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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A wonderful SAAB story discovered

Gene Deitch is an american animator, illustrator and film director. You can see his work in Tom & Jerry or Popeye. He's also received Academy Award for the short film Munro. He was for a long time based in Prague.

He has a website - Gene Deitch Credits, with the subheadline "The 65 Greats behind the scenes".

One of these greats behind the scenes was Zdenek Treybal, a photographer, a writer of books about cars and also a race car driver. He had the first Saab in former Czechoslovakia, a two-stroke Saab 96.

The story from the 60-ies of getting the Saab and all things around is just wonderful.

Deitch describes Zdenek Treybal as a master of living at that time, as one of the smoothest operators in the “cloud” territory. With this ability he managed to get the first Saab in a completely unknown territory. He claimed to have a connection to the Trolhattan SAAB factory and convinced them to "invest" into the country. So one Saab 96 came to the minister of commerce, another one came to the nationalised auto works, another one got the famous singer Karel Gott and of course one got Zdenek Treybal.

A master salesman. He could also open a small dealership in the time where all private businesses wera banned. And drove races with the Saab. Also wrecked him once. And so on.

The extremely good written story is located on the Gene Deitch Credit website, it's in english and definitely worth reading. Check also the photos on the site. Zdenek Treybal's Saab is still living.

Sources : Genedeitchcredits, Eurooldtimers (google translated link) and

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