Drama in the Maritime Alps - the end of the Saab team is imminent

Life writes the script, we can only plan as best we can. But the best preparation quickly turns into waste, and the drama takes over the direction. The team with the Saab 93 A got it right on the first day of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique. The third special stage was also the last. At least for now. Engine damage - the highly bred two-stroke unit stopped working. Is this rally threatening to end?

Saab on the side of the road - the end of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique is threatening
Saab on the side of the road - the end of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique is threatening

The Drama in the Maritime Alps

Eric Carlsson told me years ago that he always drove to a race with a completely overloaded vehicle. Everything that goes in, he said, and then distributed to depots along the route. Engines, transmissions, spare parts, everything was there. Because in the event of a defect, which was not the exception even then with the tuned two-stroke engines, you could quickly swap the engine and continue driving.

Two-stroke engines have the distinct advantage of being relatively small and light. One of the reasons why Saab decided to use this drive principle decades ago.

The Saab breaks down near Valence
The Saab breaks down near Valence

Unfortunately, the Saab team does not have an extra engine in the service vehicle, what to do? The Saab is stranded, night is coming, the thermometer is already showing minus 2 degrees.

Giving up is not an option

The crew around Steffen Wirth consults. Giving up is not an option. A replacement engine is needed, a workshop for installation has to be organized. A tow truck has to rescue the Saab 93 A, which is parked on the side of the road near Valence in the middle of the Maritime Alps.

Hectic activity sets in, mobile phones glow, relationships are activated. It's Saturday evening, Sunday a new engine has to be there. And indeed, it works. The new engine should come from Augsburg, a tow truck brings the 93 A from the mountains.

A towing company takes the 93A near Gap
A towing company takes the 93A near Gap

The team finds a workshop near Gap that makes its premises available for repairs. The owner is ready to unlock on Sunday. Now all that's left to do is get the new engine on time!

Peaceful sleep is out of the question that night. Is it over, or does the dream of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique continue for Steffen Wirt, Alexander Buchholz and Götz Welge?

It's Sunday, the sun is slowly climbing over the mountains and is beginning to drive away the frost. It is 7:00 a.m. when a Porsche arrives from Augsburg. In the luggage a new two-stroke engine for the 93 A. Now only the installation has to succeed without complications.

5 thoughts on "Drama in the Maritime Alps - the end of the Saab team is imminent"

  • dramatic......,
    I wish you the best of luck.
    Let's see what awaits us with the V4 at the winter rally, all on our own.

  • Porsche supplies Saab, that's a headline! Hopefully the little Saab will continue.

  • Big Saab cinema in the evening, that's dramatic. I'm keeping my fingers crossed now!

    • Oh yes, I agree. With two thumbs and a vise...

  • "One of the reasons why Saab chose this drive principle 75 decades ago." Yes Saab has history, but 750 years (75 decades)? As far as I know, it's a lot less. Or is there much more spectacular information in here, because a future that hardly anyone believes in is already taken into account?
    I'm afraid it's just 5 letters that slipped in by mistake. Too bad actually...

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