Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Saab Monster

The mystery Photo published in this Monday's Left-Handed Spanner was almost instantly identified by a Saabvant and first time anonymous commenter who subsequently picked the name Monsaabster.  You can read the entire Saab story in the comments; it is really a great story of an anonymous commenter finding his name --a real DT tearjerker.  Anyway, the car in question is a 1959 Saab Monster, a gutted Saab 93 that used twin inline-3 two stroke engines combined for 1.5 liters that pushed 138 horsepower into the front wheels.  Pictures from Kaibeezy's visit to the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan.

DT commenter Paul Wells was kind enough to include a link to a youtube video that shows the Monster starting up and driven in all of its homicidal mosquito glory.  Much of the information on the Monster available on the web is in Swedish, so we took the liberty of translating a page written by Josef Eklund and originally published on here. The bold is some emphasis and poetic license from Kaibeezy.

At Saab's Car Museum is the above vehicle, which still attracts a lot of interest from those who visit the museum. The undersigned intends to posterity tell us a little about how this car came about and what happened before it became a museum piece. 

Monster came to Rolf Melldes initiative in the early 60s, and his intention was to evaluate the road performance of a front wheel drive car with extremely high power output. , the high engine power is achieved by using a spiral bevel gear bind 2x 3-cylinder 750 cc SAAB engines according nedanst diagrams. 

The combined effect of these two engines were 130 hp, which in a former SAAB 93: A corresponded to a weight-power ratio of 7,7 kg / hp, which in today's (outrageous !!) Car care is not so remarkable. (Eric Carlsson's rally cars had 15 kg / hp) The clutch and other components erfodrades, was constructed by Kjell Knutsson who was provningsingejör at SAAB's engine laboratory. 

Since Mellde likely not have received this experiment sanctioned by the higher authorities drew Kjell of confidentiality everything in its then townhouse in Skoftebyn. I stood for kuggväxlarna, produced by Lidköpings mechanical engineering LMV in Lidköping. Had I known then what I know today about the dynamics of power transmissions, I probably tried to get Mellde to abandon the project. , we realized yet from the beginning that this way of connecting two engines would not be without its problems, given the difficulty of mastering the fluctuations that occurred in the structure. 

The inertias of the link, which was placed on the gearbox input shaft, constituted, worsening oscillation problems Another problem was to synchronize the throttle the engines, and one motor rotation must be reversed. To achieve the high speeds that were expected, were exchanged input shaft on the gearbox up, to prevent over-revving of the engines. Consequently, there was a lot of questions, but a lot of trial could still be carried out before the final accident occurred

During speed tests with Carl-Magnus Skog Såtenäs airport measured a top speed of 196 km / h. But when I recently checked with Carl-Magnus was one up there for over 200 km / h, which is not many cars were capable of at this time in the early 60s. car was also tested on the race track Gelleråsen Karlskoga where Erik Carlsson together with bl. A Kjell Knutsson, Sven "Solebo" Olsson and Rolf Ebefors drove "Monster" for two days. these samples, we could see that the car in terms of performance amply fulfilled all expectations. But it also turned out that the hard drive assembly ,. additionally, for the most part was placed in front of the front wheels, resulting in a extreme understeer, which had not been accepted in reality. 

During the runs at Gelleråsen occurred that put an end to further test the "Monster". Then wrecked namely the conical gear, something that really should have been anticipated from the beginning. But it may nevertheless still be the case that from the beginning to the seemingly impossible project may eventually prove useful and even become hits. "Monster" can still serve as examples of the experimentation that prevailed during Rolf Melldes leadership, and if we had continued on that path might SAAB had survived as a private company without the involvement of either GM or Muller. The turbo that kom1978 is another example where SAAB proven themselves in terms of vehicle development. 

Kjell Knutsson was immortalized along with the finished drive assembly in ovanst images. Kjell was at that time head of performance development of Saab two-stroke engines, which also included Eric Carlsson's rally engines in early in the 60's when Eric won the Monte Carlo Rally and Rally English several times. This little script, I want to dedicate Kjell Knutsson, who also stood for many other contributions to Saab technical development,       

Trollhättan 2010 11 08th Josef Eklund

Sorry for the poor translation, but it was the best we could do between Google translate and the great-grandson of Swedish immigrants.  Got pics from a museum that might make a good story?  Send them here:


  1. saab tl;dr koan...

    vehicle, which still attracts a lot of interest
    spiral bevel gear bind 2x 3-cylinder 750 cc SAAB engines
    The combined effect of these two engines were 130 hp
    I probably tried to get Mellde to abandon the project
    worsening oscillation problems
    before the final accident occurred
    extreme understeer
    wrecked namely the conical gear
    dedicate Kjell Knutsson

  2. For those who like there Ring a Ding Ding in STEREO !

  3. needs expansion chambers

  4. OK, I'm laughing out loud.


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