The team wants to congratulate rally maestro Simo Lampinen for his 70th birthday!

Simo Lampinen 70 years.

Simo Lampinen 70 years.

Simo Lampinen was born to the Lampinen Ski Factory owner family in June 22nd 1943. Simo contracted polio at a young age which could have meant an end to his career even before its start. But Simo managed to overcome the disease with his determined and positive attitude. The illness, however, left him with a bad limp, so the authorities granted him a driver’s license at the age of 17 (in Finland you normally get the license at 18), so he could more easily get to school and back home.

Simo began his career by driving SAABs. SAAB’s front-wheel drive and two-stroke engines were well suited to the forest stages and winter conditions in Scandinavia. There was no holding back – Simo quickly went on to acquire a competition license and won his first major rally, Finland’s Rally of the 1000 Lakes, in 1963 at the age of 20. The year was a success and he won the Finnish Rally Championship that year. He repeated the accomplishment in 1964, and won the 850 cc Track Championship in 1966. The 3rd Finnish Rally Championship came in 1967 (driving for Saab Works Sweden).

Simo also became part of the Finnish SAAB Works Team. He brought home many victories for the team – such as 1st position in the 1972 Rally of the 1000 Lakes (against tough competition such as Stig Blomqvist, Hannu Mikkola and Timo Mäkinen) and winning the Finnish Rally Championship for the 4th time in 1975.

In addition to SAAB Simo has won many international competitions and top positions for other manufacturers, for example Lancia, Fiat and Triumph. In addition to the Finnish Rally Championships, Simo has three Team World Championships with Lancia, and two Team World Championships with Fiat. (The official drivers World Rally  Championship has only been available since 1979, so Simo was never able to compete for personal championship).

After his active driving career Simo has worked as – among other things – Clerk of Course for the 1000 Lakes and chairman of the Finnish Automobile Sport Federation, AKK-Motorsport. In 1996, he was one of the instructors for the SAAB 900 Talladega Challenge, an event at Talladega Speedway in Alabama in which SAABs set several International records.

End Polio Now

End Polio Now

To celebrate Simo’s SAAB career and his 70th birthday the Saab Club Of Finland has donated 1000 € to the End Polio Now campaign through Rotary International.

Keep on SAABing Simo!

Best wishes,

Tommi and Tikkis

Written by Tommi

Contact Tommi at :: Phone: +358 44 214 2552 :: E-mail: ::

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