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.
Sorry for the slow posting today. Life gets in the way sometimes and we have a national election on Saturday. I’ve been listening to the candidates this evening as they rabbit on about things they claim to understand.
1. Team Brodd fields a normally aspirated Saab 9-3 to compete in the 2-wheel-drive classification. That’s a departure from typical Saab motor sport entries.
2. The “results” page seems to specify Ethanol fuel.
3. Team Brodd refers to their 9-3 as a 9-3 “kit car” because it was originally a NG900 equipped with a turbocharged power plant and, over time, they’ve replaced enough parts that it’s now a naturally-aspirated 9-3.
4. The video is posted by a user calling themselves “volvo940voc”. Click at your own risk.
When TV4’s financial news met Spykers CEO Victor Muller in Almedalen, he revealed that he wants to resurrect Saab’s rally history. The rally racing series that Muller would like to aim for in the future is the World Rally Championship.
– First we have to get the company profitable, then it could be considered, at the earliest, around 2014, “said Victor Muller.
As one of the sponsors behind the Saabs United Historic Rally Team, all I can say is BRING IT ON!!!
Motorsport is the test lab of the automotive world and it’d be great to see Saab back in the dirt some time in the future.
I’ve just been very busy posting some updates to our Saabs United Historic Rally Team home page. What, you didn’t know that there was a Saabs United Historic Rally Team?! Well, there is, and our two Saab 99 Turbos will be running in the 2010 Rally to the Midnight Sun in just a matter of months from now. Car #1 is now looking absolutely fantastic with its shiny black paint and rally livery. The guys are finishing off the body work now and soon the engine will be ready to go in. Here’s some of the recent postings and videos from the SUHRT website:
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