Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons: Saab 900 Turbo Dominating

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
southern discomfort 24 hours of lemons saab 900 turbo dominating

The RBankRacing Saab 900 Turbo took the overall win at the 2010 Southern Discomfort race, but [s]almost everyone[/s] many observers felt that performance was a fluke. The RbankRacing drivers are very, very good, and the car is seriously quick (like most Saab 900s we see in LeMons racing), but [s]just about all[/s] plenty of turbocharged Saabs [s]blow the hell up[/s] have mechanical problems when they [s]scatter their connecting rods all over[/s] compete on a 24 Hours of LeMons track. If the engine holds together for the remaining five hours of racing, RBankRacing’s 13-lap lead should be insurmountable. If the Saab nukes its engine, the Magnum P.U. Prelude and Hong Norr CRX will find themselves duking it out for the win. Check in later this afternoon to find out what happens; you can also follow the TrackGeeks’ live webcast, complete with in-car camera action.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Feb 20, 2011

    Southern Discomfort? How bout you guys hold one of these next year on a frozen lake in MI or something? That could make it more interesting.

  • Claytori Claytori on Feb 20, 2011

    I think I should remind people about "The Long Run" at Talladaga back in 1987. See This-

  • CJinSD CJinSD on Feb 20, 2011

    Looks like the podium positions went to a Mazda MX-3, a BMW E30, and a Honda Prelude. It seems to me that if Honda had been leading then Murilee's post would have been about the inevitability of head gasket trouble. If the BMW was leading, he'd have speculated about past M20 or electrical issues. If a Datsun Z car had been leading, or something with a Chevy small block, or pretty much any frequent competitor, then this is how Murilee writes his race updates. The only difference with a leading Saab is the indignant response of Saab fans who take it personally that cars which were never very dependable often go to pieces when they're raced twenty years past their sell-by dates.

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    • Prattworks Prattworks on Feb 22, 2011

      I have fond memories of putting many miles on Saab 900s back in the late 1980's. They were very solid, honest, and quirky. The leather seats from that era were the absolute best, in my opinion. The gauges were crisp and meant to convey information, rather than to entertain. And I've just always felt that the longitudinal engine layout of Saabs and Audis was the right way to do it. Never mind the ultra-rubbery gearbox, the flaking bumper paint, the multiple dash cracks, the sagging headliner, and the million other quirky squeaks, rattles, and electonic glitches. They just sounded sweet (especially the turbos) and looked so odd and special. Had to love them.

  • Fred diesel Fred diesel on Feb 21, 2011

    What does "were never very dependable" mean? Where does this anecdotal hooey come from?

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Feb 21, 2011

      I worked at a new Saab dealer in 1989, although that is far from the limit of my exposure to the cars they built prior to GM giving them a stay of extinction.