Hopefully you’ve read a little bit about what Alf Persson used to do at Saab. He was the head of crash test lab there and demolished over 1500 cars in his time there.
Dave R was in Trollhattan recently and paid a visit to Alf at ANA Specialbilar, where he’s the General Manager. He also runs the SDCC (the Saab Development Center for Car recycling), the people who hold the ultra-cheap parts sale at the Saab Festival.
Here’s Dave’s account of what’s going on at ANA Specialbilar.
So begins our tour of ANA Specialbilar…..
Alf is wearing glasses, in shirtsleeves. The chap at the tailgate is Martin Schmidmeir, Workshop Manager.
The chap in the leather jacket is my Saab owning friend, on his first visit to Sweden, Dave J. Dave is a traffic officer in the Metropolitan Police in London. He spends most of his time in a BMW. The Met has over 450 of them, in addition to vehicles of many other makes. (Not that Britain is in any way a Police State!).
Dave was allowed to drive this car, their demonstrator. When we asked if this would be OK, Martin said his sister worked in the police locally, and that as it was raining, they would all be in the office catching up on paperwork. As I don’t have a police license, I sat in the back.
The demonstrator has been used in several films and TV series, including ‘Wallander’ – though I am not sure if it was the Swedish or BBC versions.
The workshop is extremely clean and well organised. Behind the Polis vehicles is a Fire Service vehicle and in the background, in for its first service (sorry if there is a pun there), the Saab ‘hearse’
In this version of the fire brigade vehicle, the front passenger seat has been replaced by a desk for, amongst other items, a laptop and printer.
Look at the work that has had to go into this hearse. Not just in the ‘stretching’, but look at how deep that tailgate is compared with a standard Combi. Then look not only at the finish on the ‘bumper’, but also at the quality of workmanship in trimming the inside of the tailgate. It all looks like it came from the main factory like that. ANA Specialbilar is proud of this car, and when you see it up close, you can realise why.
A new vehicle, waiting to be transformed. Each vehicle is converted by one person.
This one is not a new vehicle, but an old diesel taxi with about 200,000 km on the clock. Because of the demand for the demonstrator for film work, one film company decided it would be cheaper to buy rather than rent. So they are buying this old car, done up like a ‘proper’ police car, but without all the technology inside, just the light bar and stickers on the outside.
Just to emphasise how clean the whole place is, and a credit to Alf, Martin and all the staff. The only other similar place I have visited was Prodrive, on a visit to see the Subaru WRC rally cars being built.
Finally, one small part of the (extremely dark) SDCC main warehouse. This is the place where they keep all the parts for the ‘Festival’. So it looks like it will be worth a visit next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A little side story from David about Alf:
ANA also crushes vehicles like disused test vehicles and I assume some prototypes, etc. You’ve already seen the Cadillac BLS in the crusher.
When Alf left Saab, they asked him what memento he wanted to take with him – he took the crusher – a proper Saab man through and through!
My thanks to Dave for the photos and narrative.
It certainly does look like ANA Specialbilar will be on my list of must-see places next time I get to Trollhattan.