IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Saab racing to the clouds part I

Today is Ascension Day which is a public holiday in Sweden and on Monday Sweden celebrates its National Day and tomorrow I guess they just take the day off, because the Saab factory will be closed until Tuesday next week. As always on a public holiday or a weekend, not much news about Saab is coming from Sweden. That makes today a nice opportunity to relive some great Saab moments of the past.

Today I decided to watch Per Eklund's first race to the clouds. That is of course the 2000 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Per Eklund won the open division and placed second overall in 2000 in his Saab 9-3 Viggen. It was by no means an genuine Viggen. The body was from a Saab and the two liter engine block was from Saab, but the car was built on "a very strong tubular frame that gives both high torsional stiffness and good protection." But the question was if protection was really needed. The course had no safety railings and the road was more or less a steep cliff. As Eklund said: "If you happen to get one skid too many, you're not in the way to obstruct the guys coming up behind you."

The engine delivered 750 horsepower and took the car from 0 - 60 mph in 2.3 seconds with four wheel drive.

Enjoy the ride!