Archive for 'Quantum IV'

Saab History Receives Saab Quantum IV 1:43 Scale Model

Posted on 31. May, 2009 by .



Saab History will be receiving the Saab Quantum IV 1:43 scale model to add to the scale model collection shortly.

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these models, please let me know as I can contact the builder to place additional orders as they are custom built at this time.

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Quantum Formula S Racing – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted on 08. Aug, 2007 by .


Photo Credit: Daniel Vaughan

The SAAB Quantum Formula S was created by a company called Quantum Motorcars and the photo pictured above, owned by longtime Saab Enthusiast Stefan Vapaa and built in 1964. Though there were roughly sixty kit examples created, there were fewer examples that were created into workable racers. These vehicles were meant to be Quantum Motorcars entry way into the SCCA ‘Formula S’ racing class.

Stefan Vapaa has also provided Saab History a nice summary of his recent participation in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix as well as some magnificent in-camera footage of this event from within his 1964 SAAB Quantum Formula S, enjoy!

SAAB Quantum Formula S Racing at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

The race is held in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, PA every year in July. This year was the 25th annual and was held over the weekend of the 15th.

It is a great event. All the proceeds go to charity and as the only vintage race in the country staged on city streets, it is truly one of a kind. Those 8 treacherous laps are the highlight of my year.

This year there were 5 SAAB engined cars entered (1 V4 and 4 two-strokes).

The SAAB Quantum Formula S (as shown in the video) driven by me, the Sonett V4, also driven by me, but broke in practice before the race Quantum One, driven by my brother-in-law Jeremy Freeman. The SAAB 93, owned by Tom Cox and driven by Randy Cook, Jabro Mk III SAAB, driven by Daniel Hayes.

Souce: Stefan Vapaa

For more information on the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix:

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SAAB Quantum IV Formula S, Print Ad – 1964

Posted on 17. Jul, 2007 by .


Here is the first print advertisement I have been able to find from the debut in 1964 of the SAAB Quantum IV Formula S Racer. Enjoy.


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The SAAB Quantum IV Formula S

Posted on 17. Jul, 2007 by .



Photo Credits: Wendell Francis

As I have recently been organizing the website, I was looking at the Quantum IV section more and more and realized soon enough that the Quantum IV Formula S was a production kit car and certainly not a concept car like all other Quantum models were.

Furthermore, I have recently been provided a writeup on the SAAB Quantum IV from the son of vintage SAAB racer and enthusiast Wendell Francis, Paul. This article is from the April 1990 issue of Victory Lane Magazine in which have also been recently given permission to reprint the article called “Quantum Reflections” that covers in detail, the history of the SAAB Quantum IV Formula S. This is an incredible read, enjoy.


As the Barber SAAB series, the popular training ground for open wheel drivers, moves on to the 1990 season, let us reflect back 25 years to Quantum Formula S, the open wheel SAAB racer of the mid-sixties. In 1964, Hank Rudkin, leader of a group of New England SAAB enthusiasts, concluded if Volkswagen could have their own formula series, then SAAB should too. As a result, the Quantum Motorcar Corporation was established in Seymour, CT to begin production of the Quantum Formula S. Rudkin began lobbying SCCA to establish a separate class with rules similiar to that of FV for his SAAB based racers.

wendell_francis_300.jpgThe rugged SAAB three cylinder, two-cycle engine and four speed transaxle, as used in the SAAB 96, was moved to the rear and placed in a semi-monoco-que chassis which relied mainly on twin four-inch diameter tubes and stressed metal bulkheads for strength. These large tubes also served as 3-1/2 gallon tanks. The fully independent suspension used the A arms from the front wheel drive hub carriers to the rear employing in the standard dual wheel cylinder SAAB drum brakes all around. The front arms were ball-jointed to cast alloy uprights with a built-in steering arm connected to a 96 rack and pinion. Coilover type shocks completed the Formula 1 like the suspension set-up. Total weight of the car was 830 pounds. The SAAB 841cc powerplant produced a true 65 horsepower by using a GT crank, racing pistons, cylinder head and distributor along with altered port timing. According to the July 1965 Sports Car Graphic Track Test, “the peak power is at 5600 rpm, the red line at 6500 and nothing much over a gasp below 5000 rpm.”

wendell_francis3_300.jpgThe 35 pound three piece fiberglass body was constructed of red color impregnated cloth. A wrap around windscreen identical to those used on Lotus Formula Juniors was affixed along with a left-hand gear shifter. The Quantum could be bought in a kit form from the factory or any SAAB dealer (part number 500-700) for $1,347 which included everything except the engine and tires. The tuned motor was another $595. SCCA veteran Jim Haynes raced the factory prototype to a fourth place finish in Formula Junior at the October ’64 nationals at Lime Rock Park turning laps at 1:07 and 112mph. SAAB displayed a Quantum Formula S on their stand at the New York International Auto Show in 1965.

Unfortunately, a separate class for Formula S never came about and with the demise of the Formula Junior in 1965, the majority of the cars delivered by Rudkin in 1965/1966 were raced in Formula C. Quantum made available 85 horsepower engines as used with H modified racers. Haynes finished fourth in FC at the 1965 ARRC (forerunner of the SCCA runoffs), and Bill Rutan was FC national champ in 1967 in his Quantum. These cars were easy to spot on the track with their stove pipe expansion chamber exhausts, but the pop corn popping sound of the two-stroke motor could be heard long before the cars came into view.wendell_francis4_300.jpg
No one knows for sure how many Quantum Formula S racers sold. In mid ’65, Rudkin had orders for twelve, he had hoped for 200 per year. Rudkin believes about fifty cars were built, many underwent changes to larger engines and disc brakes. Thirteen Quantums are known to exist today including one still unassembled in a basement in Western New York. The author raced a Quantum in the early ’70’s and sold it to SAAB-Scania of America, Inc. in 1988. The car is displayed in SAAB’s Orange, CT corporate lobby. The Vintage SAAB Racing Group pioneered the return of the Quantum Formula S in SVRA and Walter Mitty Challenge races in the SouthEast. At least two Quantums are currently being prepared for West Coast vintage racing. Tom Cox, of Woodstock, MD, owner of two Quantums, maints the Formula S Register.

Source: Victory Lane – April, 1990

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The First President of Saab USA – Ralph T. Millet

Posted on 05. Apr, 2007 by .


ralph_t_millet_300.jpg Ralph T. Millet’s association with Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebologet (SAAB) began in 1946 during a business trip to Sweden. Mr. Millet was at the time working with a U.S. company that exported parts for SAAB Aircraft. During this visit, he was asked to purchase material and and machinery needed for production of a new car on the boards in Sweden. This offer was accepted by Mr. Millet by SAAB and shortly thereafter opened an office solely focused on the exporting of SAAB aircraft parts in New York City in 1947, the year SAAB automobile officially started.

Millet, a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology founded SAAB Motors, Inc. in 1956 in New York City. Mr. Millet’s first import into the United States was the SAAB model 93 and it first debuted at the New York Auto Show with the Sonett “Super Sport” (94). A year after the 93 was introduced, it was showcased at the Great American Mountain Rallye in Northern New England in 1957.

The SAAB 93 hauled off ships from Gothenburg, Sweden into the port of Hingham, Massachusetts (near the old location of the Shaw Saab dealership). As a result of Mr. Millet’s work and diligence, SAAB Motors grew and eventually moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1961. In the the 1970’s the heavy harbour traffic in New Haven’s ports rerouted automobile transport boats to full operating ports across the United States and as a result, SAAB Motors, Inc. moved to Orange, Connecticut in 1972. During this time, Ralph Millet retired SAAB Motor’s Inc. became SAAB-SCANIA of America, Inc. Following retirement, Mr. Millet served on the Board of Directors of Saab-Scania of America from 1979 until 1987. While serving on the Board, he also became an industry relations export on government related issues in Washington, D.C.

Ralph T. Millet continued his support of the Saab community by his participation in numerous Saab Owners Conventions and other events. Mr. Millet passed on December 20th, 2002 in Middletown, Connecticut and I have provided you his obit written by longtime friend and colleague, Lennart Lonnegren.

Ralph T. Millet, 85, of Old Saybrook, CT., the man who brought the Swedish Saab cars into the United States, and was president of the Saab importing company, and who became a highly respected spokesman for the imported car business in the United States, as President and Chairman of the Automobile Importers of America, a group representing most of the companies importing automobiles to the United States, died Friday, Dec. 20, 2002, at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT.

When the Saab automobile was first introduced into this country in 1956, it was a quite different automobile from those generally sold here. The car’s origin and the management of its importing company, were also somewhat different than what is common in the US auto business.

The first Saab cars were powered by an unorthodox two-cycle engine that required the addition of oil to the gasoline every time the fuel tank was filled; and in difference to most other cars the engine propelled the front wheels, instead of the rear wheels, As to its origin: it was manufactured by a company called Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (abbreviated Saab), that had previously been solely engaged in the manufacture of military aircraft.

Heading the US operation was not exactly your usual “car guy” but an aircraft expert. Ralph Turner Millet had had no previous experience in the automotive field, but would eventually become the representative for almost all of this country’s automobile importers, and steer his adopted company and its unorthodox product through more than 15 years of business ups and downs.

Ralph T. Millet, as a matter of fact, saw the little Saab car become something of a cult car, as well as one of the leaders in the field of automotive safety, before he relinquished his position as head of the importing company, to become a consultant to the company, and its spokesman in safety and environmental matters.

As Mr. Millet recalled it, the actual origin of the entry of the Saab into the US auto market, came at a dinner in Minneapolis, Minn., where the head of Saab, after a meeting with aircraft component suppliers, turned to Mr. Millet, at the time, a purchasing agent for Saab, and said that since Americans were buying Volkswagens, maybe they would also buy Saabs. Mr. Millet said that he seriously doubted the viability of selling a car with a two-cycle engine in the US, but the next day, back in New York, the Saab president persisted.

“He told me to reserve some space at the next New York Auto Show. He would send some cars over, and we would see what reaction they got. Then we would decide about selling the cars.”

A few months later four Saab 93 sedans and a prototype sports car arrived in New York, just in time for the 1956 New York International Auto Show. At the show itself, the reaction of both public and press was quite positive, and several auto dealers expressed their interest in representing the new Swedish make. One even bought a car for resale. Ralph T. Millet was about to change careers, from a specialist in procurement for the aircraft industry, to the job as head of the country’s newest imported car company.

That dinner meeting in Minneapolis was not really Ralph T. Millet’s first encounter with the Saab cars. Born in Boston on August 21,1917, Mr. Millet was educated at the Boston Latin School and received a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940, just in time to join the US Army Air Corps, where he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. After the war he started a firm handling procurements for different corporations, one of them Swedish Saab. During his first visit to Sweden, in 1946, he heard of the company’s plans for a small car, and one of his earlier assignments for Saab involved the purchase of body presses for the new car. In 1948, he recalled, an early prototype car was sent to the US, and Mr. Millet had some discussions with the Willys Overland company about building the car. One early problem for Saab, however, was the shortage of suitable steel for the car bodies, It wasn’t until 1950 that the first Saab car was built sold, and not much was thought of exporting it until production reached adequate levels.

But after the 1956 New York Auto Show, Saab Motors Inc. was ready for business. The fist shipment of cars for sale to dealers arrived just before Christmas 1956 at the port of Hingham, Mass., where Saab had established a warehouse and make-ready facility. Fifteen dealers were signed the first year, and sales reached all of 2,200 units in 1958. “We made money in 1959,” recalled Mr. Millet, “but the next year the bottom fell out, when Detroit’s big three introduced their own small cars.”

In 1961 Saab Motors moved all of its operations to New Haven, Conn., leaving only a small aviation purchasing office – the operations Mr. Millet had originally started – in New York City.

The safety reputation of the Saab car has helped sell Saabs throughout the years, as the cars have gradually evolved, first by replacing the original two-stroke engine with a more acceptable four-stroke, and later with newer and larger model cars. Today the company, now Saab Cars USA Inc., and owned by General Motors, sells two distinct lines of cars, the 9-5 and the 9-3.

Safety has always been a major feature in Saab’s marketing efforts, and is something that has been the subject of Mr. Millet’s interest for many years. When the government stepped into the field of auto safety in the late 1960’s, Mr. Millet was one of the first representatives of the auto industry to be appointed to the new Highway Traffic Safety Advisory Council of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At about the same time, the first trade organization for the imported car industry was founded and Mr. Millet, after originally just representing Saab, eventually became president and chairman of the Automobile Importers of America. As spokesman for the imported auto industry, Mr. Millet was for many years a frequent testifier before congressional and other legislative bodies on matters relating to imported cars, remaining the Saab representative with the trade group, today called the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, until quite recently.

In 1982 Mr. Millet was named to the Board of Directors of the successor company to Saab Motors Inc., Saab-Scania of America, Inc., which by then was involved not just in Saab automobiles, but also built and marketed Scania trucks and buses. Mr. Millet was heavily involved in establishing the Scania business in the US, initially in assessing the market possibilities for the Scania products, and later in helping set up marketing and manufacturing operations in the US. During the 1980’s, Scania operated a complete assembly operation in Orange, Conn. making city busses for a number of different US municipalities.

Always interested in Saab doings even after his retirement, Mr. Millet has been a frequent visitor at Saab dealer functions, as well as at Saab owner conventions, both in this country and overseas. Most recently he and his wife, Gunlog, attended the dealer preview of the all-new Saab 9-3 cars in Sweden this past summer, and the August Saab owner convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An active churchman, Mr. Millet was a life-long Episcopalian, and was Senior Warden Emeritus, as well as treasurer of the Grace Memorial Church in Old Saybrook, CT.

Ralph T. Millet resided in Old Saybrook Connecticut. Besides his wife, he leaves four children, Francis N. Millet of Clinton, CT; Charles G. Millet, of Dedham, Mass.; Mrs. Ronald Bearse of Alexandria, VA; and Miss Kristine R. Millet, of Dedham, Mass. He was predeceased by another son, Ralph Millet, Jr., and by his first wife, Elsie Johnston, who died in 1959.

A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, December 26, 2002, at 11 a.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church, 338 Main Street., Old Saybrook, CT. Contributions in the memory of Ralph T. Millet may be given to the Grace Church Memorial Fund, care of Grace Episcopal Church, 338 Main Street., Old Saybrook, CT 06475.

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1964 SAAB Quantum IV Formula S

Posted on 13. Mar, 2007 by .


According to, there where nearly 60 of these Quantum IV kit cars were made.

I have yet to secure the range of years that these SAAB Quantum IV Formula S models were made however, but we do know now that there was the Quantum IV owned in the Saab Automobile USA Heritage Collection was manufactured in 1966 of which an unknown amount were sold and ultimately built out of the 60. There is also another Quantum IV Formula S owned I have located that is owned by Saab Enthusiast Stefan Vapaa as shown in the photo below. In the 1964 Quantum IV Formula S, there was also currently an unknown amount sold & building during that year.

Here is a quote from from the source:

The example shown is a car created by Quantum Motorcars and is one of around 60-kit examples created. Though there were roughly sixty kit examples created, there were fewer examples that were created into workable racers. These vehicles were meant to be Quantum Motorcars entry way into the SCCA ‘Formula S’ racing class.


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The SAAB Quantum IV – The Formula Race Car

Posted on 13. Mar, 2007 by .


The SAAB Quantum IV was designed as a formula race car. I have provided you another detailed description along with a few photos from Wikipedia’s record of the Quantum IV that further define the unique history of this truly rare segment within the Saab brand.

The 4th generation was scaled down to a one-seat racer. In fact, Walter described his version of the Quantum IV as a go-kart he made for his son. But the Quantum IVs that were ultimately produced for public consumption were actual race car kits, to which buyers could transplant the 2-stroke powerplant out of their 93s, 95s and 96s. These cars were designed as Formula S racers, not unlike the Formula Junior, but with the motor mounted in back. This concept actually became a reality when Walter formed The Quantum Motor Car Company, and Ralph Millet bought the company as a subsidiary of Saab Motors. Walter retained his original company, The Quantum Corporation, and while the Saab executives in Sweden were not exactly pleased with Ralph’s new aquisition, and Saab was soon offering and selling numerous Quantum race cars. Numerous examples of the Quantum IV can still be found today – many of which continue to race.

Source: The Quantum Series

The SAAB Quantum IV at the Kinnekulle Race Track, Sweden taken in 2000.



Photo Credits: Wikipedia

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1966 SAAB Quantum IV – Saab USA Heritage Collection

Posted on 12. Mar, 2007 by .


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

This week, we begin with the SAAB Quantum IV and I plan on providing as much coverage of this model as well as other SAAB Quantum models later this week.

Five distinct versions of Saab-based Quantum vehicles were built. With chassis designed by IBM engineer Walter Kern, each version used water-cooled two-stroke Saab engines. The first three versions were two-seat sports cars; the fourth, a single-seat, open-wheeled race car, sold as a kit.
The goal of the Quantum IV kit car was to create an affordable, fast, one-design class of open-wheel racing that would take advantage of the lightweight and prodigious power output of the Saab two-stroke engines.

In the Quantum IV, the Saab three-cylinder delivers an estimated 70 horsepower as fitted with three Solex carburetors. It has a four-speed manual transmission, and the Quantum is one of the very few Saabs known with rear-wheel drive.

While specific build data is available for the other Quantum cars, there is no hard data for version IV, since the chassis was sold as a kit to would-be racers.

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Production Concept