The flying fin and the Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon

The Nordic Special Saloon Championships, the Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon and the Flying Finn. Today both are almost completely forgotten. They wanted to write motorsport history together in the mid-80s. In 1985 the Nordic Super Saloon Championships started in Scandinavia.

Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon
Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon

8 races in three countries.

The new series was to appear in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Saab saw the best conditions to score points on the Scandinavian markets. Earlier motorsport successes had faded, a little fresh shine couldn't hurt the brand. In Trollhättan, a monster with lots of spoilers was designed, the Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon.

Since otherwise only private teams competed, great opportunities were expected. The Finn Leo Juhani “Leksa” Kinnunen was hired as the driver. He had the high point of his career behind him, but was still active in motorsport at local rally events. Kinnunen was known as the “Flying Finn” and had ridden almost everything that was possible. He was often on the road on behalf of Porsche; he had won the Nordic Challenge Cup in 1969 and the Interseries in the Triple from 1971 to 73.

At the Targa Florio he set an all-time record with a Porsche 908, and in 1971 he dared a brief interlude in Formula 1.

The Saab 1985 Turbo Super Saloon was launched in May 900.

And does not arrive. The first race in Ahvenisto, Finland, was a disaster, the big dreams threatened to vanish into thin air. It continues in this way, the Saab team cannot get a grip on technical problems. At the end of the season it looks sobering. Eight races have been driven, the 900 Turbo does not finish in six of them. Two finishings with a 6th and a 9th place can't gloss over the embarrassment.

The 1986 season takes place without the Saab factory team. The Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon disappears from the stage. The racing series lasted until 1988, was renamed and disappeared completely at the end of the 1992 season.

Searching for clues today is difficult. It's as if the car never existed. Maybe it's in a collection or it was scrapped at the factory. Even the biography of the flying Finn, who died in 2017, hides the episode from 1985.

AutoCult brings the Saab back.

The company specializes in niche projects and long-forgotten projects. It keeps bringing amazing miniatures to the market. Like the Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon from 1985, with which the flying Finn was on the road for one summer.

The model car from AutoCult comes in a collector's scale 1:43, its edition is only 333 copies. It is available from specialist retailers and online.

4 thoughts on "The flying fin and the Saab 900 Turbo Super Saloon"

  • A new 1:43 model of the Saab Safari event has been available shortly. well worth looking at.

  • These Nordic series were and are always there. They always have similar problems and therefore not the longest lifespan. Large countries, small markets, low sales potential. Volvo also liked to play along because it's an inexpensive stage for home. Saab saw it similarly.

  • The post perfectly ties in with the last one and the video. And it's true what EF-elch says ...

    Coincidence that the charming historical compilation came to the showrooms after the super saloon disaster?

    One likes to show successes outside. The Nordic-and-so-on mentioned here was probably not a great success overall, apart from Saab? First renamed and then discontinued within a few years. So it's easy to sweep the short episode / Saab's one-time participation under the carpet ...

    I speculate:
    The format has never paid off for manufacturers. The advertising effect (if there had been one through success) would have been narrow and limited to the small Scandinavian market. At the same time, the regulations were ambitious and near-series vehicles had no chance. There was therefore a general shortage of participants and hardly any media coverage worldwide. The series itself stood on clayey feet from the start, about to end.
    Saab's participation too. A “cheap” victory would have been taken. But in a long-term, financially expensive commitment in the new and soon failed format, they simply had no interest. If it was like this or something like that, then Saab has my full understanding here.

    Still an exciting vehicle / model. Technical data and the exact nature of the technical problems or in-depth background information about the Nordic-XY would also be of great interest to me. I'm with EF-elch ...

    But if there was more to this mystery, it would be here anyway - right?

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  • Very interesting article Tom !! I (us?) Would of course be interested in why the 900 did not even make it to the finish line so often!?!? Here one can only speculate ...
    I think - even at SAAB it was no different from “everywhere” until today - “Do good and talk about it - better keep negative things to yourself”!

    Sure - who needs negative PR, especially in this industry !?

    I'm always amazed and of course enthusiastic - where Tom “digs up” these exciting topics / news !?

    THANK YOU and please more of it….

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