The whole month of 99 loving has got away from me a little, but I’ve been planning to feature this car all along.
Two years ago, just after I started this blog, Dan R brought this car down to Tasmania to compete in one of the world’s premiere tarmac rallies – Targa Tasmania.
I covered the event back then, and here’s an excerpt from that coverage explaining a little about the car. Given that there were only about 40 people reading this site back then, I figure not too many of you would have heard too much about this superb 99.
The car that Dan will be racing in Targa came into his possession twenty years ago when a penniless Saab owner called the club saying that her baby had broken down; “Bridget” needs a new gearbox and we cant afford to fix her. Did he know of anyone who would be prepared to take her to a good home for $200??
He told them he’d be right over. One slave cylinder later he was driving around in a perfectly good 99. (If perfection can include paint that was coming off in sheets from the tomato-soup-coloured bonnet, the driver’s seat collapsed, the hanging roof lining of Babylon and a big dent on the rear quarter panel, then yes, Bridget was perfect. The price however was as close to perfection as one could reasonably expect, and there was virtually no rust.)
Several years and a whole truckload of parts later (courtesy of a rolled 99 Turbo), Bridget has risen from being the second, third or fourth car in the family, to being a rally contender. Dan baulks at mentioning exact figures, but let’s just say that navigator and two-wheels nut Roger Lawrence could have bought a fairly decent Ferrari for what it’s cost Dan to prepare his car over the last few years.
The car now has an EMS cam, 5 speed gearbox, water injection, twin fans, oversized triple-core cooling, electric water pump, oversized stainless steel valves and a ported and polished head. Of course, the interior’s been totally rejigged as well with the necessary safety equipment in order to keep both driver and navigator safe and well in event of some unforeseen misadventure.
That was two years ago and when I saw Dan late last year, the car had had a new water injection system installed. He’s not doing Targa again this year, but I’m sure Dan and the 99 will be back soon.
And Dan will be one of the Aussie contingent at Saab Festival in June.