If You are in Trollhättan today take the chance of visiting the museum.
Actually it is with o lot of luck and coincidences that there is a SAAB Museum at all. First of all SAAB in the early years was not keeping cars for a future museum or in any way had an agenda of storing significant models. 40 years ago a collection was starting to take place. The original curator Pelle Rudh with long experience at SAAB gathered cars in the basement of a gasstation in central Trollhättan. The URSAAB was found and put on display after having been “hidden” away for many years. Unfortunately many of the significant SAAB cars where not to be found like many of the historic rally cars and some of the limited run models. Some replicas have been and as well as restored cars. The 1963 Monte Carlo winning SAAB 96 driven by the late Eric Carlsson is a replica made out of my grandmothers “shopping car” and made into a gift to Eric from SAAB. Also there was no 93 GrandTurismo 750. That model car is now in the collection given to the museum by an american.
The museum could just as well have disappeared in the winding down of the SAAB Automobile bankruptcy. All the cars where out on the internet and for sale/bidding. Attorneys and lawyers have little or no interest in automobile history and keep their eyes on the numbers.
I was contacted primarily by americans about 10 who wanted to by one or more cars out of the collection. Some wanted help in having the cars shipped to the US and some wanted to buy the cars but having them on display in Trollhättan. As a Trollhättan born son I felt this was not good at all and together with some people in the SU crew we started to make up a secret list of cars that was unique and if thing would get bad needed to be safeguarded. I had a conversation with the former manager at the Innovatum business park where SAAB Car Museum is located. He said they had a plan with The City of Trollhättan to buy the collection for 5 million SEK. I was shocked and felt that this can not be the solution. My estimate of the value with my knowledge and expertise in the automotive field was close to 30 million SEK about 6 times the number I was told the collaboration between Innovatum and City of Trollhättan had speculated in.
Now something had to be done. Someone with “financial muscles” had to be involved.I sent an TEXT/SMS to Peter “Poker” Wallenberg indication the the SAAB Car Museum is about to be dissolved and there is need for great muscles to save it. it turned out to be a surprise for Mr. Wallenberg since his focus had been on his upcoming marriage and cars and the Saab Car Museums problems had not been on the radar scope. My TEXT and some other persons later letters to Mr. Wallenberg saved the SAAB Car Museum. They “NEW” owners managed to add together close to 25 million SEK and that was apparently enough to satisfy the bankruptcy lawyers.
Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary. A big THANK YOU to FAM (Wallenberg Family Investment), SAAB AB, City of Trollhättan and Innovatum. I hope I have not forgotten anyone.
Some cars in my SAAB Car “Museum” in Stockholm. Replica 99 Turbo Pearl White, Replica 99 Turbo RAC 1978, 96 MonteCarlo V4 (my very first car)