On this day in 1947 Swedish aeroplane manufacturer Saab AB introduced their first prototype automobile to the press, named the Ursaab, which translates to “Original Saab.” This is the vehicle that led to the first production Saab in 1949, the Saab 92. This vehicle is currently on display at the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan. Saab AB had been producing warplanes for WWII but launched an automobile design project in 1945. The project was code named X9248, later becoming formally known as Project 92, as this was the next production vehicle following Project 91, a single engine trainer aircraft. Saab wanted to produce a vehicle that would compete with the small German vehicles, such as as the Opel Kadette and Adler.
A 16 person team was assembled to design the vehicle and none of these engineers had experience with automobiles and only two had driver’s licenses. After studying vehicles from a junkyard and gathering intel on the manufacturing process the team went to work. The outcome of their project, the first of four prototypes built prior to the production Saab 92, was a front wheel drive vehicle that originally used a DKW 18 hp, two cylinder, two stroke engine attached to a DKW gearbox. The engine and transmission were later replaced by ones designed internally. The team put 330,000 miles on the car during test drives. The vehicle was first revealed during a press conference June 10, 1947 at Saab AB headquarters.