Donney receives Saab award
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.”
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.
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.