event to a close.

Saab Historic Rally Team racing in RAC Rally this weekend

No, it’s not that RAC Rally. It’s the Roger Albert Clark Rally, which is one of the bigger events on the historic rallying calendar in England.

And no, it’s not the Saab Historic Rally Team that I’m used to covering on these pages. That’s the Saabs United Historic Rally Team, which is headed up by some Swedes and which ran in the Rally to the Midnight Sun in Sweden earlier this year. This team is headed up by some Brits and they’re running several cars in the Roger Albert Clark Rally, starting this weekend in Pickering.

As you’ll see below, it’d be well worth getting to the start, too, as Erik Carlsson and one of his co-drivers, Stuart Turner, will be present to wave them off.

Spectator information for the Roger Albert Clark rally is here.


The organisers of the Roger Albert Clark Rally are pleased to welcome the Saab Historic Rally Team to this year’s event. The brainchild of Roger Albert veteran Jim Valentine, the Saab Historic Team was put together at a time when the future of car maker Saab was uncertain and Jim was concerned that the 50th anniversary of Saab’s historic win on the RAC in 1960 might pass unnoticed. Thanks to Jim and his team we are delighted to be able to announce that the crew of that car, Erik Carlsson and Stuart Turner will flag the competing cars away from the Pickering start on Friday 26th November.

1960 was not just a special year for Saab but a year which heralded a seismic shift in rallying in the UK. Under Jack Kemsley’s stewardship, the RAC introduced the concept of a ‘special stage’ on forestry land for the first time. So Erik and Stuart do not just represent the history of Saab in rallying but the birth of stage rallying itself and these men both went on to dominate the sport, Erik as a driver and Stuart as a team manager for BMC and Ford

As well as the strongly supported team of competing Saabs, Jim Valentine has organised for a rather special service ‘barge’ to backup the team. Jim has arranged for a Scania 3 Series Streamline pulling a drawbar trailer to follow the rally. Their truck may also qualify for historic status being from a model range dating back to the seventies when Saab and Scania were still in the same industrial group.

Jim hopes that Saab fans will come to watch the start and follow the progress of the Saab team throughout the rally. “The Roger Albert Clark Rally is the best rally in the UK for historics and it has a superb atmosphere. I think this year’s event is going to be fantastic and look forward to meeting you there” he says.

On view at Pickering as a backdrop to events will be the rarely seen Saab Museum copy of the 1960 RAC winner, which will be displayed at event start alongside the modern Saab Carlsson 9-3 limited edition. Just 96 of these special edition cars will be available from just 50 Saab dealers across the UK.


A little history on the Roger Albert Clark Rally for those who – like me – don’t know much about it….. This comes from a mate in England, Alistair P:

This rally is in honour of the late Roger Clark, a famous English rally driver from the late 60s & 70s. In fact one of the earliest Saabing memories I have is of my folks and I going to see Roger, Erik and Stig being interviewed on stage at some hotel in the North West of England prior to the “proper” RAC rally, in the late 70s. The guys who run the modern rally do so to pay homage to the old Lombard RAC Rally which was a much tougher even than the modern WRC “Rally GB”, and clearly take advantage of Roger’s initials!

Thanks to Alistair for the background, and the tip!

Per Eklund driving US rallycross event in November

Per Eklund is still driving competitively after all these years, though he’s also turning his hand to mentoring younger drivers as well, which I personally think is the greatest gift he can give.

When you’re born to drive, though, there’s nothing quite like some time behind the wheel and Eklund is going to spend some time behind the wheel of his Saab 9-3 at a rallycross event in New Jersey, in November.

From the Rally America website:

After only two events, the best rallycross drivers in the world have found it necessary to be in the third and final round of the 2010 U.S. Rallycross Championships November 6 & 7 at the New Jersey Motorsports Park…..

….Joining Isachsen and Holte is Per Eklund of Sweden in a SAAB 9-3 ASS T16 4×4 who was 22nd in the ERC championship after running less than half of the events. He’s another looking for some redemption from the U.S. Rallycross Championship….

…..Sweden’s Per Eklund is a highly seasoned rally driver, in a brand new Saab 90. Originally a Saab factory driver in the 1970s, Eklund continued competing in a private rally team for 20 more years before switching to Rallycross and winning the 1999 ERC Championship and 2004 Swedish Rallycross Championship.

And a good bit for people thinking of getting along to have a look….

You can see all the Rallycross action for just $20 a car! Load your car up with as many people as you want! It’s our thanks to you for a great year! Download your coupon here: (right click, save as)

It looks like it’s going to be a cracker of an event. Some huge US and international names aside from Eklund will be there as well, such as Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen.

Get on the boat, people!

Thanks to Pascal and Paul for the tip….

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