This is something like a journey around the world in 80 days, but this was Saab journey from Dakar to Brussels in just 8 days. It’s not just a trip around the world, but then It was a great journey done in just 8 days, and of course for promotional purposes.
And, it was the promotion of the new Saab 900i Coupe model. The reputation of the Rallye Paris-Dakar makes it possible to imagine what represents an 8 days race against the clock on the same ground.
6,800 km (4225 miles), largely made up of impenetrable tracks, sand, gravel, mountains and rocks across the Sahel, the Sahara and the Atlas. An uncompromising benchmark, the right measure of representing the superiority of Saab cars technologies.
6,800 km in in just 8 days, 3 hours and 35 minutes… a Aaab 900i goes through Hell in 8 days…
In 1982, An official record from Dakar, in Senegal, to Brussels of eight days two hours and 35 minutes has been claimed by a Belgian couple Alain Vanlaetem and Maryvonnic Ouvrad driving a Saab 900i. They were not professional drivers, but ordinary young people looking for some spectacle.
The driving time included stops totalling 23 hours at police check-points in Africa. In all, they covered a total of 4,039 miles and passed through five countries: Senegal, Mali, Algeria, France and Belgium. Their Saab 900i was equipped with an additional fuel tank of 200 liters (in the desert are less fules pumps), and also the car had extra lights and spare tires. On November 18, 1983 (0:30) they were ready at the airport of Dakar with final destination – Brussels.
An adventure of 6 800 Km. Their Success did not happen without a struggle. They had only to stop for four punctured tyresand unjustified retention at the border crossing. Total journey duration 8 days 2 hours and 35 minutes. This was an improvement of the record that was achieved before with a real terrain vehicle (SUV). The time on the boat between Algiers and Marseille was not included in the timetable. In January 1984, Saab exhibited this car at the Brussels Motor Show.