Rally legend Erik Carlsson dies at 86

The motorsports world has lost a legend with the passing of famous rally driver Erik Carlsson at the age of 86. If you've ever seen a photo of a vintage Saab sliding around a corner or blasting through tree-lined roads, there was a good chance that Carlsson was behind the wheel. The man was so tied to the Swedish auto brand that he earned the nickname Mr. Saab.

Carlsson experienced his greatest competition success in the late '50s and early '60s when he scored victories in premier events like the Monte Carlo Rally (pictured above). Among his more impressive performances were consecutive wins in '60, '61, and '62 Britain's RAC Rally. His three-cylinder, 750cc Saab 96 wasn't insanely powerful, but Carlsson made it a monster in the world of rallying. In 2010, Saab named a special edition 9-3 after him and honored his victory at the RAC Club in London.

Beyond being impressive behind the wheel of a rally car and a longtime Saab brand ambassador, the driver had a habit of rolling his car during competition to earn the moniker "Carlsson On The Roof." According to Classic and Sports Car, he also wrote the book The Art and Technique of Driving that detailed his left-foot braking method, and it was co-authored with his wife, fellow racing driver Pat Moss. Our condolences go out to Carlsson's friends and family.

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