Now that the entire company’s been pawned off like so many storage units on a Discovery Channel show, Saab’s entire 100+ car collection in its home base of Trollhättan is up for grabs to the greedy, unwashed masses. And for a company that’s seems like it has been building the same car for the past 70 years, there are some genuine gems in there.
Some of the more notable cars:
- The original 1946 92001 “Ur-Saab,” the first car built by the company’s aerospace engineers and the only Saab that can rightfully claim to be born from jets.
- A six-door 9000 limousine, which must just the thing for getting Hansel and Gretel to the prom.
- The weird, wedgy EV-1 from 1985—not to be confused with former parent GM’s more famous sibling—this one has an all-glass roof with solar panels, Aramid fiber-reinforced composite bumpers, and screen time in the background of Back to the Future II.
- A Cadillac BLS, the short-lived, unloved 9-3 rebadge for European hair-shirt aficionados.
Even the stunning AeroX and 9-X concepts are up for grabs. Rare four-doors, targa convertible prototypes, and production firsts and lasts round out the rest of the collection, which may not be as significant to anyone who’s not a Saab nerd. But on the other hand, if you know anything about Saab’s rally history, those screaming two-stroke monster 96 rally cars are guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
All cars are in pretty good condition, mostly from the outside at least. The only problem is that many of the cars themselves are “Ej reg bar,” or non-registerable, at least in Sweden, seeing as they are prototypes, and there’s no guarantee that they won’t fold in on themselves the second they touch Scandinavian snow. Besides, with a Saab-grilled Subaru Tribeca out in the wild, automotive spy photographers could be fooled for months.
Still, it would be a shame to crush the lot of them. The entire museum collection serves as an interesting footnote to a once-innovative, once-profitable—some would dare say successful, even—automotive player that had its time in the sun. The auction is being run by a Swedish liquidation firm, and the non-publicized bids are due in a few days. I shudder to think what will happen to the more unloved prototypes if the kind Saabisti fail to adopt them. At least the James Bond Saab should pique a few 80s-minded interests.
No word on whether buyers of the museum’s contents will have to reassemble them with nothing more than an Allen wrench.