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1967 Saab 96 V4 GT3 Racer

Posted by WindingRoad about 1 year, 6 months ago

Location: Augusta, Georgia 


This 1967 Saab 96 V4 was converted for competition use by Willy Lewis in the mid-1970s and co-driven with Michael Morse in SCCA events at Palm Beach International Raceway, Trois-Rivières, Île Notre-Dame, Lime Rock, and other tracks until 1982. The car has spent the past 11 years with its current owner, a former New Jersey Saab dealer and longtime historic racer who campaigned it as recently as the 2016 Lime Rock Historics. Power is from a Jack Lawrence-built 1,700cc V4 race engine paired with a Sonett GT4 4-speed gearbox, and a variety of body, interior, suspension, and braking modifications are described below. This 96 racer is offered by the selling dealer on behalf of its current owner with  drivetrain documentation, logbooks dating to 1975, and a Georgia bill of sale.

Bodywork is described as generally sound, with the 1967 shell augmented by a hand-laid fiberglass hood, trunk lid, and flared fenders dating from the 1970s conversion. Additional competition touches include an older Saab Sport & Rally air dam, custom ductwork, polycarbonate windows, recovery points, and rear windscreen guards. Some cracking is present and molds for all fiberglass panels are available if desired by the car’s new owner.

Early 1980s Panasports are mounted with older Hoosier Speedsters which should be replaced prior to track use per the seller. A new set of General V-rated rain tires on Carroll Shelby Goldvane wheels is also included and shown in the gallery. 

Inside, a Corbeau GT racing seat is fitted with RaceQuip harnesses dated 2015. Further safety equipment includes a full steel roll cage with a main hoop and double door bars as well as Firesense fire bottle. A mixture of stock and aftermarket gauges is housed in a custom instrument and switch panel ahead of the period Sport & Rally steering wheel. The car has been a racer since at least 1974 and total chassis miles are unknown.

Power is from a V4 race engine built by Jack Lawrence at Motor Sport Service after the 2010 race season. A late 1968 1,500cc closed-deck block was fitted with a race cam, and a 1,700cc crankshaft machined to accept 4L Ford connecting rods and 302ci V8 bearing inserts. Pistons were custom-finished for desired weight and compression of approximately 13.5:1. Ported Sport & Rally dual-port cylinder heads date from the 1970s build. Displacement is said to be above 1,700cc and the engine is thought to produce somewhere over 150 bhp based on similar Lawrence builds.

Induction is from a Weber 44 DCNF downdraft carburetor mounted on a custom intake manifold and drawing from a 10-gallon FuelSafe cell. An oil cooler, early Saab 99 cross-flow radiator, and electric fan provide engine cooling. A stock Bosch distributor houses a Lumenition breakerless ignition supplied by an MSD coil. An MSD tach adapter and two-step rev limiter are also present. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 4-speed gearbox from a Sonett GT4 with a racing clutch, Sport & Rally Special II gearset, 4.67:1 final drive, and limited-slip differential.

Suspension is comprised of Bilstein racing dampers as well as custom coil springs and sway bars front and rear. Braking power comes from recently rebuilt Mercedes calipers and oversized front discs mounted to modified Saab GT/Monte Carlo 4-bolt hubs, while the rear drums remain stock. Hydraulics are handled by a pair of Girling master cylinders. Underbody photos show the general condition of the drivetrain, suspension and floors.

Records include documentation for the drivetrain work, racing photos, and two SCCA logbooks dating from 1975-1983 and 2007-2016. The car has been used only occasionally since the 2011 engine overhaul, including a stint on track at the Lime Rock Historics in September 2016. A full fluid service is recommended by the seller. It is sold for track use only and will come with a bill of sale in lieu of a title. A detailed spec sheet is viewable in the gallery below.

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