Donney receives Saab award

-Submitted photo
Standing among a big crowd, Tom Donney is award the Erik Carlsson award at the Saab Car Museum Festival. Donney was recognized for setting a land speed record in 2018 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in a 750 cc engined Saab.

A 750 cc engine isn’t really all that big of a powerplant for a car.

It’s not even considered a large engine for a motorcycle.

In spite of that, Tom Donney, of Fort Dodge, managed to use every one of those cubic centimeters in 2018 to set a new land speed record in a Saab at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2018.

He pushed the sleek sporty looking car to 127.66 miles per hour. Not bad for three cylinders.

“They’re very underpowered compared to other cars,” he said. “It’s pretty well known.”

-Submitted photo
Tom Donney was able to take home a nice award plaque after being given the Erik Carlsson award by the Swedish Saab Club. Carlsson was a noted rally driver.

He was recently recognized for the achievement at the Saab Car Museum Festival in Sweden with an award from the Swedish Saab Club in honor of rally driver Erik Carlsson.

“He won the Baja 1000 among other races,” Donney said.

“Car manufacturers realized that racing success leads to sales,” he said. “Saab used rally racing.”

Besides advance safety features and other engineering innovations, Saab is unique in another way.

“They’re the only car made by an aircraft maker,” he said.

-Submitted photo
Tom Donney, center, is shown with the Saab he used to set a land speed record for its class in 2018. Donney was recognized for the achievement with an award from the Swedish Saab Club.

Donney has actually set more records.

“I’ve set a dozen records with the Saab,” he said.

Donney will be displaying the car, and the award, in his current project. He’s creating a Saab Heritage Museum in Sturgis, South Dakota.


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