Erik Carlsson, Saab’s Rally Superstar Passes

Yesterday, May 27, 2015, the first superstar in car rallying, Erik Carlsson, passed away.  Erik Carlsson was so associated with Saab cars that he was known as Mr. Saab. He was born in March 1929 in Trollhattan, Sweden, also the town were Saabs were built.  Erik was 86 years old when he passed.  In the era from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, Erik Carlsson in a Saab was the car to beat.

Eric Carlsson (1)

Erik Carlsson Was A Rallying Superstar

Erik Carlsson was mostly known for his two victories 1962 and 1963 in the Monte Carlo Rally.  The following is a list of his more prominent rally results.

  • 1955 1st in the Rikspokalen in a Saab 92
  • 1957 1st in the 1000 Lakes Rally in a Saab 93
  • 1959 1st in the Swedish Rally in a Saab 93
  • 1959 1st in the Rallye Deutschland in a Saab 93
  • 1960, 1961, 1962 1st in the RAC Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1960 2nd in the Acropolis Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1961 4th in the Monte Carlo Rally in a Saab 95
  • 1961 1st in the Acropolis Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1962, 1963, 1st in the Monte Carlo Rally in a Saab 96.
  • 1962, 7th in East African Safari Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1963 2nd in the Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1964 1st in the San Remo Rally in a Saab 96 Sport
  • 1964 2nd in the Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1964 2nd in the East African Safari Rally in a Saab 96
  • 1965 2nd in the BP Australian Rally in a Saab 96 Sport
  • 1965 2nd in the Acropolis Rally in a Saab 96 Sport
  • 1967 1st in the Czech Rally in a Saab 96 V4
  • 1969, 3rd in Baja 1000 in a Saab 96 V4
  • 1970, 5th in Baja 1000 in a Saab 96 V4

It should be noted that the above results were achieved in cars that were rather underpowered.  His driving ability was the difference.

Eric Carlsson 1963 Monte Carlo (1)

Erik Carlsson Cornering A Saab 96 At The 1963 Monte Carlo Rally

In 1963 Erik Carlsson married Pat Moss, who was a rallying star herself in addition to being an excellent horsewoman.  Pat Moss was also the sister of famed race/rally car driver, Sir Stirling Moss.  Unfortunately Pat passed away in 2008.

They had a daughter, Suzy, who like her mother became an excellent horsewoman.

Eric Carlsson Family (1)

Some Carlsson Family Photos

For a great read about Erik Carlsson’s career, get a copy of “Mr. Saab”, from which I obtained the images in this post.  He was a rallying giant in more was than one!

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