A Swede in the service of her British Majesty? Last week, several dozen emails came from readers on the Saab 007 blog. What happened? Of the Focus had reported on the little-known Saab project, and again and again, the question came, whether the car really was, whether he was or is roadworthy and whether the Saab has survived the years.
At some point I gave up answering every email. Nevertheless, I would like to thank you for the many, many tips that are a clear indication of the fascination the Saab brand exudes. Instead, I am writing a short article on the Saab 007 that is readable for everyone.
Yes, there is the car and I have already seen it live. However, I wasn't really interested in the James Bond story at the time. In 1981 Saab built a 900 Turbo according to the “James Bond Specification”, so one was impressed by the history in Trollhättan. The Saab 900 Turbo, called 007, increased performance and equipped with many extras such as bulletproof tires, night vision, head-up display and armor, was moved a lot in the following time.
The Saab has never made it to film fame and is, or maybe because of it, the real James Bond car. Because if you asked the secret agent about his vehicles, the following assessment would come about: Aston Martin or Lotus are too conspicuous, bad for business. The Fords too boring and the BMWs just a malicious invention of the opposite side. The real secret agent serving the Krone drives Saab because it is fast, safe and understated and therefore “very British”.
There are more than 60.000 miles on the clock now, and the condition of James Bond Saab is quite pathetic. Rust and poor general condition do not make the Swede an exhibit in the service of their British Majesty. On our last visit, he was in the magazine of the Saab Museum in Trollhättan, a section where it is not allowed to take pictures for the public.
Mark and I will of course stick to these agreements. But the former administrators, who had the museum under their management for a short time, took pictures of the 007 Saab, which we are allowed to publish here. The condition of the James Bond Saab clearly expresses the problems that plague the Bilmuseum. Despite all the volunteer work, there is a lack of funds to restore the existing treasures. The magic word is money, there is still a lack of that.
The fact that a Saab jewel like the Saab 007 comes back to the public should be in everyone's interest. We will therefore again beg the Saab community for donations for the Bilmuseum next spring so that cars like the James Bond Saab can soon shine in the museum for everyone to see!
The secret remains to be revealed why the Saab 900 Turbo was never seen in the film. The answer is speculative, because you could well imagine James Bond if he - accompanied by the typical turbo sound - is on the hunt for the bad guys. Probably the Saab is too close to reality. Secret agents prefer inconspicuous cars that have to be powerful. Saab has built such cars. Relatively compact, not particularly noticeable, with a timeless design, but always high-performance cars for the gentleman. What would be more suitable for the Secret Service than a Saab Turbo from Trollhättan?