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1949 Saab 92 Prototype to Cross the Block at Bonhams Chantilly

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Images courtesy of Bonhams and the Hemmings archives

Saab fans from around the world have traveled to the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden, to see the “UrSaab,” or the original Saab car prototype.

“92001,” styled by famed industrial designer Sixten Sason and built in 1947, represents the beginning of 64 years of Saab automobiles. A small number of prototypes were built between the UrSaab and those production model 92s of 1950, and Bonhams will soon offer a rare survivor for sale.

This 92, chassis number 92009, is one of three known remaining (including 001 and 004) of 20 pre-production prototypes, and it will be auctioned -with no reserve- at Bonhams’ “The Chantilly Sale” at Château de Chantilly, France, on September 10.

This two-cylinder, two-stroke, 25 hp front-driver exhibits some unique features that were not in the early production models, including a larger rear window and opening trunklid, things that wouldn’t arrive until 1953.

Described as “highly original,” and with known ownership, this car is said to be roadworthy.

It’s expected to bring between $18,000 and $30,000, which seems quite reasonable for such a historic automobile. The auction catalog listing follows:

“This car was first registered to SAAB Aeroplan AB on 19th July 1949, passing to one of the company’s aerospace engineers, Olaf Öhlander, in November 1953. It is believed that, prior to his purchase, the car was updated with an opening boot and repainted grey (from original green, still visible in places). The SAAB enjoyed a further four owners (all in Sweden) before its acquisition in September 1960 by Torsten Johansson, a farmer in the south of the country, who used the car sporadically until 1980, when it was placed in barn storage.

“The current vendor purchased ‘92009’ in April 1997, and the car has remained in the family’s possession ever since, during which time it has been maintained but not restored. The tyres have been replaced and the front wings renovated, apart from that, it has not been touched. Only a handful of miles has been covered annually. Originally the car had an external mirror on the right-hand side but has been fitted with a home-made mirror on the left side, presumably done after Sweden switched to driving on the right in September 1967.

“Accompanying documentation consists of details of all owners, Swedish registration papers, inspection protocols (1966-1980), owner’s handbook, repair manual, and five books about SAAB (1948, 1956, 1983, 1987, and 1997).”

Wouldn’t it be “so nett to own such a special Saab?

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