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.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Memories from Rally Sweden

This weekend Rally Sweden is held. It started on Thursday evening with a special stage in Karlstad and yesterday the car went flat out over the border to Norway and to my home town. And so yesterday I spent the whole day outside enjoying the rally.

This year Rally Sweden celebrates its 60th competition. It all started in 1960 as a competition held in summer and named Midnattssolrallyt (Rally of the midnight sun). Swede Per-Fredrik Cederbaum won the first race in a BMW. The following years Porsche cars dominated and won year after year. But then in 1957 Sweden took over. First Volvo rally cars won two times in a row before Saab entered the scene. Erik "on the roof" Carlsson won in 1959 in a Saab 93.

The following two years Carl-Magnus Skogh won in a Saab. Then the audience saw German cars again winning in 1962-63 and Volvo taking two wins before Åke Andersson and Saab once again took first place in 1966, this time in a Saab 96.

Then followed four years which saw no Saab wins. But in 1971 Saab was back on top. Now with Stig Blomqvist as driver. He won three times in a row! In 1976 Per Eklund won and in 1977 Blomqvist was back on top. Saab won last time in 1979 with Blomqvist steering a Saab 99 turbo to victory. The Saab 99 turbo became the first turbo charged car to win a rally.

Today all of the top rally cars have turbo. And so Saab's influence on the rally sport can still be seen. And who knows, maybe on day Saab can come back and be part of rally again.

Here's a video featuring Stig Blomqvist and the Saab 99 Turbo.