The letter that saved the museum
March 9, 2012 in Saab Museum
Klassiker´s (Swedish Classic Motoring magazine) Claes Johansson played a crucial role in the Saab Museum was rescued in January.
It was only hours left of the offer period at the Saab Museum. The risk that the unique industrial history collection to be dispersed forever was imminent and the vultures circling in the air to get to the juiciest bits. Some motoring magazines put bids on individual items. But Klassikers Claes Johansson worked on saving the museum as a whole, saving it in Sweden. In addition to writing a highly acclaimed chronicle of www.klassiker.nu he also contacted Poker Wallenberg, the most automobile interested of the Wallenberg sphere, to ensure that he was aware of what was happening.
Claes, who had never previously met Poker, wrote a letter that apparently hit right in “the solar plexus” (swedish expression). In an article in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet March 4 tells Poker Wallenberg about Claes Johansson’s letter was sent around the family and how a rescue operation began. A campaign that led to the winning bid of SEK 28 million for the museum as a whole. Here is the letter (somewhat abbreviated) as Claes Johansson sent January 18 at 16:51 – and that made all the difference:
Wedding chores are always top of the to-do list, I wish you all the best. Nevertheless, I hope that I for a moment can steal your attention.
It is urgent.
My name is Claes Johansson, I am a reporter and photographer for the newspaper Klassiker. As well as a Saab enthusiast.
I’m guessing that you are informed about the tragic closure of the Saab Museum in Trollhättan. A unique collection is up for sale, as a complete collection or in pieces. I find it hard to find words for how I feel about this.
The museum should long ago have been protected by some sort of a foundation. This should have been started last year at the turbulent Muller-period, that should has been one big alarm bell.
Now it is here. Friday is the last day to put bids on the collection of of Swedish industrial history ‘crown jewels (and turkeys). I have heard that many heavy international speculators are out there being interested. To believe otherwise is naive.
My opinion that the Saab museum must remain as it is today, I share with many, but the lack of time and accurate information has made any form of concerted action impossible.
Saab museum is more than nostalgia. It is design history. Cultural and industrial history. It’s glorious racing history, engineering and counterintuitive ideas. It is the story of Sweden, the Saab.
The museum has a crucial role in the healing process of the people of Trollhattan, but eventually it will become an indispensable source of inspiration for future ideas. A focus for research etc.
Saab has set souls on fire for more than 60 years. Saab museum can convey that feeling to future generations. To start and rev up the monster double-two-stroker (Two side by side 3 cylinder engines) every 10 year means probably more for the future, than all the wind farms together.
As I see it increases the possibility to conduct sound economic business when the links to Saab Automobile are gone. One can broaden and deepen the business and find new financially sustainable business models, which aim not only to sell last model year of a Saab. A vital, vibrant Saab museum, not necessarily the same size as now, could be reborn on the good forces allowed to operate.
Wallenberg’s family history is intertwined with the Saab.
Can the Wallenberg family in any way, in this panic moment, act? In a discrete way I guess, but it would be possible? Goodwill benefits are obvious. Sweden might have lost Saab, but it will not feel so bad if the museum could be saved.
It’s panic, but the key person at the moment is probably Innovatum CEO ToreHelmersson.
Maybe I have sown some seeds with you. Maybe not. I have this Saab disease, but the ability to look at it with somewhat fresh eyes I hope.
Claes Johansson, Klassiker