The lost Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36

Saab - the stuff that legends are made of. Another chapter of the never-ending saga adds the missing Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36. One of those vehicles from the pre-production series that shouldn't exist anymore. According to Swedish sources, the Saab was scrapped. Normally every car life ends irrevocably. Unless the car is a Saab. And some things are completely different from what the files suggest.

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

The whereabouts of some of Saab's pre-production vehicles has not yet been clarified. The 9-5 NG sports suit with the VIN YS3GR5NK6C4000036 was also considered lost for a long time. Nobody seemed to know his whereabouts - also because the few initiated were silent. Not without good reason, as the bankruptcy administrators tried to prevent the survival of the last vehicles and scrapped any vehicles they could get their hands on. The body was cut into 4 parts to prevent later reconstruction. One of those "death row inmates" on the list was sports suit # 36. According to our information, it has been reported as scrapped not just 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 Scandinavian homeland 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, park # 36 there. I get "writing ban"

There have been isolated attempts to “buy it out”, but they regularly failed. Until 2019, when a Swedish fan was able to buy it for an undisclosed price. Number 36 was on her way home. Back to Sweden, not without a stop in first Kiel 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 in time it was still extremely uncertain how a lost vehicle could be brought back into traffic. Especially when it is officially listed as scrapped. After weeks of intensive work, Markus Lafrentz and his team succeeded, with a lot of diplomacy and many years of experience, in clearing up the files and getting 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 retained as it is. The station wagon is one of two right-hand drive vehicles that have survived. Its strange features and eventful history make it a solitaire in Swedish automotive history.

18 thoughts on "The lost Saab 9-5 NG sports suit # 36"

  • I wouldn't have cared much positively ...

    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.

    Had, had, Trollhättan ...

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

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

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

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

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  • Of the - let me put it quite neutrally: we can sing a song from the Borgward scene about the astonishment of bankruptcy proceedings. Was it dilettantism on the part of the actors? Was there a plan behind it, and if so, what? Borgward's bankruptcy trustee was a member of the BMW Board of Management - didn't anyone notice? Endless questions, speculation upon speculation. 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.

  • ´´Hello in the lap´ the vehicle is definitely ´´fascinating´´ ... unfortunately it is a diesel variant´ ... and for my possibly somewhat later desires and interests in an NG-model´ unfortunately out of the race´ for a worthy successor to my 9-5 AERO Sport-Kombi from 2002! But otherwise it would have been fine ... if it were ever sold!

  • 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?

    • 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.

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

    • Unfortunately not!

  • Hi Tom,

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

    Sometimes a really stupid question: Why did the insolvency administrators "try to prevent the survival of the last vehicles and scrap all vehicles that they could get hold of?" impede"? Didn't they have to do everything for the bankruptcy creditors to generate as much money as possible? Lovers would surely have found each other to sell. Or is it about patents for the 4-9 NG so that nobody steals / replicates something? (But you could have bought a 5-9 NG in the normal way beforehand.). Did the "sacrilege" (I really mean that!) Of scrapping brand new Saabs only concern the 5-9 NG (or even only the SportCombi pre-series?) And not the 5-9 ??

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

    • 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.

  • Individual design elements that crept into later Opel productions are clearly visible. Thanks to GM ...

  • Just because of the date, serious or kidding?

    • Serious. Date is random.

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

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  • Wow, what a story….

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