The lost Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36

Saab - the stuff legends are made of. The missing Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36 adds another chapter to the never-ending saga. One of these pre-series vehicles that shouldn't exist anymore. Referring to Swedish sources, the Saab was scrapped. Normally, every car life ends irrevocably. Unless the car is a Saab. And some things are very different from what the file shows.

Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36, the missing person
Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36, the missing person

The whereabouts of some pre-series Saab vehicles have not yet been clarified. The 9-5 NG sports suit with the VIN YS3GR5NK6C4000036 was also long lost. Nobody seemed to know his whereabouts - also because the few initiates were silent. Not without good reason, because the insolvency administrators tried to prevent the survival of the last vehicles and scrapped all vehicles that they could get hold of. The body was cut into 4 parts to prevent later reconstruction. One of these “death row inmates” on the list was sports suit # 36. According to our information, it was reported as scrapped not only once but twice. Virtual, because the vehicle was not in Sweden at any of these times.

Millbrook Proving Ground

The story of the rare Saab can be told quite simply and quickly - and yet somehow unbelievable. In 2011, number 36 left the Scandinavian home and came to Bedfordshire for series testing. Millbrook Proving Ground was one of the largest GM testing facilities in Europe. At that time she already had a checkered history. Opened in 1968, it was a test center for Vauxhall and the legendary Bedford Trucks. 1986, GM was tired of Bedford, took over Lotus, then still part of the group, and opened Millbrook also for other brands. In the 90s, the Americans were bored with Lotus, abandoned the brand, and turned the test site into an independent company in the GM Group. Ruthland Partners took over in 2013, the great escape from Europe, and Millbrook became in 2016 Spectris resold.

In 2012, after the end in Trollhättan, the insolvency administrators collected vehicles. Worldwide, from every corner of the planet, prototypes flew back to Sweden. Some were auctioned, many unfortunately destroyed. Combo number 36, however, remained in the possession of GM as a deposit. That should have saved him. He was forgotten, the Swedes removed him from the files and had him officially scrapped. In Millbrook he was part of the inventory at some point, and so he survived in England for eight long years and an incredible two changes of ownership. The vehicle was always handled with moderation and not treated badly. It must have been noticed on the test site, because a small group of people always knew about its existence.

Visiting Kiel, there is # 36. I get "write ban"
Visiting Kiel, there is # 36. I get “write ban”

There have been isolated attempts to “buy back” him, but they have failed regularly. Until 2019, when a Swedish fan was able to purchase it at an undisclosed price. Number 36 made its way home. Back to Sweden, not without a stop in first Keel to insert. Where I saw him, learned his story, but was not allowed to write about it.

Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36 back in Sweden

Because at that point it was still extremely uncertain how to get a lost vehicle back on the road. Especially when it is officially listed as scrapped. After weeks of intensive work, Markus Lafrentz and his team managed to clean up the file situation with a lot of diplomacy and many years of experience and to get the sports suit # 36 ready for approval.

Meanwhile, the 9-5 is back in its old homeland, which it had left around 8 years ago. He has received Swedish papers and is in good, caring hands. What exactly is number 36? It is a piece of history, not only because it adds another chapter to the Saab saga. With her equipment she also documents that during the last activities of the dramatic year 2011 everything that was somehow accessible was installed in the Stallbacka.

Saab 9-5 NG Sportkombi # 36 is an Aero TTiD XWD. Really nicely equipped, among other things, with a panoramic roof, large navigation, reversing camera, drive sense and rear seat entertainment. But, and you can see the need of the last few months in the history of Saab Automobile AB, with leather seats in Vector Trim.

It would be desirable if it were preserved as it is. The station wagon is one of two right-hand drive vehicles that survived. Its remarkable equipment and eventful history make it a solitaire of Swedish automotive history.

17 thoughts too "The lost Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36"

  • A thriller. A thriller.
    And every single NG SC is a candidate for a series.
    Fascinating cars - or rather, protagonists.

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  • Just because of the date, serious or kidding?

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  • Individual design elements that crept into later Opel productions are clearly visible. GM be “thanks”…

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  • Hi Tom,

    thank you for this great "crime" story! Big cinema! 🙂 (Even if I'm a little bit disappointed that the missing person is not the 9-5 NG hatchback prototype. 🙁)

    Stupid question: Why did the bankruptcy trustees try "to prevent the survival of the last vehicles and scrapped all vehicles they could get hold of?" And why was “even the body cut into 4 parts to prevent later reconstruction”? Didn't they have to do everything possible for the bankruptcy creditors to generate as much money as possible? Lovers would surely have found a sale. Or is it about 9-5 NG patents so that nobody steals / replicates what? (But you could have just bought a 9-5 NG in the normal way beforehand.). So the “sacrilege” (I really mean it!) Of scrapping brand new Saabs only affected the 9-5 NG (or even just the SportCombi pre-series?) And not the 9-3 ??

    Thank you for a brief explanation and hopefully all of us will be able to go on spring excursions with our treasures again soon! 🙂

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    • The work of the insolvency administrators shows no clear direction. Pre-series vehicles were scrapped, others sold or auctioned.

      In general, the work is extremely controversial. In Sweden, the reprocessing of the reprocessing is ongoing, around 10 years later. Pledges of considerable value that have been transferred to the Swedish state no longer exist. Fully produced vehicles, one speaks of a medium 3-digit number, were scrapped instead of selling them. The list is long, the drama doesn't end there. There will only be a comprehensive answer in a few years.

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  • PS: Are there also photos of the interior? I would be extremely interested!

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  • The bankruptcy trustees weren't really the best for Saab. But that's how it went. Interesting that the hunt was made on pre-production vehicles and that worldwide !? What for? Was there still so much protection worth protecting in finishing that should not fall into the hands of anyone?

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    • There was nothing in my eyes. Maybe in the eyes of GM. The 9-5 NG anticipated developments that were delayed in the series production at Opel (Insignia). Maybe that's where the key is.

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  • ´´Hello in the round´ the vehicle is definitely ´´fascinating´´ ... unfortunately it is a diesel variant´ ... and for my maybe later desires and interests in an NG-model´ it is unfortunately out of the race´ for a worthy equivalent successor for my 9-5 AERO sports station wagon from 2002! But otherwise it would have been fine ... if it would ever be sold´´!

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  • Of the - let me say quite neutrally: We can sing a song from the Borgward scene in the course of bankruptcy proceedings. Was it an amateurism of the actors? Was there a plan behind it, and if so, which one? The bankruptcy administrator from Borgward was a member of the board at BMW - didn't anyone notice? Infinite questions, speculations about speculations. With the Saab bankruptcy, industrial history has found another source for this, unfortunately. What remains are the vehicles that we can actually use today. That grounds.

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  • TTID XWD would have been the engine in the NG Combi.

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  • Yes, that would also have been the engine of choice for me - and with a panoramic roof, navigation, etc. Wonderful! The Vector seats would not have bothered me. For me then only the HUD would have been missing (but can retrofit Kiel) and of course the steering wheel on the left side! 😉

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  • I would not have cared much positive ...

    The biggest drawback to any NG SC of any equipment and motorization is that it and parts never made it into the series.

    However, I would have loved to have a left-hand drive vehicle with 2.0 BioPower or TTID (each with a deer) and leather seats - with or without whatever.

    Should have, Trollhättan ...

    I don't dare a car, more exclusive than a Koenigsegg. Or dogs, children, women and other people and road users.

    If I encountered an NG SC again, I would thank the brave owner on my knees. Also positive regardless and regardless of its equipment and motorization ...

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