Long story? I've been trying to get my best friend into motorsports for 20 years and got him to work the "service" pit crew for my girlfriend at a rally she was competing in. One of the other competitors debuted their new rally car, a '70 Beetle. Once my pal realized that a Vintage class existed, he was all for it. I told him I'd help him build whatever car he wanted if he would compete in it. I figured he'd choose an old air-cooled VW as we had a lot of experience with them, but he called a few weeks later to tell me he had bought the Subaru STi of the '60s, a 1964 SAAB! I was aghast. We didn't know anything about two-stroke engines. There's no deep community to draw knowledge from, stock parts are hard to come by and performance parts are unheard of. Any time we build a car, the first thing we do is theme it. The theme for this car was: It's 1970 and a privateer has bought an ex-factory rally car and is still competing in it. That allows us to use some later '60 parts, but except for some required safety equipment, we vowed to keep modern parts off the car. We went to retrieve our new rally car and it was a sorry sight. It had no wheels, rust had removed half the floor, most of the inner rockers, the bottom few inches of the firewall, and half the suspension pickup points. The engine was a mess and all the wiring was broken and rat eaten. We disassembled the hulk and patched up the floor and firewall. We inserted lengths of 3x3 tubing in the rockers to give the roll cage a good foundation. Cleaned out the gas tank, used heavy plate to repair the suspension pickup points, reinforced all the suspension arms and shock mounts, rebuilt bushings, brakes, plumbing, and all the other things you do to restore a car. Then we built our first FIA legal cage. That's a complicated cage in large, modern cars, but it was almost impossible in the tiny SAAB. We bought another car for spare mechanical parts. Had the worst sections of the bumpers chromed. We had a 1/4" aluminum plate bent up for the front skidplate that protects the custom expansion chamber exhaust that runs the entire length of the front bumper. We tracked down one of the few good SAAB race engine builders in the US and sent him parts from three different engines and a performance crank we sourced from a collector in Sweden. He delivered to us a "Stage 3" engine. We bolted it to a later 4-speed and steering column with the unusual column shifter. We worked out a so-so tune for the first event and the motor ended up tearing all the teeth off third and fourth gears. We sent our engine builder a half dozen different transmissions so he could have the right ring gear, the right case, the right input shaft and the right gear set to build our current uber-trans. One of the tricky parts of the car was the tires. Rally is really hard on tires. We were willing to break from our vintage-only vow and use new style tires, but we couldn't find anything that would fit under the skinny fenders. I finally found some that would work, but they were only available in Denmark. I eventually found some Mickey Thompson tires that were originally designed to be used on the front of Baja racing sand rails in 1969. We used them on all four corners and we've been very happy with them. Since then some museum SAABs have been outfitted with the same tires. The engine was hard to keep in tune and we had two snafus with it. Once while testing jetting combos one of the jets was ingested and tore up the block and piston. The other time a carb broke apart due to vibrations and a large chunk went through the engine tearing up another piston. Both of those incidents required a new set of custom pistons and an engine rebuild. Eventually we figured out that the radical porting (same as a radical cam) caused the engine to come on power right before the triple carb setup choked it off. We are currently adapting a Porsche Weber carb to it that should provide plenty of breathing. Here's the first version of the race engine. The Darth Vader air cleaner has been swapped out for a custom built vintage style version that flows more. Here's the original dash and (excuse the tired guy) the Monte Carlo competition dash. The Swedish flag key fob was taken from the factory championship 1975 SAAB rally car. An action shot. The old triple Solex carb set that is being replaced. A video of the sound it makes. http://s683.photobucket.com/albums/...oxton_Paris/?action=view¤t=MOV03127.mp4 Most of the details are true to it's supposed age. I tracked down a first generation Terra Trip rally computer and shipped it back to England for repair. The TerraTrip guys said it was so old they had never seen one and the only reference they had about it was from an ad in a 1971 sports car magazine. The interior lights are Vietnam era Huey helicopter lights rewired for 12v. The gauges are either factory SAAB racing gauges or period aircraft EGT gauges. The driving lights are Cibie Biode and Cibie Oscars. The first steering wheel was a Schroder sprint car wheel, but it's been replaced by a vintage Momo Prototipo. The roof rack is an item out of the 1966 dealer accessory brochure. That little yellow badge on the front is an NOS 1969 Texas Region SCCA badge.