So, it may happen that the Saab Automobile Story is coming to an end, because GM decided it couldn’t sustain the faltering auto brand. According to TheCoolist, it’s a good time to look back in brand’s history.
In 1947, the Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab revealed a prototype that would bring their manufacturing know-how out of the skies and onto the roads of Europe. This prototype was 1946 Saab 92001 Ursaab, a car with unusual, aircraft-inspired design.
The 1946 Saab 92001 Ursaab was a car built by 16 aircraft engineers — only two of them having drivers licenses — with none of them having any automotive experience. The result, however, was a surprising success. In secret testing, the Saab team drove this car nearly 330,000 miles on back roads in Sweden both late at night and early in the morning.
This vehicle became the inspiration for the Saab 92, which began production in the late 1940s, as well as many of the future Saab models. The Saab 92001 was the “ursaab”, or the “Original Saab”, a car that in itself explains the company slogan “born from jets”. The 1946 Saab 92001 Ursaab now rests in the Saab Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden.
In December 1989, General Motors announced it had bought 50% of Saab’s automobile division for US $600 million with an option to acquire the remaining shares within a decade. Despite this, losses continued and the Malmö plant was closed in 1991. At this point, Saab Automobile AB was created.
And now, 54 years later, the future of Saab is being decided by its owner, General Motors and the potential buyers who wish to take over this brand and its unusual legacy.
Don’t forget to take a closer look at the Saab 92001 Ursaab in the gallery below. [via TheCoolist]