Saab 900 – Climb to the clouds

A few days ago, I posted an article here on Inside Saab, written by a friend of mine in Boston named Pierre Belperron (a guy I’ve previously referred to as “the second-hardest working man in all Saabdom” due to his diligent work as Service Manager at Charles River Saab). The article was called Bare Naked Saabing (highly recommended reading) and the subject of the article was a hillclimb project car built by two of Pierre’s sons, Pascal and Marcel.

The car, a Saab 900, was finally used for it’s new purpose on the weekend in a hillclimb event called Climb to the Clouds. Here it is, being driven by Pascal. It looks like a good run, especially for a first up event for a car that’s just been completed.


I have a very personal love for watching Saabs participating in motorsport events. As many of you know, Saab built their reputation in the 1950s, 60s and 70s on the back of multiple rallying successes, back before rallying turned into a mega-budget event.

Today, old Saabs are riding a wave of popularity in Sweden and other parts of Europe as historic rallying gains more and more prominence around the continent.

Later next month we will cover the Midnight Sun rally in Sweden, where there are dozens of historic Saabs entered in the event. It’s going to be an absolute blast.

Congratulations to Pascal and Marcel (and team) for their efforts at Mt Washington last weekend!

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    1. It’s actually Pierre’s son driving. I belive Pascal is all of 19 years old.¬† Built the car with his (younger) brother. Just a great story.

      1. Not that it really matters….but for the record: Pascal = 21 years; Marcel = 15 years. Incidentally, Marcel turned 15.5 years on June 25. As a New Hampshire resident, he was thus able to legally drive that day (with a parent in the passenger seat). He made a point of reminding us that morning. So, when they racing work wound down, we decided Marcel should have a memorable first drive: he drove me a third of the way up the Mt. Washington Auto Road in my 1992 900T 5-speed.

        1. Since Pascal is 21 (and not 19) I hope he was able to celebrate with a nice cold beverage to celebrate a job well done. You have two very inspiring sons Pierre.

  1. Pierre,, Pascal and Marcel… congratulations! Wonderful car and wonderful driving! Looks like a tough, demanding, exciting but fun course. Hope you brought home a trophy. Best of luck in future races!

    1. I believe they ended up placing around mid-field. ¬†A great outcome, though, given that it was the car’s first run. ¬†And the build job they did was outstanding, which is the phenomenal part for me. ¬†As Jim mentions, above, this is two young guys, the oldest of which is 19. ¬†I’ve met both of them and their brother and Pierre and Susan should be justifiably proud of their kids.

    1. I lead a convoy of Saabs up Mt. Washington last fall on one of those rare perfect weather days.¬† May do it again this September. It’s a great drive to do¬†if you are in the area.¬† Here is a link to a video.

  2. Great story.¬† The footage reminds me a lot of the Per Ekland at Pikes Peak in the NG900 (?93?) ¬†some years ago. Great work guys, I’d love to drive your car.
    Can we see some photos too?

  3. Absolutely fabulous! How relaxed does he look behind the wheel?
    And NO Armco.

  4. Fun video to watch and listen.¬†¬† Having driven the auto road much more leisurely in my 9-5, I’ll add that the wide angle lens makes the road much straighter than it actually was so this run wasn’t as easy as it looked.¬† Great technique with finding a good line and note the shuffle steering technique.¬†¬†

    When I was at the top in late-June of 2003, the temperature was 68 degees F Рa record!   A heat wave struck the US east coast all the way up to northern New Hampshire so Mt. Washington was actually a comfortable place to be that week.  No fog either. 

  5. Right in my backyard! I visited Charles River Saab shortly after purchasing my 2003 9-3 to check the fuel level sensor. I was very impressed with their facility. I will have to go back and visit Pierre!

  6. Thanks for the blog link, great work guys.¬† Very envious of all the fun you’re having with your race car.