Saab 900 Enduro bound for Targa Tasmania?

This is one that’s of special interest to me, being here in Tassie.

The full story appears on

In short, one of the Melbourne-based Saab owners who posts there called into his mechanic’s workshop and saw this on the hoist….

Saab 900 Enduro

It’s a Saab 900 Enduro, one of only 12 built by Saab Australia back when the 900 was still pretty new, in 1980. The Enduro version had a rather radical (to say the least) body kit, water injection, an uprated wastegate (17psi boost!), improved suspension, better instrumentation as well as phat Simmons wheels and appropriate rubber to fill out those huge wheel arches.

Another Enduro, in non-racing garb….

Saab 900 Enduro

Only around half of the Enduros originally built by Saab Australia are thought to still be in existence and are highly collectable.

What aroused my curiosity straight away in the top photo is the name “Kingsway Motors” on the back. That was before I noted “Hobart” written underneath. Kingsway was the celebrated Saab dealership here in Hobart, one of the best dealerships in Australia and winner of several Saab Service Awards.

According to the post at SaabWorld, this 900 Enduro is being prepped for an appearance in next year’s Targa Tasmania, our top-shelf tarmac rally, which is held in April each year.

I would love to know more about this car.

Thanks to Wulf for the tip.

Quick Targa Tasmania update

I posted some images from the Targa vehicles display during the week, noting that one of my favourites from the exhibition was this fantastic looking little Renault Alpine.
Renault Alpine
I saw another image of it today, though it’s not the one I’d hoped to see:
That’s the view from Hyundai’s entry in the showroom class – a diesel i30 – as it passed the ditched Renault on the very first competitive leg of the event!
All was well, though. It seems the only damage was to the driver’s pride. I’ve had a look through the results from the first few days and the little Frenchie has been posting times, so it seems they got a lift out of the trench and kept going, which is great to hear.
The first day’s Targa stages would have been absolute hell on wheels as it was a very wet and windy day up on northern Tasmania. There were Porsches plowed into power poles and a number of competitors racked up DNF’s on that first day.
More worrying than that, though, is this story of one driver claiming a disgruntled local might have sabotaged the course:

TTcrash1.jpgA TARGA Tasmania driver has accused an unknown person of deliberately pouring oil on the road near Mt Roland.
Three cars crashed near the oil, with the driver and navigator from one car leaping an armco railing to avoid a car driven by 2008 winner Steve Glenney.
Porsche 911 RSR driver Simon Froude, of Launceston, said the sheer volume of oil made him believe it was a case of sabotage.
He said cars would have been travelling close to 160km/h on the section of road.
Targa organisers stopped competitive driving straight after the crash.

That would be an absolute tragedy. I’d suggest some very serious charges would be laid if they found the idiot who did this.
There are some nannies who don’t like Targa taking place every year. Fair enough, but placing people’s lives in danger like that is just ridiculous.

Cars from Targa Tasmania 2010 – set 3

There’s a ‘Showroom’ class for Targa Tasmania, where a number of manufacturers enter their cars in standard showroom form.
How good would it be to get a new Saab 9-5 XWD Aero in this class next year? Put the big XWD labels on it and fly Peter Johansson (Turbo X demo driver, Saab vehicle tester and part time rally ace) in to tackle some of Tassie’s best roads. The publicity would be great for the re-launch of Saab Oz and it wouldn’t cost that much. Certainly not a lot more than a frilly ad campaign.
This is the third and final set. I hope you’ve enjoyed them.
More Swedish metal!!!!
This Volvo’s a serial attender. Has been competing in Targa for a number of years now.
A groovy little red Fiat….
An Alfa Berlina belonging to a guy here in Hobart, one of the office holders in the Italian Car Club.
The navigator has a little Fiat he usually drives in Targa but it flipped last year. He was also the guy in the car with me when I crashed my Viggen, so I hope Norman’s Berlina comes home safely ๐Ÿ™‚
A couple of Brits…..
Not many French cars entered this year. I think a few of those Renault Sport freaks had better pull their finger out. Brendan?
Some super-performance cars made here in Australia. I believe they’re called Skelta. The chassis of the car weighs less than I do.
I can’t remember what this is.
Another beautiful Alfa GTV6. I love the nose.
I’m not sure what model this Porsche is, but I have a feeling it’s super-rare and super valuable.
A Bolwell.
And another GTV6. I told you they were popular.
And finally, to end on a classy and sophisticated note – a Morgan.
I hope you enjoyed those shots.
I’d love to drive in Targa one day. And I’d love to see a Saab or a Spyker in that showroom class event.
Maybe one day……

Cars from Targa Tasmania – set 2

I’d encourage you to hit up Youtube and watch some film from Targa Tasmania. There’s in-car videos there as well as segments of the official Targa videos they make each year with helicopter shots, etc. You’ll see just how good some of our roads are here. It really is a great place to have an event like this and every year it attracts a smattering of international visitors and drivers.
More of the competitors cars. I’m focusing mainly on the Euros.
This BMW, which I’m assuming is a 2002, had a very lively paint scheme, as did another you’ll see in a moment. Very eye-catching.
The event is organised into classes based on the years of vehicles so this would be competing with cars of a similar vintage. For most competitors, the main focus is to complete each timed leg of the course within the time limit set by the organisers, thus earning the team a ‘plate’ at the end of the event. The really serious competitors are aiming to win their class.
At last, some Swedish metal!!!
Unfortunately, all the Swedish metal in this year’s Targa comes from further west than Trollhattan. Must be that RWD thing. There is one Saab in the Targa field, an early 9-5 Aero, but they’re driving in the non-competitive tour event and the car wasn’t on display here tonight.
You can’t walk past a Ferrari and not take a photo…..
And if I’m not mistaken, that’s an autograph by Martin Brundle ๐Ÿ™‚
Oh, it seems I was mistaken. It’s actually Murray Walker.
Another Volvo!!!!
The other BMW looking quite smart, though not as smart as the Alfa next to it.
Here’s some American muscle for those who are into such things…..
I’m not a fan of Lamborghinis at all, but I have to admit, they’ve got presence.
Many people come back to do Targa over and over again. This guy’s one of them and it’s one of my favourite Targa cars. I believe it’s a Jensen. I just love it.
Here’s something you don’t see in a competitive tarmac rally event every day. Must handle like a soggy sponge, methinks. But at least they’d be comfortable.
Another Lambo…..
Porsche is without a doubt the most used vehicle in this event – in all but the oldest of vehicle classes. That’s motorsport pedigree for ya.
Lipstick, yes.
Pig? Definitely not.

Cars from Targa Tasmania 2010 – set 1

It’s been a while since I’ve managed to get some face time with cars from Targa Tasmania. I covered the event quite closely back in 2005 as a friend of mine from Melbourne, Dan, was running his Saab 99Turbo in the event.
For the unfamiliar, Targa Tasmania is a week-long tarmac rally that goes all around the northern half of Tasmania before heading south and finishing in Hobart. Today was Day 1 of the event and this evening, I managed to sneak into the Silverdome in Launceston and snap off some photos of the cars at rest during the public exhibition.
I’ve got nearly 40 photos to share, so I’ll make a few entries out of this to give you some breathing room and I’ll share a few thoughts along the way.
The Silverdome is actually a big indoor velodrome that’s also used for concerts and various displays.
As you can see, it holds a shipload of cars, too, and the racers should be commended for the display – the cars all looked sensational.
Here’s an overview in three panels.

OK, not (just) because I like them, but also because they were the first cars there when I walked in……. here’s some Alfas.
First up, a Spider, which I’m not sure would be the best car for taking on a tarmac rally at speed. But I’m sure they’re enjoying themselves.
Next a 105 series GTV. Not sure which engine this one’s got. Probably a 1750 as they’re the most revered of this lot. Just classical.
And you’ll see a few of these in this collection of images. The GTV6. Definitely the most populous Alfa in the Targa fleet this year.
I was surprised by the number of Porsche 944’s too. Some of you recall that I nearly bought one of these early last year and I’m still quite pleased that I didn’t. But boy, they do look good.
This was the most fascinating car of the night for me. A little Renault Alpine. I’m going to check the standings mid-week and see how it’s doing. Looks absolutely fantastic.
I know VM loves his Lancias, so here’s one I saw tonight (the only one, IIRC). Not quite his vintage, but still…..
Another Alfetta, but a 4cyl one this time, I think.
And I’m not sure what this is, but it’s got face-bending speed written all over it.

More to come shortly……..

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