Riding with a rock star

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News
Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller is a car guy.

Muller loves talking about old cars. The only thing better is driving an old car.

Wednesday night in Trollhattan, Sweden, is car night. The weather is beautiful -- clear sky, temperature in the 60s. I'm a passenger as Muller weaves through the city's picturesque narrow streets, driving one of his favorites, a 1958 Saab.

"This is the (Saab) 93," he says loudly above the roar of the engine. This is the car that put Saab and the city of Trollhattan on the map.

We're headed to the river. Dozens of owners of old cars gather each Wednesday in a park near a hydroelectric dam located near the city center. A wide selection of cars from European automakers are on display, along with probably about 20 American cars -- two '58 Chevys; a '56 and a '66 Olds; Trans Am Pontiacs from the late '70s; a '60 Buick convertible.

Many people smile and wave, recognizing the car, recognizing Muller. He's a celebrity. Muller has been on the cover of many newspapers and magazines since Spyker purchased Saab in February.

Muller saved about 3,000 jobs. That gives him rock-star status.