Saab 900 Talladega Challenge 1996

Saab 900 talladega - The Long Run

Saab 900 Talladega Challenge 1996 is a challenge that has changed a lot and proved in practice the quality of Saab cars, cars that are not specially prepared for difficult challenges, but were ordinary cars selected from the production line.

In October of 1996, Saab Automobile brought over 6 randomly selected standard production 1997MY Saab 900 models to the Talladega International Speedway to test their endurance on the track over the course of a 8 days.

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The Long Run

The 6 Saab 900 vehicles included naturally aspirated, turbo’d and V6 equipped vehicles. Journalists from all over the world were invited to participate including notables such as legendary SAAB rally personality, Simo Lamipinen of Finland and of course Erik Carlsson.

This event was titled the “Talladega Challenge” and was the 10-year anniversary of the first time Saab came to Talladega Speedway back in October of 1986 with a series of standard production 9000s known as the “Long Run”.

Saab 900 Talladega Challenge 1996 video


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Here is the detailed video that captures this event:

It was on the 24 of October 1996. When the sun went down over the Talladega Super speedway in the USA a SAAB 900 rolled over the finish line. It had been driving with the pedal at the floor, for 24 hours a day for 8 days, and beat 40 international records.

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Taken directly from the factory this SAAB 900 2.0 Turbo has among others beaten the international record for the distance 25.000 miles (40.000km), with an average speed of 226,450 km/h including refueling, tire change and service.

Saab 900 Talladega

SAAB celebrated this by building a special version of the 900 with a sports interior with leather, chromed handles, a sportier exterior look and more. The model was only available during a short period between 1997 and 1998.

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Average speed during the different distances

2,0 turbo 2,0 i 2,5 V6
10 km 213,406 180,935 203,943
10 mile 221,639 187,808 212,603
100 km 235,303 199,844 225,118
100 miles 235,303 200,465 226,182
500 km 230,833 195,319 222,958
500 miles 231,508 195,288 223,671
1.000 km 231,192 195,753 223,669
1.000 miles 230,616 196,397 223,400
10.000 km 228,036
10.000 miles 228,286
25.000 km 227,811
25.000 miles 226,450
1 hour 229,367 200,722 226,847
6 hours 230,660 196,397 223,503
12 hours 230,366 197,433 224,072
24 hours 227,497


Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

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