Saab museum saved by Wallenberg millions

Saab museum saved by Wallenberg millions
The Saab museum of automobile rarities, which has struggled to find a buyer following the company’s recent bankruptcy, has been saved by a Wallenberg-family trust that wanted the museum to remain intact.

“It feels great! Saab’s cars are a part of Trollhättan’s history and now we’ve saved a bit of Swedish industrial heritage,” Paul Åkerlund, the chair of the Trollhättan municipal council, said in a statement.

The municipality, together with funding from Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Memorial Fund and defence company Saab AB, have agreed to purchase the museum for 28 million kronor ($4.15 million).

The recently bankrupt Swedish automaker put the museum’s 131 rare cars up for public auction last week amid concerns that no one would buy the entire collection.

However, on Wednesday the city announced that a deal had been forged to save the museum and keep it in one piece in Trollhättan.

Related gallery: Saab classics from the museum

“We are truly grateful that these partners saw value in the museum and the cars,” said Åkerlund.

The municipality will pay half the buying price, while Saab AB, and the Wallenberg family, which previously owned the bankrupt Swedish automaker, will pay the remaining half.

The car collection include rarities stretching from the original 1946 Saab prototype, to the Turbo 900 “Silver Beast” – a replica model based on a James Bond car.

“We consider it to be of great significance to preserve the Swedish industrial history,” said Carina Brorman, of Saab AB, in a statement.

“That the collection stays in Sweden and Trollhättan is important for us, the cars are also a part of our company heritage.”

Hans Wibom, head of the Wallenberg trust, stated that the foundation hopes that the museum preservation will make Sweden’s industrial history available to researchers and the public, and will inspire young people to study science.

“The Wallenberg foundation is working to support interest in science, research and education,” he said.

The automobiles in the collection reflect Saab through the ages, and illustrate the company’s innovative and illustrious history. Many are concept cars and prototype models, unregistered on Swedish roads.

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