Saab History Visits GM Heritage Center

Posted on 25. Jan, 2008 by in 2000-2009, Detroit, Michigan

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As part of my final day in Detroit, Michigan during the 2008 North American International Auto Show, I had the fortunate opportunity and privilege to visit the GM Heritage Center where I previously visited for a dinner banquet in a group for the 2007 Saab Owners Convention back in August.

The GM Heritage Center, not open to the direct public, houses a rather large collection of vintage and rare vehicles spanning all brands which include the Saab USA Heritage Collection. This facility also has an archive where all of the current Saab Press Releases, Photographs and other material (excluding videos) are held. The purpose of my visit was to explore, identify, reconcile and best understand what this archive consisted of.

If we look back at Saab Automobile USA’s moves over the years, we now see a definitive timeline. This timeline that I depict below should help us realize that in all of the relocations that took place, the remaining material from all of these moves can and should be referred to as being now located at the GM Heritage Center in paper, photograph, slide, cd, magazine & book form.

From New York City to New Haven to Orange, Connecticut to Norcross, Georgia and finally up to Detroit, Michigan, the historical material is again in safe and in secure hands with the staff at the GM Heritage Center.

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The material that I got to see, as you will you experience in a short video clip I taped as I entered the collection, indicates that there is material ranging from 1956, when SAAB Motors, Inc. had that headquarters in New York City as well as their depot facility and training school in Hingham, Massachusetts all the way to the present time.

As I began to browse through each year of the collection that is comprised off the single side of the stack, I was impressed by how much was there, but I also surprised by a lot of material that I have in my collection here that “should” be there. I’m willing to bet that there are others with material that would also significantly help compliment both of our collections, Saab History’s as well as the Saab Archives at the GM Heritage Center.

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Photo Credit: Saab History

After this experience going through the Saab archives at the GM Heritage Center, one thing became abundantly clear to me. The material that I have amassed over the years is without question, extremely beneficial to us because of it’s immediate “availability” online here on Saab History, and for the most part “free”. It is important that we keep this material available to the public and “free” for public consumption and over time, obtain and showcase the material that is in Saab archive at the GM Heritage Center and elsewhere, and make it also available for the public’s consumption here on Saab History. It’s great that I had the opportunity to visit this facility, but it will be even better that we all get to enjoy all of it online in the near future as well.

Immediately following my visit to the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan (approximately 45 minutes from downtown Detroit), I was also given the great opportunity to visit what is known as the “GM Media Archive”. The GM Media Archive holds the “video” portion of the Saab Archive and are also not available to the public. This facility is located in Livonia, Michigan which is equidistant from both the GM Heritage Center as well as downtown Detroit. Please expect to hear about this visit, in my next installment.

In the meantime, please check out the brand new GM Heritage Center website that they just launched to learn more about this incredible resource.

A sincere and appreciative thank you goes to the staff at the GM Heritage Center, Saab Automobile USA and of course my site sponsor, Saab Colorado, Inc. for making this happen in order to share this experience with the Saab Community.

This was certainly a historic day for Saab History!

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