- 1955 1st in the Rikspokalen in a Saab 92
- 1957 1st in the 1000 Lakes Rally in a Saab 93
- 1959 1st in the Swedish Rally in a Saab 93
- 1959 1st in the German Rally in a Saab 93
- 1960, 1961, 1962 1st in the RAC Rally in a Saab 96
- 1960 2nd in the Akropolis Rally in a Saab 96
- 1961 4th in the Monte Carlo Rally in a Saab 95
- 1961 1st in the Akropolis Rally in a Saab 96
- 1962, 1963, 1st in the Monte Carlo Rally in a Saab 96.
- 1962, 7th in East African Safari Rally in a Saab 96
- 1963 2nd in the Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally in a Saab 96
- 1964 1st in the San Remo Rally (Rally dei Fiori) in a Saab 96 Sport
- 1964 2nd in the Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally in a Saab 96
- 1964 2nd in the East African Safari Rally in a Saab 96
- 1965 2nd in the BP Australian Rally in a Saab 96 Sport
- 1965 2nd in the Akropolis Rally in a Saab 96 Sport
- 1967 1st in the Czech Rally in a Saab 96 V4
- 1969, 3rd in Baja 1000 in a Saab 96 V4
- 1970, 5th in Baja 1000 in a Saab 96 V4
In John Gardner's James Bond novel Icebreaker, Bond gets several weeks of driving training from Erik Carlsson as preparation for an arctic assignment. He also outfits and delivers Bond's "Silver Beast", a Saab 900 Turbo, in Licence Renewed.
Because the early Saabs he raced with were seriously underpowered, he had to keep a high speed in the curves and developed the left-foot braking technique to perfection. Left-foot braking was done by keeping the right foot on the gas pedal while pushing the brake pedal with the left foot. This brought the rear out in a controlled skid while maintaining speed. The drawback of this was that it wore down the brakes.
In 1965 Pat Moss and Erik Carlsson wrote a book: The Art and Technique of Driving (published by Heinemann, London, selling for 25 shillings). This book was translated into Dutch, German, Japanese and Spanish.
The expression 'Carlsson on the roof' originated from the children's story Karlsson på taket by Astrid Lindgren where a Karlsson character lived on the roof of an apartment building, and the habit of Erik Carlsson to occasionally roll a rally car on its roof. In the Safari Rally he even rolled the car intentionally to get out of a mud pool. When journalists later doubted his story since there were no dents in the roof he proved it by rolling the car again.