Vale Rolf Mellde (1922-2009)

I’ve just heard the sad news from Peter Backstrom at the Saab Museum that one of Saab’s founding fathers, Rolf Mellde, has passed away, aged 86.
Rolf Mellde is one of the original Saab guys, having started his career with Saab in 1946. When Saab started producing cars, he was right there amongst it and stayed with Saab until the early 1970s.
Mellde could hang is hat on several major achievements during his time at Saab. The original Saab Sonett, for starters. He was an engineer, executive and one of Saab’s first ever racing drivers during a vibrant time when it was perhaps a little easier to combine such multi-faceted roles.
Mellde’s crowning achievement was probably the decision for, and implementation of, the V4 engine into Saab’s lineup. There was actually a reasonable amount of opposition to Saab taking this course at the time, but Mellde won the day and the Saab V4 was an instant hit and carried Saab into a more modern age.
Rolf Mellde attended the 2007 Saab Festival and being the 60th Anniversary celebration, his work was duly applauded with him being part of a panel interview featuring some of Saab’s founding workers. It was a memorable event and perhaps a fitting final attendance for such a significant man in Saab’s history.
Vale, Rolf Mellde

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