This screaming Saab 93 was the loudest car at Goodwood

15th November 2022
Ethan Jupp

There are two sides of the coin when it comes to the paddocks at Goodwood. You have the world-famous super sportscars with howling V12s and eight-figure valuations and then you have the weird and wonderful stuff. It’s cars like this Saab 93, with its ear-splitting two-stroke three-cylinder engine, that add real colour to our grids. Given the racket it gives off, it’ll have you spitting claret from your ears too, if you’re not careful.


It’s one of those cars that you simply don’t see, not now and not then, given that this race-spec machine is a replica based on one of the two race cars campaigned in period. Owner Myles Poulton originally bought it as a way of getting invited to the Le Mans Classic and Goodwood, but has since completely fallen in love with it. We spoke to him about his journey with the car at the 79th Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport.

Sat in the paddocks, the 93B is a curious little machine: very of its time, yet curiously innovative: tiny but cleverly tapered, which is appropriate for a marque which, at the time, had more aerodynamic experience than most carmakers, given its standing in the aerospace industry. Whatever way you look at it, you’re not expecting the noise it kicks out when it's fired up.


“There were two cars that ran at Le Mans in 1959,” Myles says. “This is a replica of one of them. As far as we’re aware, they don’t exist anymore. A Swedish and British team ran them, they both turned up in the same colour. The Brits got upset and repainted it there and then, to either dark green or dark blue.

“This car was built as a replica of the car that came 12th at Le Mans. We’ve made it even to the extent of the numbers, with proper numbers on the front and painted on the side. They ran out of proper numbers in period, so we did it the same with this. I’ve had an engine fully built in America, one among three engine blocks I bought. We wanted something that wasn’t going to blow up. Our guy builds salt flat racers out of these so he was happy to build an engine for this.”


As with many racing cars built as replicas or converted for track use, their history is one of a double life. Less than a decade ago this car was an old lady’s grocery-getter in France. It leads a very different, more highly-strung existence now.

“It’s been a race car for about five or six years,” Myles follows. “Prior to that, it was this colour originally, owned by a little old lady in France. I bought this for a Le Mans entry and we were fortunate enough to get an entry here. Every driver wants to do Le Mans, Mille Miglia and Goodwood and this is eligible for all. We bought it to get us in on a budget and give me that experience. The thing is, I’ve totally fallen in love with it, the shape of it is stunning. It’s very aerodynamic for the era, a very clever four-seater, suicide door design. It was one of those cars that I thought we’d buy it, run it and sell it. But I think we’ll keep it and the great thing, my son who’s just turned 17, he can eventually race it. 

“I bought it as a gateway car and I’ve totally fallen for it. It’ll be the cheapest car at Le Mans and that’s great. It gets you in, it gets you involved and that’s what it’s all about. We’re going to keep it for a long time.”

That’s the problem with these ‘gateway’ cars, is it’s so easy to go in all cold-hearted and say it’s purely a stepping stone to something greater. Then, before you know it, cars like the 93 melt your soul and get under your skin. We will aptly emphasise the word melt, given this car runs a two-stroke three-cylinder that has to be one of the loudest race engines we’ve heard at our meetings. Could it give a 787B a bloody nose in terms of volume? Maybe not, but it was easily one of the loudest cars at 79MM.


Watch 2022 Sopwith Cup highlights from the 79th Members' Meeting

11th April 2022


“This one has a 750 engine, based on GT spec with a four-speed on the column,” Myles continues. “Power-wise, it’s not much more than 80hp-90hp from the three-cylinder two-stroke. It’s probably one of the loudest cars here, even than the Lolas, at 122db. It’s very strange to drive, when you dip the clutch it free-wheels, with no engine braking. When you come to a corner you either have to be accelerating or braking. It really gets you working your left-foot braking.

“It’s really good fun to drive but unfortunately, we were down two cylinders for most of the weekend – an electrical issue. It would have been fun to take on some of the American cars around the corners. When they run properly, when they’re on song, they’re great engines. This is only 600kg, so not much different to a Mini and with 90hp, it won’t come last. It’s a really lovely thing, a bit of fun, loud and a bit silly. It adds some colour to the grid.”

Absolutely right he was there, given our commentators could barely talk about anything else, or hear themselves think for that matter, given the noise the little Saab was making. It wasn’t ever going to challenge for Sopwith Cup supremacy, but that’s far from the point. This is a car that’s all about the experience and all about variety. Earplugs advised.

Photography by Joe Harding.

  • Saab

  • 93

  • Sopwith Cup

  • 79MM

  • Members Meeting

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