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The Saab Museum - by Simon Turner
(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them)
I had wanted to go to the Saab Museum in Trollhattan Sweden for many years. The opportunity finally came in September 2002 mainly thanks to the ridiculously low airfares on offer by Ryan Air. Gothenburg for £31.00 return! At this price it would be silly not to go. After trawling the Internet (where else!) I also managed to book a good hotel in the centre of Gothenburg for £60.00 a night. The scene was set, two nights in the beautiful city of Gothenburg with my girlfriend Rubina, which made her happy and I got to go to the Saab Museum!
It was an early start; the flight was leaving London Stanstead at 6:15am so we had to be at the airport officially by 4:15am! The flight left on time and arrived on time. There is an airport bus, which for £5.00 per person takes you to the main bus & train terminal in Gothenburg. (This is also where you catch the mainline train to Trollhattan) We then took a taxi to the hotel and dropped off our luggage. By the time we had reached the hotel it was around midday local time and we spent the rest of the day wandering around the centre of Gothenburg and visited some beautiful Botanical gardens in the city centre.
Day two and time to go to the Saab Museum! We caught a tram back to the main bus and train station and purchased two return tickets to Trollhattan. These were £10.00 per person return. The train ride lasts approximately one hour. On arrival at Trollhattan what was the first thing I saw on leaving the station? A Saab of course, but not any old Saab, a brand new 9-3!
After speaking with one of the locals and trying to establish the exact whereabouts of the Saab Museum, we were told it was a 5-minute walk down the main street. Well half an hour later we were still walking! It turns out it was about 2 miles! I’m sure the exercise did me good. As you would probably expect, where else in the world would you see so many Saabs in any one place. At least 50% of the traffic must have been Saabs. One endearing sight in the centre of Trollhattan stopped at some traffic lights were a 99, followed by a 9-3 Convertible and behind that a 9-5 estate! On taking a right at the Erik Carlsson roundabout we finally arrived at the Museum.
Without going into great detail, the experience of seeing so many Classic and new Saabs under one roof was fantastic. There are cars here that you will never see anywhere else in the World, including the original Convertible prototypes, one of the original Saab Sonnets, and the prototype EV-1. An example of every conceivable production model is on the Saab Museum premises somewhere. Being a Classic 900 fan, I was slightly disappointed that the Classic 900 that was made for a James Bond film (but never actually used) was not on display. Also the original T16S was missing. When I asked one of the attendants if it was possible to see these cars I was given a rather curt ‘NO’ as an answer. Me being me, I asked why not! I was then told that the Museum has approximately 300 cars and it is only possible to display around 150 at one time. All those Saabs stuffed away in storage somewhere, sacrilege! The museum also has a great display of scale models both production and prototype. We spent around three hours in the Museum and those of you who have been there are going to ask yourselves how did you manage to spend that much time there?! After purchasing a few souvenirs we took a taxi (Saab 9-5 estate) back to Trollhattan station.
Day three and we did some of the usual touristy stuff including taking a boat trip around the canals and waterways of Gothenburg. This trip is more interesting than it sounds, as some of the bridge you have to go under are so low that even though you are already in a flat bottomed boat you have to get off your seat so you don’t bang your head. Mind you that might have done me some good! The harbour area is also very nice and there is a Naval museum and a tall ship that has been converted into a hotel & restaurant!
The weather was fantastic the whole time we were in Gothenburg and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves… well truth be known Rubina did moan a bit, well quite a bit about having to go to the Saab Museum! Apart from that it was great and I would thoroughly recommend Gothenburg and the Saab Museum to anyone and with air fares being so cheap at the moment now has to be the best time to go.
Below: A selection of pictures from the Saab Museum (click to enlarge)
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