Erik Carlsson, whose skill with a Saab 96 singlehandedly put the company on the map in rally circles, died yesterday. He was 86. 

While he was known as "Mr. Saab" in later years—a nod to his time served in the company's PR wing—his initial moniker of "On the Roof" Carlsson belied a rare talent behind the wheel.

Over the course of his career, Carlsson piloted his trusty Saab 96 to three straight victories in the British RAC rally—1961, '62, '63—and also took the checkered in back-to-back wins at Monaco in '62 and '63. Carlsson was inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame in 2010, and kept his skills sharp by giving media rides while doing promotion for his beloved Saab.

For more on his career, there's a great obituary over at Hemmings.

Motor Authority sends its condolences to Mr. Carlsson's family and friends.


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