Monday, March 30, 2015

5k Not A Sonnett: 1974 Saab Sonett

The Saab Sonett is an affordable oddball that, on the list of misspelled car names, ranks second only to Camero in frequency.   It could be that sellers have taken to listing both spellings in a hope to catch people searching for the wrong spelling, but that seems like a weak excuse when the name is spelled out in big bold letters on the dash board.  Besides, the Sonett does not get its name from the poetic verse, but from the Swedish phrase Så nätt den är which translates roughly to "how neat it is." Find this 1974 Saab Sonett offered for $5,900 CAD ($4673 USD) in Barrie, ON, Canada via  Tip from John U. 

The Sonett is filled with funky looks, funky handling (front wheel drive!) and Funky engines.   Who releases a car with optional 2-stroke or V4 engines?  It is like walking into a barber shop and the barber asks if you want a mohawk or the Rock.  What if I just want a regular haircut?  We don't offer that here, take your business somewhere else.  

Clearly the masochist's choice is the 2-stroke engine, but if you actually ever want to drive your Sonett somewhere (and get home!) the V4 is the wiser choice, and the only choice by the time the Sonett III was released in 1970.  Expect the 1.7 liter V4 to put out 65 horsepower and manage to push the wedge to a surprisingly high 103 mph top speed.

Flat seats and no nonsense dashboard completes the aeronautical theme on the inside.  On the plus side, with manual everything there aren't many old Saab circuits to fail.  The only issue to be taken with this example is that funky power bulge on the hood -- it looks like a scoop that has been sealed off and for the life of me, I can't figure it out.

 See a cooler set of rims?


  1. You say Sonnett, I say Alpha Romero . . .

  2. I say, what is that additional height in the hood for? I thought it was going to be hiding a transplant.

    1. The hood bulge was required to provide clearance for the V4's carburetor. A neighbor has one of these in yellow. It's a nice little car and fun in a driving a slow car fast way. Don't even think about an engine swap: any more weight ahead of the front wheels leads to massive understeer and besides, you'll just break the u-joints.

    2. Higgs- I've driven and sold couple '73-74 Sonnets with the V4 and all had the 'standard' bulge that can bee seen in the two cars pictured below. I did a quick google image search trying to find another with that secondary 'super bulge' that this particular car is displaying and came up empty.

    3. Looks like he is running a carb swap (Weber DCD? There is photo in the listing) and added the extra "step" in the hood access lid to accommodate the additional height. Whoever did it re-used the stock air filter, which is unusual. I must confess, even as the owner of a '72 Sonett I did not immediately notice the alteration to the engine access lid. Now it sticks out like a sore thumb! Anyway, good pick up.

      The interior has been redone with a lot of non-stock items (carpeting, seats, door cards), but overall looks like a great driver. The Weber swap goes onto a two-barrel intake manifold conversion (Euro-spec for the Solex-equipped V4 Saabs). With the appropriate head and exhaust modifications, these little guys can be pretty fun.

    4. That is where the hood opens. Just a little 2x2 hood. I own one and if you want to do engine work (or spark plugs) you have to pull off the front end of the car. Its easy to do, but that "hood scoop" is actually the hood

  3. Interesting comparisons between this and the Opel GT.

  4. What boat did those seats come from?


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