OUR MISSION STATEMENT
“To preserve the Saab automobiles for future generations to enjoy and inspire the Spirit of Saab through repair education, parts production and a library of Saab literature.”
I never planned on having a SAAB Museum, but sometimes circumstances force you to make decisions. In the early winter of 2012, I (along with Bill Jacobson) successfully bid on the 10 Saab cars from the General Motors Heritage Collection that had been sold to SAAB Spyker during the 2009 General Motors bankruptcy.
Having acquired these cars, my wife Patti and I had some soul-searching to do. Our collection of cars had now become larger than us. What I mean is, before the General Motors Heritage Collection cars entered into the picture, I was like any other collector (albeit at a bit more passionate than most) in that we had many Saab we had restored, planned to restore or had purchased in excellent condition. They ranged in years from the first Saabs ever made in 1950 all the way through the last year, 2011.
But now with the addition of the GM Heritage Cars (13 cars as of August 2018) the need to preserve the history of the Saab automobiles for future generations became more apparent. So in 2015 we established the Saab Heritage Museum USA as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation.
We did this because we knew forming a museum would be a greater challenge than we as individuals could handle. We also knew that without the help of the Saab community at large (and other auto enthusiasts who would want to help preserve the marquee) it would be a daunting task.
We looked at many possible locations for the museum, including Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Des Moines, but settled on an unusual place… STURGIS, South Dakota! Sturgis offers a low humidity environment which will help preserve the cars at 3,500 feet elevation.
Sturgis also hosts an annual motorcycle rally that produces 350,000-700,000 visitors in a two-week period.
The Black Hills offers many sunny days with over 3 million people visiting each year. Places like Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Devils Tower National Monument, Needles Highway, and the Badlands draw a wide variety of visitors to the area. Also, where else can you go and see buffalo roaming wild than at Custer State Park!
The Historic town of Deadwood, where people like Wild Bill Hichock and Calamity Jane use to call home, is a mere 12 miles away. The Black Hills is also home to many car groups including the Corvette Club, the Mini Cooper Club, the Mustang Club just to name a few (as well as now the Saab Club!!)
The Saab Heritage Museum is located right off of exit 32 on Junction Avenue which leads north to downtown Sturgis. But if you turn south the road instantly becomes Vanocker Canyon road and within a mile you are in the beauty of the Black Hills National Forest!
Another benefit is that South Dakota lacks state income tax!
Thank you for your support!
Tom & Patti Donney