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The Saab Sonett
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The Saab Sonett

The first Saab Sonett was introduced in March 1956, the Sonett I or Saab 94 was powered by a three-cylinder two stroke 748cc engine rated at 58 horsepower with an estimated top speed of 120 mph.

The Sonett I as originally designed for the European race circuit and 2000 of them were to be manufactured in 1957. Race rules changed therefore only six examples of this model were built.

In 1966 the Sonett II (or Saab 97) was built still using two stroke engine. Only 28 were built in 1966 and 230 in 1967. The two-stroke engine was replace by a V4 four stroke engine in the middle of 1967.

The Sonett V4 was introduced in mid 1967 was similar to the Sonett II but had a large hood bulge to accommodate the larger V4 engine. Like the Sonett II it had a fiberglass body bolted to a box type chassis and a roll bar for extra roll over protection. The entire hood hinged forward for easy access to the engine, transmission and suspension. A large bulge had to be added in the hood to accommodate the V4 engine.

The new hood design was criticized for it's ungainly appearance and the slight obstruction of the drivers view. Almost every V4 manufactured was exported to the U.S. with an MSRP of $3,000 to $3,800 which would equate to about $20,000 to $24,000 in todays value of the U.S. dollar.

Many people shied away from buying the V4 due to the price and bought other sports cars that gave more value and "bang for the buck" for this high price. Approximately 1,600 V4s were built before production ceased.

The Sonett V4 became the Sonett III in 1970, with the addition of a rear hinged widow instead of a back hatch and a total redesign of the hood. The hinged hood was replaced with a small hatch in the middle of the front clip. The shifter was moved from the steering column on the V4 to the floor. Manually operated flip up headlights were added and optional air conditioning was offered.

Saab stopped production of the Sonett III in 1974 due to low sales and a compounding oil crisis in the U.S. Approximately 8,360 Sonett IIIs were built again with the majority of them having been exported to the United States.

Many examples of the Sonett II, V4 and Sonett III still exist and several are being raced in many venues around the United States, mainly in Sports Car Club of America events and vintage racing. Some are also preserved in museums and personal collections around the world.

The Saab Sonett did gain some popularity because of it's quirkiness and still has some loyal followers with a majority of them in the Unites States.


Street Talk

Joan S  

Don't know that model Thanks.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

i like this article

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you Geoffrey.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

nice article on saab

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Eugene!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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