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Video: Ripping Up Pikes Peak in a Monster Saab

Submitted by on July 14, 2017

Saab 9-3 Viggen Pikes Peak

In 2000, the open class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was won with a record time set by a Swedish man driving a Saab.

The driver was rallycross legend and Swedish Rally winner Per Eklund. Eklund began his career as a Saab works driver in 1970 and was still competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2015!

After winning the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 1999 he looked to Pikes Peak, working with Saab to get there.

The car was a Saab 9-3 Viggen tuned by Trollspeed. Trollspeed bolted on a big Garret turbocharger, and with some love and attention, tuned what was previously a 2.3-litre turbocharged four cylinder motor capable of 225 horsepower into an 8000 rpm, 750 horsepower fire breathing monster.

Erklund and the 9-3 ran in the Open class and climbed Pikes Peak in 11:21.58 – an Open record at the time and more than enough for class victory.

When Unlimited competitors Rod Millen and Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima faltered on the way to the summit, Erklund became a contender for the overall win. That honour would eventually go to Larry Ragland who, fresh off a Baja 500 win, drove his Vortec inline-six GMC Envoy to victory with a 11:17.66.

Hop on board the Saab 9-3 Viggen with Per Uklund in this video, and enjoy a blast up Pikes Peak. And if you’re interested in more of the story, scroll down and hit play on the second video, which is an hour-long documentary that tells it in detail.

MORE: Rally Sweden: Saabs, Super Swedes and Sideways action

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