It has become quiet in the stable backa in Trollhättan. Barren and abandoned, the old Saab plant is lying there and barks to itself. It has been a long time since the last Saab left the factory. Do you know why Trollhättan is called "Trollhättan"? No? Well, then I'll tell you. This has to do with Saab and a myth that is true.
In the past, Trollhättan was simply called "Hättan". It's only called Trollhättan since the legendary turbocharged engines were built in the Saab factory. "What do turbocharged engines have to do with trolls?" - you will definitely ask. Well, I can tell you that, but it's a big secret and hardly anyone believes it's true. I have to take a little bit to tell.
You probably know all the troll figures that can be found in souvenir shops in Sweden or Norway. The small, barely ten centimeters high guys with knobbly noses, red cheeks, big eyes, messy hair and tail. And you think they're made of plastic or some other plastic. But that's wrong, because these are real trolls. Real trolls who are frozen because people looked into their eyes. When that happens, a troll fates to end up as a souvenir. And rest assured, that's no fun for a troll ...
Well, back to Trollhättan. Or Hättan, as it was called at the time. It turned out that Per Gilbrand, an engineer in the Saab factory, was standing and fishing near the waterfalls on the banks of the Göta Älv. He always did that when he had a tricky problem to solve. And he had a tricky problem to solve. Because Saab was bad. It had a new idea, but the money was missing everywhere. A jerk on his fishing tackle tore Per Gillbrand out of his musings. "At least the fish bite well," he thought, and he began to carefully roll up the fishing line because he wanted to avoid anything in the world that his catch was lost to him. Not that too ...
And Per Gillbrand was amazed when he saw what was wriggling on his fishing rod. It was not a fish, it was a troll! And that troll was called Snurg. Per Gillbrand knew about the fate of trolls, when a person looks into their eyes, the grandfather had often told this tale. Of course, Per Gillbrand had not believed his grandfather. From early childhood he was interested in physics and mathematics, machines and all sorts of technical equipment. There was no room for mythical creatures like trolls. And today he was an engineer! But instinctively Per Gillbrand avoided eye contact with the troll, because his mind was sharp and he immediately came up with an idea how he could fix the misery at Saab and keep the small, fine car forge alive - at least for another 35 years, as we know today ,
I already see your questioning eyes, you still have no idea how that is related to the cars and the trolls. Well, to understand that, you need to know that a troll fulfills a wish for a person so present in mind to prevent him from ending up as a souvenir. At a high price for the troll and his whole clan, because he has to work with his entourage henceforth day in, day out to fulfill this wish. Snurg, the troll, knew instantly that he had caught himself in the trap of someone who knew the secret, since Per Gillbrand looked so clearly only at Snurg's feet when the troll finally stood dripping wet on the ground in front of him. What did Snurg have to do there in Göta Älv, do you want to know?
He lived like so many trolls in the area in caves behind the waterfalls whose entrances are only accessible by diving.
At once Snurg offered his services to Per Gillbrand. "Can you do something so that we build cars again like the world has not seen and experienced, and it goes up with Saab again?" Asked this Snurg. "Yeah," the troll replied, "I'm sure I'll be able to do something." And so it happened that the same evening Snurg and his entire clan arrived at the end of the late shift, when the factory was still and deserted Gillbrand sneaked into the workshops. "We've built such a new part, a turbocharger, but it still does not want to work," Per Gillbrand admitted to the troll. "I'm sure I can do something," he replied again.
I do not want to bore you too much with details, but the work of the trolls in the nocturnal factory worked. From then on, Saab built turbocharged engines with unrestrained power delivery. No one knew why it suddenly succeeded, on which the engineers had worked so long unsuccessfully. Every evening, after the end of the late shift, the trolls crept into the deserted factory halls and whispered their power to the turbo engines produced during the day.
If you've ever driven a turbo, you'll remember the whistling sound you hear when you step on the gas pedal. This is the whisper of the trolls, which you activate when accelerating and which hisses in the turbocharger and thus develops the power of the engine.
Per Gillbrand showed his gratitude to Snurg and his clan in making stickers with the slogan "Made in Trollhättan by Trolls". And the most dedicated of Saab enthusiasts stuck the stickers to their cars, knowing they had more than Swedish engineering. The city fathers and mothers Hättans were infected by the myth, at Saab trolls had their hands on the game, and changed the name of the city in Trollhättan, in gratitude for the many jobs and nice tax revenue, with the suddenly successful cars "made by Trolls "enriched the city.
You want to know why Saab went bankrupt after all. Yes, that's a sad story. The times changed. Per Gillbrand eventually went into retirement, although he delayed the time as long as possible. So it was still possible to bring the great engine with the low pressure turbo on the market. But at some point he had to say goodbye to Stallbacka. New foreign owners took over Saab and introduced a third shift. Now people were working in the factory at night too, so the way to the trolls was blocked. The mishap took its course ...
Today, Snurg often stands at the stablebacka and gazes longingly over the abandoned factory premises. He is bored, because even if trolls never work for people voluntarily, his work in the nocturnal factory had grown dear to him. After all, since then he has to fear again that a person will look him in the eye and he will become a souvenir, because since he no longer serves a human, the protection against this ban is lifted.
But whenever he sees one of these fine cars passing by with the label "Made in Trollhättan by Trolls", his heart warms ...
Thanks to Laurenz for his (fictional) Saab Story! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?
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