Swedish carmaker Saab has a long history going back to parent company’s Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget’s (SAAB) founding in 1937. The automotive division was formed in 1945 and exchanged hands numerous times before filing for bankruptcy in 2011. National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) acquired Saab in 2012 and relaunched one final production run of Saab vehicles from the original Trollhättan factory. This 2014 Saab 9-3 Aero Turbo4 sedan is the last of 420 vehicles produced from 2013–14 and it’s going up for auction.

This pristine vehicle can be classified as new old stock, with just 43 miles on the clock. The last Saab’s sale is being handled by Bilweb Auctions. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out 220 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car is finished in Diamond Silver paint with a two-tone leather interior (beige and gray). This may not sound like the most exciting spec, but it fits the Saab just fine.

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Bilweb gave the car top marks for mechanical, interior, exterior, and overall condition. Indeed, the photos do show a car that seems to have just left the factory. Some trim pieces are still covered in protective plastic. NEVS announced the car’s sale in June, describing it as “five years old, but brand new and unused.” The only gripe may be the lack of the traditional Griffin badge, which NEVS does not have the right to use.

The winner of the last Saab gets an exclusive tour of the NEVS factory and Saab Museum in Trollhättan.

Final flight

The last Saab will be sold at Bilweb’s final auction for 2019, which will run from October 7 to the first week of November. The estimated sale price is about $35,200 to $45,200 at today’s exchange rates. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the NEVS Sustainable Mobility Scholarship at University West in Sweden.

Born from jets

Saab started out building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force before spinning off a car brand in the 1940s. The prototype Ursaab was introduced in 1947, ahead of the production Saab 92. This was followed by the 93, which Saab touts was a “huge success.”

Other models followed while Saab itself underwent structural reorganization. Saab merged with Swedish commercial automaker Scania-Vabis in 1968, forming Saab-Scania. In 1989, Saab cars separated from Saab-Scania and General Motors took ownership of half the company. GM took complete control of the automotive division of Saab in 2000, leaving parent company Saab Group out of the picture.

GM sold Saab to Dutch automaker Spyker in 2010. Following legal and financial troubles leading to bankruptcy in 2011, Saab was scooped up by NEVS in 2012. The company has begun producing electric vehicles based on the 9-3 platform at its plant in Tianjin, China. More electric vehicles and the incorporation of autonomous driving technology are planned to follow.

Dark history

The original Saab 9-3 was produced from 1998–2012 and went through two generations. It carried over Saab’s Black Panel (later renamed Night Panel) feature from the 900. This consists of a button that dims or flicks off most of the instrument panel lights, leaving just the speedometer fully illuminated. Saab rolled out this feature to allude to its aeronautic history, and buyers of the final 9-3 Aero Turbo4 will be happy to know it’s included in the vehicle.

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