Saab Story Redux

Like a cat with nine lives — defunct Swedish car maker Saab may be back on the road as soon as this summer.

After ceasing operations in a tangle of intrigue and litigation — the brand is now controlled by a Chinese-Japanese alternative energy and investment fund that is promising to deliver new diesel powered Saab 9.3 sedans and convertibles by this summer — and proposes the large-scale manufacture of electric Saab models for the Chinese market with projections of building 120,000 cars by 2016. Though details are unclear — this plan would re-open the now shuttered Saab plant in Trollhatten Sweden.

Saab has always been a clubby niche player — validated by innovations like the early use of fuel saving, power boosting turbos — and a slippery drag co-efficent aero body design borrowed from its original jet-making parent company.

The storied and stormy history of Saab is now on display here in Philadelphia at the world renowned Simeone Automotive Museum — which is presenting the ”Saab Spirit Lives On” exhibit of 20 classic Saab models through March 17th. The collection includes the elegant 1956 Saab Sonnett sports car as well as a cutting edge 1967 space-race edition of the rare but revered Sonnett two-seater.