Saab Museum movie – take a look at the past before we hear about the future

In just over two hours, GM should issue a press release about the Koenigsegg deal. What we’ve heard overnight from the Swedish media will then be official and we can (hopefully) expect to learn a bit more about Saab’s future.
Before all that happens, though, I’d encourage you to sit back, relax, and take in a short movie about the Saab Museum.
Jorrit is a Saab enthusiast from Holland. He recently recorded the Saab Performance Team’s run at Spa, in Belgium. That film ended up featuring at the Saab Newsroom.
This new film is about his visit to the Saab Museum in Trollhattan, back in July this year. It’s around 8 minutes of Saaby goodness and should get you primed up and in the right mood for all the future stuff we’ll hear about shortly.
Click here to watch the movie.
Great soundtrack, too!
Thanks to Jorrit for the heads-up and to Ted (in comments) for the reminder.

Saabs gathering – Midnight Sun Rally

There are Saabs gathering all over the place in this northern Summer and tonight I’ll be bringing a few pictorials from these gatherings.
The first is a picture I just received in my inbox from Jörgen T, who organises the Saab Convertible Challenge in Sweden and whom I’m subsequently used to seeing in convertibles.
I’m not sure if he’s a passenger in this Saab 96 or accompanying it in the Porsche, but it seems he’s off to the Rally of the Midnight Sun event, which will coincide with the Saab Days celebration in Trollhattan this weekend. The competitors in the rally will have a stop/go at the Saab Museum on Friday night.
I sooooo wish I could be there. Have fun, Etienne!
Check the sponsorship on the door – way cool. IBM, Microsoft and Intel, eat your hearts out!
Have fun on the drive there, lads, and say hello to Trollhattan for me if you get the chance!

TTELA report on Erik Carlsson’s 80th birthday celebrations at the Saab Museum

The following was translated and sent in by Dippen, to whom I am very grateful.
This is a very inspirational report. With all that’s going at Saab right now, great stories like this should be cherished. I nearly had a tear in my eye as I read it.
Mr Carlsson was surprised that so many showed up for his 80th birthday celebrations at the Saab Museum. All I can say is that there were many more around the world who would have loved to be there and congratulate him on his birthday!
The original report, in Swedish, is here at TTELA. There are a number of photos there, too.
Mr Saab – Erik Carlsson “on the roof” has now turned 80. This was celebrated on Saturday at the Saab Car Museum, where a lot of friends, admirers and Saab enthusiasts came to celebrate the rally legend.
A emotional Erik Said:
– I believe in Saab, don’t be worried, everything will be fine.
While he signed autographs and hugged people, Erik said:
– I can’t believe that so many have taken the time to come here and celebrate me. It is unbelievable!
When the celebration started at 11a.m a long queue was formed to the table where Erik sat and recieved the congratulations. The participants where both old and young people, fans and friends.
Gosta Karlsson, who has known Erik for many years, handed over a big beautiful orchid and shook hands with his friend.
– This little flower is for you Erik, it is alomst on this day, 50 years ago that we meet for the first time. Do you remember?
– Absolutely!, Erik says.
Gosta started to tell the story when they meet for the first time and smiled:
– We were participating in an ice racing competition in Vilhelmina. Erik won and I came in third place. After the competition when I was packing my stuff in to the car, Erik came forward and said : “You can call me this week and I will arrange so you can buy a car at a discounted price. And then we became friends”
– I was an old racing driver who drove for Saab 1960-1966 and was racing cars with Erik. Erik and I raced twelve competitions togheter. He is a very good old friend. Gosta says and smiles towards Erik.
Later it was time for the birthday kid’s next surprise.
– Erik, are you intrested in eating a bit of light brunch?, Per Olofsson said. He is the head of Saab’s staff resturants and put forward a big plate of oysters.
Oh yes! are they Irish? Erik says
No they are from Grebbestad, Per said and served the oysters.
They where very good, a thousand thanks.
Per Olofsson said that Erik is a big oyster lover and he during the years has talked a lot about it with anyone who shares the same interest.
– I had five oysters with me and he would easily have eaten five more. I promised to bring ten oysters when he turns 85 years.
Afterwards it was time for Erik to be congratulated by Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson and the management board.
– Hello, did you have time to show up?, Erik says.
– Of course, it is fun to see that Erik has eaten oysters, JAJ said and told a little anecdote.
– At a gathering in Ireland, Erik decided that we two should eat oysters. Erik ordered in 20 oysters; I ate two and he ate 18!
Jan Ake Jonsson did hold a tribute speech for Erik where he told about how important he has been for Saab during the years.
– As a birthday gift you will get this picture and a total renovation of the property you like so much.
Jonsson-Carlsson2.jpg JAJ was referring to Erik’s litlle red Saab 96 that he received as a birthday present when he turned 50.
After the speech there was cheering at the Saab Museum.
– The most important thing is not that I live for hundred years but that Saab lives long after this! Thousand thanks to all Saab employees. I belive in Saab and everything will be fine, I think most of the people here do believe the same thing too, otherwise they would not have been here.
Erik received applause and smiles.
TTELA-reporter: Congratulations Erik, how does it feel to turn 80 years?
– I am turning 80 years? No, you must be joking! Thanks. It is very nice to receive the congratulations in this way. I could not believe that so many took their time to come here.
TTELA-reporter: And there is no doubt in your mind about Saabs future?
– Not a bit, We have good cars,good people and very good chief ,CEO Jan Ake Jonsson. This will work.

Trollhattan pilgrimage – made and enjoyed

I’ve just received an email from a regular reader who lives in the US and who is currently on holiday with his family in Europe.
Asher’s family own a number of Saabs between them, so a stop in Trollhattan was a no-brainer and it sounds as if they had a grand time while they were there.
I wanted to update you on our pilgrimage to Trollhattan. We ended up having a fantastic time in SAAB country. We took a factory tour, and everyone was relatively upbeat as to SAAB’s future, with people talking about rumors of foreign investment coming soon.
We spent a few hours at SAAB ANA, where they had a new Hirsched out 9-3 Combi on the floor, it was a brilliant car, and the leather dash is gorgeous in the flesh. The parts guru there took us to SDCC where we got a few posters and some parts… It really was SAAB heaven.
The highlight of the day was the SAAB museum where we actually ran into Mr. Erik Carlsson himself as he was arriving for his birthday celebrations… I could not have imagined a better Trollhattan experience…

And a few photos…..
A very sexy looking blue/grey convertible outside the main gate to the Saab factory. Just in front of that car (to the left of shot) is the reception area where I met Christer Nilsson for my own tour of the factory. Ah, take me back!
Asher on the left. I assume that’s his father in the middle, and Mr Saab himself, Erik Carlsson, on the right. Taken in the entry foyer to the Saab Museum. Ah, take me back!
The very first Saab convertible concepts on show at the Saab Museum, with the very first Saab 99Turbo from the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show in the background. Interesting factoid – the 99T on display actually has EMS badges on the inside.
If the worst happens and Saab are dissolved and the museum cars are auctioned, I’m going to re-mortgage our home to get that 99T in Australia.
Ah, take me back!
Thanks to Asher for the quick update and the happy snaps.
Anyone who gets a chance to do so, please make sure you go and visit Trollhattan. it really is a beautiful city and a Saab-lover’s paradise.

Erik Carlsson’s birthday celebrations at the Saab Museum

March 5th 2009 saw the most prolific individual in the Saab family turn 80 years of age.
Erik CarlssonMr Saab, Erik Carlsson, is Trollhattan born and bred and a continuing employee of Saab Automobile to this day. It’s only right, then, that there will be a celebration for his 80th birthday in his hometown, at the Saab Museum.
Whilst his actual birthday was last week, the Trollhattan celebration will be held at the Saab Museum this coming Saturday, March 14th.
Erik Carlsson will be in attendance at the museum from 11am to 4pm and everyone is welcome to come along and wish him well.
Another reason to go along this weekend….
Peter Backstrom tells me that the Swedish Saab Club are holding their annual meeting and swap meet. It’ll be a very busy time and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of cool cars there to look at.
Photos will be welcome!!

Saab Museum could be threatened

Swedish publication Allt om Motor featured an article over the weekend indicating that the Saab Museum in Trollhattan could come under threat, perhaps even during the re-organsation process.
They interviewed a re-organisation administrator, though not the one involved in Saab’s re-organisation, who has emphasised the fact that sentimentality plays no part in the re-organisation process. The objective is to clean up the balance sheet and organise the business in such a way that it can be profitable in the future.

During the reorganization process, the Museum is of no value. The job now is to clean up the balance sheet and nothing else. But in case it becomes bankrupt museum can have problems, “says Rolf Åbjörnsson.
– If there is a commercial value of several million in the museum there is a risk that the collection could be sold at auction. Social or cultural values are not taken into account in the event of bankruptcy, it is purely monetary flow that applies, he believes.

There may be a little bit that’s lot in translation there. I’m not sure if he’s implying that the museum could be sold off during re-organisation, or just in the event that Saab’s re-organisation ends in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Saab Museum curator, Peter Bäckström, feels fairly comfortable with the immediate future:

Saab Automobile AB owns and operates the museum, but the property belongs to Trollhättan municipality. What will happen to the museum if Saab is closed, nobody knows. But museum Director Peter Bäckström is hopeful.
– Saab is Trollhättan. The reorganization process will be challenging, but it would surprise me if the administrator felt the need to close the museum, “he says.

I hope that’s correct. I’d hate to see all those beautiful cars just sold off to the highest bidder.
I’m sure that any future purchase of Saab will include the 110 vehicles in the Museum’s collection. If not, then I hope the city of Trollhattan will take steps to ensure the collection’s future.
That’s something I’d definitely donate towards.
Click through for video.

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