SAAB Monte Carlo 850, (ABV-48) – this is the story of the Monte Carlo 850 racing car. The car was ordered by finnish Saab importer for Simo R. Lampinen. Simo Lampinen is a Finnish former rally driver, and one of the first of the “Flying Finns” who came to dominate the sport.
The car is only built for track an Ice race use. Simo Lampinen drove from 1966 to 1968 with this car. All together 57 race starts winning 38 times. He was on the other podium places aonther 8 times. He won the Finnish Track Championship in 1966 and 1967 he was 2nd in the Ice track Championship.
In 1966 at Keimola 6 hours race Simo drove with Klaus Bremer and Won in his Class. They were in an unbelievable 3rd place in the Overall ranking. In the Spring of 1968 Klaus Bremer became a new driver, when the Car was still owned by Finnish importer. He drove 19 races with the car and won 7 times, and had other four podium places. In the 1969 Autumn at Keimoal race Klaus Bremer roll over with this Saab. Shortly thereafter the ownership of the car changed – Klaus Bremer bougth ther car.
During the winter of 1970 the car got a new driver – Hannu Krohn. At this point the car became owned by Kurki-Suonio family. Hannu drove between 1970 and 1973 – all together 43 races reaching 10 podium places. Few races drove his brother Tuomo Kurki-Sionio at Junior Class. The Last race was the Ice race on 10th February 1973. The car was no longer competitive. Not enough power and too heavy compared to competition. THe car was running in 1966-1973 all together 188 race starts, Winning 46 times and reaching other 23 podium places.
After that, Hannu Krohn took the car for a while for a normal street use. But soon the car was forgotten to his backyard. After a decade the Finnish Saab importer wanted to restore the car and Saab was delivered to them. The Renovation began with Great speed but unfortunately the job was unfinished. The Finnsih Saab Importer stopped their business.
The car was painted by the Finnish Saab importer in the original Color but the rest of the work was not completed. One person talked to Hannu and promised to continue the restoration of the car. This work did not go beyond beginning, and this person sold the car without permission. At thet point, the car disappeared from Kurki-Suonio family for over two decades.
2012 they got the Saab car back. The car was in the same shape when it had left the Finnish Saab importer. Some parts had disappeared but most of All was in place. Most importantly no changes were made. The car was also not driven Since 1973.
Then a long process of restoration begins, and the process was completed this year, when they inspected the car. And, even more interesting, they managed to get the original registration plates. First Race start and finishing race at Ahvenisto Race Circuit (Finland) on 18th, August 2018.
In this way, the mission is over, and another historic Saab car has been saved.