Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
An 851-cc Saab 96, driven by Swedes Erik Carlsson and Gunar Haggböm, became the smallest car to win the Monte Carlo Rally. The exploits of Erik, aka ‘On the Roof’, Carlsson helped put Saab on the automotive map in the 1960s. He is a double winner of the Monte Carlo Rally in 1962 and 1963 and also took a hat-trick of RAC Rally victories in 1960-62. Now 82 years old, Erik was born in Trollhättan, Sweden, the home town of Saab, and was a works driver for the company throughout his career. Today, he is still employed as a roving ambassador for Saab. Erik Carlsson was married to Pat Moss (1934-2008), who was also a successful rally driver with several wins in the Monte Carlo Rally ladies class, She was the younger sister of racing driver Sir Stirling Moss. Erik’s ‘David and Goliath’ battles against larger, more powerful cars are now legendary in the annals of international rallying. With small two-stroke engines, 748 or 841 cc, the first Saabs lacked power for competition use and to overcome this disadvantage Erik developed a special driving technique. It was necessary to keep the engine revving at all times, so he used left foot braking while keeping his right food hard on the accelerator pedal. This allowed him to make the most of his car’s light weight and manoeuvrability while cornering.
Erik Carlsson at the Monte Carlo Rally 1963