Yet another great Saab story from the weekend……
Lars N is a Saab guy who, as I understand it, lives and works somewhere near to Trollhattan. His mother passed away a few years ago and he’s had some of her belongings stored at his home since that time. There were some boxes amongst them that he had never touched, until a few weekends ago.
Amongst some of the stuff in the box was an old photo, which included a very old Saab. Lars has sent me the photo, which he’s annotated, below:
How old is this Saab?
Well, you’ll notice the covered in front wheel arches, for a start. You’ll also notice the name Sven Otterbeck there. He was one of the Directors at Saab who green-lighted the project to begin designing and building cars right back at the beginning.
You can see Lars’ grandmother walking behind the car, to the left. If you look close enough, you can also see Lars’ mother as a young child on the right of the car.
Lars made some enquiries at the Swedish National Archives and it turns out that plate number belonged to Saab chassis number 92003.
Sven Otterbeck, as it turns out, was Lars’ great-uncle (i.e. Lars’ grandfather was Sven’s brother). In the photo above, he was visiting his brother in the new prototype Saab. The photo, from 1948, was taken in Finspång, which is around 50 kilometers from where Sven worked in Linköping, but it’s a great piece of family history to see that they’d visit each other in prototype cars.
Note to Peter Backstrom – if I’m ever fortunate enough to be living in Sweden, you’re welcome to come visit me in the Aero-X at any time!
Actually, it’s not the first time I’ve heard about people driving Saab prototypes. Back in 2007, whilst in Trollhattan for the Saab Festival, I met a gentleman who was putting material together for a book about Saab’s earliest days. He himself had ridden around in UrSaab for many miles as a small boy when it was out for testing.
But I digress….
Lars managed to get copy of some original documentation for the car and has started a quest to try and track it down. You can see the registration number in the top right corner, which reconciles to the plate in the photo. Around the middle of the document, it appears the car changed registration plates at some stage.
It’s a great story, and I hope it’s one that we can follow to a conclusion at some point in the future.