The team will use an exact replica of the car that allowed him to climb to the highest place on the podium back in 1963. We are talking about a classic Saab 96, which has been created by German vintage car magazine Oldtimer Markt and will be manhandled by chief editor Peter Steinfurth and navigator Thorsten Loeber. They will take the start at Reinms this Friday in a vehicle that recreates the original in every detail, with Erik being there to wave them off.
Erik’s “David and Goliath” battles against larger, more powerful vehicles have become famous rallying stories. The Saabs used 748 or 841 cc engines that lacked power, so the driver developed a special technique. As the engine had to be revved high at all times, he used left foot braking while keeping his right foot hard on the throttle.
“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 Trollhattan, 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,” the press release states.