April 2019 – Re-assembly
Throughout February and March work has progressed well on the rebuilding of the Group 3 project car at the Saab Car Museum. We have now installed matt black lightweight aluminium panels to both the rear parcel-shelf area and the larger rear seat-squab opening inside the car. Also, to reduce weight further, the rear-windscreen and side-windows are now fitted in place manufactured in plexiglass.
On close examination of the cars original instrument panel, we noticed that there were far too many unsightly holes and blemishes etc., not in keeping with the overall standard of interior fittings etc. To rectify this a replacement instrument panel was found which, although free from holes and scratches etc, needed some careful attention to improve the paintwork.
Finding the correct paint for such a job wasn´t an easy task, so we turned to our paint supplier LackmanAB for their expert advice. Thankfully, they managed to assist and produced for us a blend which matched the original grey used in manufacture which, quite remarkably when dried also had the same shade and glance of the original paint! This paint is now available to purchase as a spare part from saabklubben.se.
According to Saab rally mechanics the Group 3 cars had their inner door panels covered with a grey material – a matching PVC fabric in mid-grey has been found and has since been used to cover both left and right door panels.
The ultra-light boot-lid and rear wing glass-fibre sections of the car have now been aligned and secured in place to the bodywork –a task requiring care not to not cause damage to the both the panel itself and the paintwork.
The original boot-lock mechanism has now been replaced with two leather straps and the somewhat heavy boot-lift handle assembly that the original car had has been omitted. The boot lid now includes two lights from a Saab 93 to illuminate the cars number plate.
Both the steering column and rack and pinion assemblies are also in place permitting also the later fitment of both the gearbox and driveshaft assemblies.
The original cars interior heat exchanger unit has been removed and replaced with a large diameter flexible ventilation pipe – it is through this pipe that fresh air can be directed to the inside the car and prevent the build-up of condensation / fogging etc on the inside of the windscreen if needed.
In accordance with the original Group 3 cars, the front bumper has been removed and replaced with a lighter rail which can be used to support for example electrical components etc. The rear bumper has been permanently removed.
Now that many of the under-hood electrical components have been installed, we are starting to see the project cars engine room nearing completion.
At the recent Saabklubbens annual general meeting our good friends from the club´s spares department arrived with a new windscreen and rubber sealing surround for our project car- many thanks again. Åke Zakrisson and I both attended this meeting and we took the opportunity to make the first official presentation of the Group 3 project car and to later show the car in its current state of build for club members. Re- photo below of the car in the museum.
At the time of writing we are expecting delivery of the special fuel lines for the twin SU-fuel pumps that supply fuel forward to the engines twin Solex carburettor.
There is still work needing to be done to complete the project, immediately ahead of us is the installation of the engine and completion of the fuel system. Once this is completed a 2-inch exhaust system leading out via a straight pipe positioned under the cars right-side door sill will also take place along with some fine tuning of the engine and carburettors etc.
A 4-wheel geometry check and chassis ride and height adjustment are also scheduled.
Work to complete the Group 3 project car continues as we progress towards the presentation of the project at the Saab Festival in June.