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Sobbing for Saab

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Saab

Sobbing for Saab

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 19, 2011

Today is a sad day for Saab. And for Saab owners. The car company looks like it is headed on down the drain.

Recently owned by G.M., about a year ago Spyker Cars bought Saab from General Motors. CEO Victor Muller tried to rescue the company. You can read a complete article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/saab-bankruptcy-automaker_n_1157373.html

I bought a new Saab in December 1966, when the engine was still the popular three-cylinder, two-cycle "corn popper". I was visiting in St. Louis over the holiday week and dropped in at the Saab garage there. A friend in Chicago owned a Saab and always spoke highly of it.

It literally was a garage, with a store-front for 2-3 new cars. The owner (and mechanic) took one look at me and asked if I'd ever driven one, saying "They drive funny." So he sent me out for a test drive and I bought it for $1,800 when I returned to his garage.

It was a great car, and I drove it until it gave out at 100,000 miles in Kansas City on a trip. I replaced it with a Volvo and then with a 1976 Buick Regal, which lasted 12 years and 210,000 miles. A Nissan Stanza provided the next 200,000 miles until 1999.

Some deal might still be made to keep the Saab company in one piece. Let's hope it doesn't get cannibalized. The fly in the ointment on the deal seems to be patents held by General Motors, which fears that a Chinese buyer might use G.M. technology against G.M. in the car wars of the future.

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