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Saab fans and enthusiastic owners from all over the world gathered in the Swedish town of Trollhättan 10 days ago, to celebrate the Swedish automaker’s 60th anniversary as a car manufacturer.
Four days of events and festivities culminated in a huge gathering of historic Saabs outside the Saab Car Museum on June 10, exactly 60 years to the day after the first Saab car was revealed.
Back in 1947, Saab was known only as an aircraft manufacturer — the name is an acronym for Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget AB, or Swedish Aircraft Company Limited. That first car, the Saab 92, looked like no other with its streamlined shape and innovative engineering. Hardly surprising since it was conceived by 16 aircraft engineers (only two had a driver’s licence) not bound by the conventional automotive design wisdoms of the day.
Since then, the company has sold more than four million cars in more than 60 countries. General Motors acquired 51 per cent of the company in 1990, then purchased it completely in 2000.
Much has changed in the industry since those post-war years, but the independent, innovative thinking behind the Saab 92, built between 1949 and 1956, continues to inspire development of its products today.