Fall Colours Pictures

It was threatening, it was supposed to rain, it did rain lots–just not on the Tour. Not a drop!

This is a funny fall. Some trees have changed colour, some have even dropped their leaves….while others are still bright green.

Beside “Fall Colours”, there was another theme: here today and gone tomorrow. No, not our Saabs, but some of the nice farmland. We passed a major new highway interchange, cornfields seemingly in the middle of nowhere zoned and about to be redeveloped as industrial/commercial, and some residential developmnets that are springing up like mushrooms. We will not have these same nice country roads in five years!

Significant SAAB classic

In the 35 year anniversary edition’s of Toronto Star Wheels section the original editor Jim Kenzie describes 10 most significant cars in Wheels history. One of the cars is SAAB 900 light-pressure turbo.


Mr. Kenzie writes: “The car industry ain’t the Olympics — sometimes, being first does not win you the gold medal.

A couple of decades ago, Per Gillbrand, chief engine engineer for SAAB, the ‘other’ Swedish car company, said that to get performance with good fuel consumption and low emissions, you had to go four-cylinder turbo.

It worked a treat.

The SAAB 900 and other models which used this system did all of the above, with little of the turbo lag so often associated with turbo engines.

Never mind the high-pressure turbocharged SAABs, which were simply road rockets.

Today, just about everybody is going four-cylinder turbo.

SAAB, which was first, is now effectively defunct.

Small consolation, Mr. Gilbrand, but you can walk proud knowing you were right.”


I am not sure why the author picked the light pressure turbo model, introduced in 1990 in c900 which in my opinion was underpowered. Still, the article correctly highlights the 4 cylinder turbo as a futuristic solution which has taken over in the industry to the point that even the American muscle cars (Mustang, Camaro) are using this technology.

This is a good opportunity to post a photo of the real classic, 1991 SPG. The SPG (Special Performance Group) had a stronger turbo boost, 175Hp (vs. 145Hp in the light pressure 900), and it can still run with the best of them. 1991 was the last year of SPGs. There were total 254 1991 SPGs sold in the US, 40 of them in Talladega Red. Only 3 are listed in the registry, http://www.saabnet.com/tsn/faq/spgreg/

including a canadian example shown below.


Sunday October 2nd: Fall Colours Tour

p1000983The date for the Fall Colours Tour has been moved up to Sunday October 2. The leaves are starting to change early, so hopefully we will be close to peak colour.

Meet at the Highway 400 Northbound ONRoute King City (Canadian Tire gas bar/Tim Horton’s) just south of King Sideroad.

We are planning for a scenic drive in the Barrie region, with a lunch finish at a microbrewery restaurant.

As always, we welcome any Saab, whether Saab Club member or not, and of course all Saab Club members are invited, hopefully in their Saab!

Classic Hillclimb Followup

waiting in the pit lane was OK with me but my "crew" got soaked
Waiting in the pit lane was OK for the driver but the “crew” got soaked. Behind the SAAB in line are 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass, 1978 Porsche 911C, 1968 Rambler American, 1970 Porsche 911T and many others. Over 40 cars participated in the event.
tacked in between 1986 Jaguar XJS and a 1973-race prepared Volvo P180
After the race the red SAAB is tacked in between 1986 Jaguar XJS and a 1973 race-prepared Volvo P1800
Pre-race parade
Prior to the race cars were lined up on the main street for viewing by residents

The inaugural 2016 Brack Classic Hillclimb was a memorable affair. Glad to report that my red SPG performed very well. Not a hint of trouble even when pushed to the limit. My all-weather Michelins proved to be quite adequate in rainy conditions with some standing/running water on the course. The event consisted of three phases. First was the Friday afternoon parade in downtown Owen Sound to give local residents a chance to look at the cars. Second was the race itself that took place on a winding, narrow road to Ingliss Falls just south of Owen Sound. The third was a gathering after the race to exchange stories, take group photos and enjoy the banquet. All in all it was a successful event which promises to become a tradition. A few photos are shown above and a link to one of my timed runs will show you what the hillclimb is all about. For me the most attractive feature of this event was a wonderful mix of cars and their owners. It was a good forum to show off  a classic SAAB and my SPG attracted its fair share of admiration and comments.

Shown in the link is the second timed run. This was my slowest but most entertaining run due to heavy rain and standing water. A short clip before the run shows a gorgeous 1956 MGA raced previously at Sebring. Just listen to the sound! In my run I hit rev limiter in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear. I could feel some wheel spin exiting the hay bale chicane but still ended up doing highly illegal speed in the 4th gear at the checkered flag. It was a brief but intense experience to say the least.



Classic Car Hillclimb September 16-17

Image result for Brack Classic Hillclimb at Inglis Falls

In conjunction with the Cobble Beach Classic Auto Show there  will be a Hillclimb race event for classic and modern cars in the Owen Sound area on September 17th. Our SAAB Club vice president (Martin) has registered for the event with one of his SAABs. He will be driving a nearly classic red 1991 SAAB 900 SPG. The car’s engine is stock with approximately 180,000 km. The suspension has been modified with Abbot springs, adjustable Koni shocks and the front wheel’s geometry has been given some negative camber to reduce the understeer. SAAB club members and other interested SAAB enthusiasts are encouraged to spectate and give moral support to this brave project. Let’s hope the car can survive this event without a major breakdown. You can learn more about the show and the Hillclimb at this website: