Is there something about Saab that makes some organisations want to reduce it to tiny pieces?
First, General Motors killed off hopes that Saab might be rescued by the Chinese, citing concerns about access to its technology (as if the Chinese couldn’t simply buy a 9-5 and take it to pieces).
Now the official receivers - Hans L Bergqvist and Anne-Marie Pouteaux - have decided to try and sell off the Saab museum in Trollhattan. Worse still, they are accepting individual bids for the 120 vehicles held by the museum.
Even the first ever Saab car - the Ur-Saab - is going under the hammer. To let this car slip from the grip of the people of Trollhattan would be a tragedy.
Worryingly, there’s no news of either a Saab 9-5 estate or 9-4X SUV. An example of each were supposed to be preserved for the museum. Is it possible that not a single example of the extraordinary 9-5 wagon (I first saw a prototype 18 months ago) has been preserved, crushed in the last few days by the steamrolling receivers?
In any case, unless somebody, or a group can get themselves and the funding together, this superb collection of some of the most individual and forward-thinking cars ever made will be scattered to the four winds.
I can’t help but feel terribly sorry for Peter Backstrom, who has run the Saab museum for years, kept the cars in tip-top condition and allowed people to drive them. I have very clear memories of trying the collection’s immaculate Saab 99 Turbo. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of old cars, but that 99 Turbo was extremely impressive.
The sale document says that ‘written tenders shall be made to the official receivers no later than Friday 20th January 2012, 12.00 noon’. Bids will be finalised on the 23rd. And you’ll need to front up the winning bid (or bids) in cold, hard, Swedish Crowns, though VAT will not be chargeable….
Another dismal day for the car industry.