Erik Carlsson & Saabitude


Not sure wether it’s just the motorsport success or not – but there’s something about the older generation of Saabs that we really dig. I was always fascinated by the 96 (below) – not least because an old teacher of mine had one in bright orange that put the rest of the Dagenham-wrought cars in the car park to dreary shame.

It was the 96, first released onto the world in 1960, that was famously driven to a ton of rally success by by Erik Carlsson – that put Saab on the radar of global car culture, and established the company’s reputation for building, tough, reliable cars that could be pushed to the limit with success. A rare combo if ever there was one.

But with the 99, below, the flowing lines crossed with a boxy simplicity was retained – but for me was retained for a new generation. The Turbo wheezed itself into legend, and set the tone fo the brand well into the nineties.

Whatever the future hold for Saab with its twisted relationship with messianic industry saviours and countless rumours of buyouts, fall-throughs and other sorts of intrigue – isn’t it time they got back into Rallying? They could at least market some great T-shirts.