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Saab Never Raced In IMSA But These Renders Envision A Parallel Universe Where It Did

Saab Never Raced In IMSA But These Renders Envision A Parallel Universe Where It Did

The look of an ’80s Saab in full IMSA GTO attire makes us really sad this isn’t a real thing

Saab, the now-defunct Swedish automaker known for its quirky models and its original parent company, also known as Saab, that made fighter jets among other things was never big on racing. While the company took pride in the myriad of technical innovations that saw the light of day in Saab’s cars, the track was never Saab’s main development lab. That’s why this brutal-looking Saab 900 Turbo is the stuff of dreams as it takes us to an alternate reality where Saab not only had a proper presence in the U.S. in the ’80s but also decided to spend money developing a race car for the popular GTO/Trans-Am rules that brought together American sedans and coupes as well as Porsches, Ferraris, and Audis.

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Take a Look Back at Per Eklund's 850-Horsepower Saab 9-3 As it Makes Its Record-Setting Pikes Peak Run

Take a Look Back at Per Eklund’s 850-Horsepower Saab 9-3 As it Makes Its Record-Setting Pikes Peak Run

The legendary run set a record that couldn’t be touched for 12 years.

Per Eklund is a Swedish rally driver that built an impressive and highly successful career from 1973 to 1997. He never made it to the top of his sport, but Eklund is still regarded as one of the finest rally racers of his era. One of his most impressive feats, however, took place after his active years in rally racing. It was in 2000 when Eklund drove his Saab 9-3 Viggen 4x4 at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Competing in the Pikes Peak Open Wheel category, Eklund set a record time of 11:21.58 that remained untouched for 12 years until Frenchman Romain Dumas eclipsed the Swede’s time by almost two minutes with a time of 9:46.181. The record has been broken numerous times since 2012, and the current record holder is Clint Vahsholtz, who shot up the leaderboard in 2017 when he drove his Ford Open to a time of 9:35.747. As impressive as these record times are, it’s hard not to be impressed with Eklund’s performance in 2000 when he was at the ripe old age of 54 years old. For his record to last as long as it did speaks to his abilities behind the wheel of a rally racer.

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