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Saab Rallying History

The most important rally victories and some other competitions

1950 Rolf Mellde/K G Svedberg and Greta Molander/Margaretha von Essen take part in the Monte Carlo Rallye in January. The two cars have chassis numbers 7 and 8 respectively. Greta Molander comes in 55th overall, Sth in her class and 2nd in the Ladies Class. In the Rikspokalen in November, at that time Europe's most gruelling event, Saab is the overall winner with Rolf Mellde, and is the best marque team with Mellde, Svedberg and Greta Molander, who also wins the Ladies Class.

1952 Greta Molander and Helga Lundberg win the Ladies Cup in the Monte Carlo Rally.

1953 Rolf Mellde wins the Swedish Championship.

1955 Erik Carlsson gets to be 'on the roof' with all Sweden and wins the country's most important dependability contest, the Rikspokalen, in a Saab 92.

1956 Bob Wehman and Louis Braun win the fourth and last Great American Mountain Rallye. Rolf Mellde comes in sixth, with another Saab 93 in seventh place. There is only one American car among the first twenty.

1959 Two Saab 93s compete in the 24 Hours at Le Mans. One of thern, driven by Sture Nottorp and Gunnar Bengtsson, comes in twelfth place overall and is second in its class. Erik Carlsson scores an overt victory in the Midnight Sun Rally.

1960 Erik Carlsson wins the British RAC Rally, his first of three consecutive victories. This year Saab also builds two Formula Junior racing cars.

1961 Erik Carlsson enters for the Monte Carlo Rally in a Saab 95 -- the factory's only four-speed car. Finishes in fourth place.

1962 Erik Carlsson and Gunnar Häggbom win overall in the Monte Carlo Rally. The starting number of the winning car is 303.

1963 Erik Carlsson wins the Monte Carlo Rally for the second time, now with Gunnar Palm as his co-driver. Starting number this year is 283, Erik Carlsson and Gunnar Palm come second in the Spa-Sofia-Liege "Marathon de la Route", one of the most demanding rallies.

1971 Stig Blomqvist wins the Swedish Rally in a Saab V4. A new generation of drivers takes over as Erik Carlsson becomes Saab's roving ambassador, accredited to the whole world.

1976 Stig Blomqvist wins the Belgian Rally Boucles de Spa. The winning car is a Saab 99 with double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. 220 h.p. is the rating, against 170 trimmed horses from the ordinary engine with only one camshaft.

1977 Stig Blomqvist wins the Swedish Rally in a Saab 99 EMS.

1979 Stig Blomqvist wins the Swedish Rallye in a Saab 99 Turbo - the first win by a turbo-charged car in a World Championship rally.

1980 Saab shuts down its competition department and retires from all rally activities.

Saab 9000 from the Talladega Challenge in 1986

1986 On 7 October, three Saab 9000 Turbo 16s, in guaranteed standard condition, get off the mark on the world's fastest race-track, the Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, U.S.A. 31 drivers take turns at the controls of the three cars, with stops only for refuelling and service. In nearly twenty days of uninterrupted driving they break two world records and 21 international speed records. The fastest car covers 100,000 km at a mean speed of 213 '299 kph, the other two average around 210 and 208 kph.

Saab 900 from the Talladega Challenge in 1996

1996 Ten years later Saab returns to Talladega, this time with six Saab 900s, absolutely standard cars, powered by different engines: a 2-litre turbo, a 2.5-litre V6 and a 2-litre injection engine. They clock up 40 new international speed records. The fastest car, a 900 Turbo, turns in an average speed of 226.450 kph.