• Mar 3rd 2010 at 8:38PM
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1957 Saab 93 rally car replica – Click above for high-res image gallery

As car guys, we want to see Saab succeed at the hands of its new owners, Spyker Cars. And while the brand faces an uphill battle to reach profitability, its new masters are at least showing signs of understanding the Swedish automaker's rich past. The latest proof? Spyker CEO Victor Muller and Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson will take on Italy's famed Mille Miglia road race in this 1957 Saab 93, a replica of the car that won the Finnish 1,000 Lakes Rally that year.

The 750cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine has been tuned to Group 2 specification, producing 55 horsepower – 22 horsepower more than the standard car. So-equipped, the robust racer is said to be good for 62 miles-per-hour in 13 seconds and a top speed of 93 mph.

While racing in May's historic recreation of the Mille Miglia might not generate much in the way of brand buzz, if nothing else, it strikes us as a nice acknowledgment of the company's past by the keepers of its future. Could there be more than just a history lesson at work here? Late last month, Autocar reported that Saab is proceeding with plans for a new entry-level model, the 9-2, that will reportedly be influenced by Saab's 1950's 'teardrop' design. High-res gallery of live shots from here at the Geneva Motor Show below, official press release after the jump.

[Source: Saab]
Show full PR text

2 March 2010

Saab at Geneva Motor Show 2010

Historic Saab 93 on Show at Geneva en route to Mille Miglia

· Unique heritage: Saab celebrates first major international rally success
· Historic recreation: Saab and Spyker CEOs to run Saab 93s in 2010 Mille Miglia

Saab is celebrating its first major victory in international motor sport by showing a replica of the Saab 93 sedan which won the Finnish 1,000 Lakes Rally in 1957.

With Erik 'Mr Saab' Carlsson at the wheel, this historic victory brought international recognition for the Saab brand. It also presaged back-to-back Monte Carlo and a hat-trick of RAC Rally victories that Carlsson would achieve in the early 1960s.

Powered by a 748 cc, three cylinder engine, but weighing only 810 kilos, the Saab 93's agile handling enabled it to embarrass far more powerful, larger cars. It established a winning 'David beats Goliath' formula that was to be a cornerstone of Saab's rallying success.

mullerThe Saab 93 is now about to see competition action again. The car on show – from Saab's car museum in Trollhättan, Sweden – will be driven by Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller on Italy's historic Mille Miglia road race in May. He will be joined by Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson at the wheel of another Saab 93. Both will be following, at a more leisurely pace, in the wheel tracks of the 1000 Lakes winner, which won its class on the same event back in 1957.

"Unique cars like the 93 are a key part of the Saab brand's wonderful heritage," said Victor Muller "I shall enjoy driving it and being able to share in some of Saab's history."

Between 1955 and 1960, 52.731 Saab 93s were built at Trollhättan. Its frontal styling introduced a new face for Saab, carried forward by the 96 sedan and 95 station wagon which stayed in production until 1980.

Technical data: Saab 93, 1957, Group 2 competition regulations:

Engine: 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine, 748cc Solex 40 AI carburetor

Power: 55 hp/ DIN / 5.500 rpm (Standard 33 hp/ DIN / 4200 rpm)

Transmission: Front wheel drive, 3/4-spd manual gearbox, freewheel, steering column shift

Body/chassis: Unitary. Front suspension: double A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension: rigid, U-shaped rear axle, coil springs. Drum brakes all-round

Dimensions (mm): Length 4.010, Width 1.570, Height 1450 mm, Wheelbase 2.488
Track front/ rear 1,220

Weight: 810 kg

Performance: 0-100 km/h: 13 secs. Top speed: 150 km/h

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Had a rust-red one of these as my very first car, aged even then.

      A great snowmobile, the 96 left other vehicles hopelessly stranded in its wake.

      The engine was about the size of a bean tin (just 841cc) but the streamlined body meant that it could eventually wind the hefty beast up to 90mph-plus indicated.

      Weird two-strokeness meant you had to carry dozens of litre-size oil bottles around, which was a pain, and greasy too.

      And the exhaust system eventually choked on unburnt oil residues leaving the thing moving at walking pace in an early version of Will Smith's banana trick in '24 hours'.

      Fond memories though...
      • 5 Years Ago
      In light of Spyker's own financial problems, all I hope is that Saab doesn't put the nail in the coffin. Picking up Saab was a terrible decision. They should save their money from having these silly events and maybe make cars that push more than 20,000 units a year.

      • 5 Years Ago
      It's good to see that Saab's new owners actually give a damn about them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Waaaaaaay cool. I've always been fascinated by the old Saabs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So cool. They realize Saab means something.

        If anyone can pull this off, these guys can.

        My hat is SO OFF to these guys.

        (But I wonder how they can do a modern teardrop car. Modern cars just plan don't have droopy butts. I'll confess my bias here: I was totally enamored of the 9-2 convertible they showed a couple years back.)
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