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Photo Credit: Gary Stottler

There have been 5 SAAB Quantum models made, 1 Quantum I, this Quantum II, two Quantum III’s, nearly 60 Quantum IV’s and only one Quantum V.

The current owner of the Quantum II pictured a devout Saab Enthusiast, Gary Stottler has provided a nice piece of what he understands the history of the Quantum II to be.

It is worth mentioning that the history of the Quantum I & II should be read as well from Saab Enthusiast, Dave Hosmer who currently owns a Quantum V and worked closely with friend and longtime colleague, Walter Kern who was responsible for the Quantum SAABs along with friend Ralph T. Millet, the first President of SAAB Motors, Inc. in 1956 in the United States.

Enjoy his writeup below in his own words:

Quantum #2 “was “discovered” by Kathleen Blank (age 12 at the time) in her father’s (Richard Blank) barn in Canandiagua, NY. She christened it “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. I met Kathleen and Richard when they were working on rejuvenating Chitty Chitty one part at a time. Kathleen was the “carburetor girl” as well as the project leader, she had installed the carb all on her own. Greasy little hands with skinned knuckles - a sight to make her father proud. Bud Clark had sent the missing carb venturi from California that enabled us to run the motor. He sent it to Richard for free as one “Saab guy” to another. He was very very helpful. Meanwhile, Richard and Kathleen had gotten my name from Dave Hosmer, keeper of much Quantum lore and history who knew that I lived nearby. I was “brought into the project” as a consultant on the brakes and the two stroke engine. A couple of visits to Richard and Kathleen’s barn in 2003 and 2004 and we had the late-50s 750cc Saab engine running (I supplied plugs and ignition timing set-up) although the brakes proved to be more challenging - eventually with a torch and large sledgehammer we removed the drums at a cost of sacrificing only one OE Saab drum puller! From there we could survey the leaking 40 year old wheel cylinders.

Richard related to me that he recalled his father returning home with the car from weekends of racing when he was a small boy. Quantum 2 was the racer that held track records at Watkin’s Glen and Lime Rock beating out Ferrari and Maserati - he was there when the calls came in to race at Lime Rock. Although Walter Kern made no reference to this car in his discussions with Dave Hosmer and others, nor in the documentation he left regarding Quantum, this car is nearly a duplicate of Quantum #1 and was build and apparently raced by Russell Blank, Kathleen’s grandfather. Richard related that the current engine in Quantum 2 was a new 750cc unit pulled off the shelf and dropped into her after Saab Sweden took their racing engine back. It was at that point that Quantum 2 was retired. He says that “a few things do stick in a young person’s mind when talking to their father”. One of the things that stuck in Richard’s mind is that the racing engine had three cylinders and FOUR carburetors. It was sort of like a family joke. “How many carbs does a three cylinder have?”. He believes that the forth carb was set up to send lubrication through the crank case. Quantum 2 clearly appears in some early photos in Dave Homer’s collection, but the differences from Quantum #1 are subtle and when Kathleen first discovered the car there was some skepticism that it really was a Quantum. I understand that Dave paid the car a visit sometime around 2000 or so and confirmed that a previously unknown Quantum had indeed been build around the same time as Quantum #1. Since that time at least one picture has come to light showing both Quantum 1 and Quantum 2 together.

Richard indicated that in clearing up affairs after Russell’s death, he had found the car in a half-burned shed on the premises that had been “Eugene Engineering Co., Inc.” (owned by Russell Blank) in Rockland, MA - the firm which provided metal fabrication services for Walter Kern and Quantum. Eugene Engineering was an Aerospace Manufacturer and a prime contractor for the U.S. Government, Raytheon, GE, and IBM in the 50’s and 60’s in addition to doing the work for Quantum. When Richard moved Quantum 2 to Canadiagua sometime around 1990, he briefly got the engine running, but then the car fell silent until Kathleen motivated her resurrection in 2003.

In late 2004 Kathleen and Richard moved and the Quantum #2 was left without a storage space, so they asked me if I could provide her a good home. She came to me with a copy of the book “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, a copy of a photograph from an early auto show showing on of the “production” Quantum IIIs, and a large sign from “Eugene Engineering”. In the last several years the main change for Quantum #2 has been an overhaul of the brake system thanks to the efforts of Bruce Welch. She saw her first road mile in 40+ years in late November, 2006. At this point she is resting comfortably, awaiting a variety of repairs such as a new temperature gauge, new tires, a new battery, and new exhaust.

That is what I know about the recent history - There is not a “Quantum” badge on Quantum 2, only the hand painted “Saab Quantum” on the flanks. The badge on the hood is a Saab 93-vintage hood badge. The European-style license plate currently on the car is one of Kathleen’s additions.

Best, Gary Stottler



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