Monday Snippets

For those Swedes who like their cars to be green, Preem are launching a new diesel variant that’s either 16% or 20% more environmentally friendly (depending on how you read the literature).

Describing the development of the product, which hits the market in April, as “unique”, the firm claims that Preem Evolution diesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 16 percent due to the fact that a fifth of the raw material is tall oil.

“New thinking on green solutions lies behind the development of the Evolution diesel. The tall oil has hitherto been regarded as waste by the forest industry. Through innovative thinking and co-operation it has been developed into a renewable resource,” the firm said in a statement.

The product is developed from processing a residue extracted from black liquor in pulp mills and is the result of six years of research and costing the firm more than 300 million kronor ($47 million).

The diesel is identical to fossil diesel molecularly, but is made up of 20 percent renewables, thus qualifying it for tax free status in Sweden and thus comparable in price to regular diesel.

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Don’t blink as you’ll miss it, but here’s our mate Etienne and his Saab 99 in the Boucles de Spa over the weekend.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k4AJqABr-w

From what I can tell of the updates on the Saablog-in website, Etienne completed the course and finished 20th of 140 vehicle in the class.

An excellent effort by the world’s happiest Saab fan (anyone who’s met Etienne will know what I mean)

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If you’re in North America (I think it may be cost-prohibitive otherwise and I’d recommend Maptun anyway) and you have a Saab 9-3 V6 and you haven’t already got a solution to your need for a fatter downpipe and midpipe on your exhaust, then some people at SaabCentral would like to hear from you. They’re looking for 25 people to get a job lot made up.

The thread starts here and ‘kanundrum’ from SC got in touch asking if I’d pass the word around. Consider it passed.

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A little while ago I invited you to participate in some Saaby Student Research. A series of questions were posed and I’d like to thank the many people who completed the questionnaire and sent it to me via email.

I can pass on that I did indeed pass them along to Robin M, who in turn passed them over to the young student concerned.

More than that, though, Jette (the young lady conducting the research) went up to Robin’s neck of the woods over the weekend and a group of Southwest Saab Club members got together to provide more answers, and a few photos as well.

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BMW ownership can come at a price some aren’t willing/able to pay here in Australia.

So much so that it actually made the news over the weekend.

BMW is pursuing hundreds of Australians in bankruptcy proceedings over luxury vehicles collectively worth up to $18 million, as dreams of enjoying opulent lifestyles crash.

The social aspirants now face losing their luxury vehicles and possibly their homes to repay massive debts to car financing giant BMW Finance…..

…..The Sunday Herald Sun inspected 32 BMW actions in the Federal Magistrates’ Court, where the debts ranged from $8000 to $190,000, with most in the $30,000-plus range.

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.

Enjoy.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yFNQI1PYGc

Thanks to Gunnar for the tip!

Carlsson Saab 96 replica leaves Reims for Monte Carlo historic rally

Pete Backstrom from the Saab Museum has sent through a few images from the start of the Monte Carlo historic rally in Reims, France.

The car in the images is the one that’s been painstakingly built by the guys at Oldtimer Markts, a magazine in Germany. The magazines editor, Peter Steinfurth, is driving the vehicle with navigator, Thorsten Löber. Unfortunately, a missed time control has meant their early retirement from the race.

The car still looked fantastic at the start, though. Erik Carlsson himself was there to wave them off.

I’ll have some more imagery about the build of this car in the next couple of days.

My thanks to Peter for the images.

Before the start…..

Erik given the honours, waving them off….

And moving a blaze of speed and fury 🙂 …..

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Saabs leave Poland for Monte Carlo Historic Rally

We showed some Saabs leaving Stockholm for the Monte Carlo Historic Rally yesterday, and the Erik Carlsson replica will be leaving from Riems, in France (more on that car shortly).

Today, some photos from Poland, including some Saabs that left from Warsaw to go to Monte Carlo for the event. All photos were taken by Robert W from the Saab Turbo Club, and sent in by Justyn D. I’m told there should be more tomorrow.

Click to enlarge….

Saab at the 100th Anniversary of the Monte Carlo Rally

RedJ covered the press release relating to this story yesterday, but there’s a little more that I wanted to share with you today.

Peter Backstrom, from the Saab Museum, is heading down to Riems, in France, today. He’s taking Erik Carlsson along with him and together they will salute the chief editor of Oldtimer Markts magazine, Peter Steinfurth, as he drives off to compete in the Monte Carlo historic rally.

This is significant as Mr Steinfurth will be driving a replica of Erik Carlsson’s Monte Carlo winning Saab 96 – a car the magazine staff have been building especially for this race.

You can see some video of the two-stroke engine being fired up for the first time here.

It’s also significant because this year’s Monte Carlo historic rally celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the original event, which began in 1911. Erik Carlsson won the Monte Carlo twice in a Saab 96, in 1962 and 1963. Lesser known is his 4th placing in 1961 in a Saab 95, which had he placed three spots higher might have been one of the only times a rally of such significance was won by a driver in a station wagon!

Peter Backstrom has his camera on hand and will hopefully share some images from the event when it’s all done and dusted.

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A pre-start event was also held in Stockholm a few days ago, and Jörgen from the Saabs United Historic Rally Team was on hand to get some photos and video.

The cars were waved off by Bo Hellberg, the former director of the Saab Rally Team and there was a very nice two-stroke Saab 96 amongst them.

Jörgen and Bo Hellberg….

Some of the starters in Stockholm….

And some video of the Saab 96 two stroke of Fredrik Ekendahl leaving from the KAK club in Stockholm….

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m1MAfljb0c

New cars for the Saabs United Historic Rally Team

It’s been a little since we updated the SUHRT website but that doesn’t mean the team has been idle.

Far from it, in fact!

The last few months have seen the guys add two more cars to the garage. The question, now, is which historic rally cars these ones will made into replicas of.

First, to the two new cars.

Jörgen picked up this blue 99Turbo 2-door notchback:

Saab 99 Turbo 2-door

And Vladimir Antonov purchased this green 99Turbo, which is also a 2-door:

Saab 99 Turbo

Both cars will be rally-prepared eventually and the team is currently deciding which historic Saab rally cars to re-create.

The options are as follows:

1. Stig Blomqvist RAC 1979 Red
2. Stig Blomqvist Swedish Rally 1981 Blue
3. Stig Blomqvist Swedish Championships 1980 Black
4. Ola Strömberg Swedish Championships 1980 White

It’s definitely going to be a busy winter for the guys as they prepare these two cars.

Which ones would you choose?

Gasparatos Saab 900 of DW-world.de

Deutsche Welle is the place to go if you want German news in English but they don’t just do news. Apparently they have a good motoring program as well, called Drive It!

This week they have a section on the program where they take a good look at a racing Saab 900. The car is owned by a guy named Nick Gasparatos.

Gasparatos 900

Gasparatos Automobile is also a Saab tuning house in Germany and this 900 is a fine example of the company’s work. It’s heavily modified but from the video, it looks like it’s a dream to drive with it’s 300hp output, fully adjustable chassis and gear settings.

The video is in English, of course, and you MUST watch it, if only to hear the sound made by the engine in this car. It’s a four cylinder symphony.

Thanks CraigSu for 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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