By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
In many cultures, there is a saying along the lines of “A man is not dead if his name is remembered.” This is often illustrated through the number of statues, named highways, bridges, dedicated buildings, and names carved in cemeteries in every ‘burg and small town in the nation.
Hearkening back to the recent news of SAAB’s corporate death, many wondered if the brand would fade into oblivion joining other fallen flags. One group of Swedes, who see the car brand as part of their national identity, have stepped up to keep the memory alive.
Since the company is in bankruptcy, the administrators overseeing the closing must take steps to pay off as many debts as possible through whatever means exist – renegotiation, selling assets, etc. One of the items to be sold was the entire in-house SAAB museum which included at least one of everything automotive the company ever built. When no one stepped up to buy the collection as a lot, plans were made to sell it piecemeal.
1956 SAAB Sonnett I – the “Swedish sports car”
That’s where a local consortium including the city of Trollhättan, the Wallenberg Foundation, and some others stepped in. On short notice, they raised over $4 million to purchase the 120 car collection and preserve the company’s heritage at least in retrospect.
The collection includes an example of the first SAAB automobile made in 1947. It was a remarkable design for its day and even now looks tidy and aerodynamic, if a little out of date. Enter “ursaab” (first SAAB) into your web searcher and click on “Images” to see many pictures and versions.
How far we’ve come to the end of an era. Even if you never drove or worked on one, remember them.
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The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL