Swedish Car Day – Saab Sonett V4

I’m going to feature a couple of the award winners from Swedish Car Day, held last weekend in Boston.

If you were getting your Saab serviced, wouldn’t you feel a little reassured knowing that your mechanic is as big a Saab nut as you? Or maybe even a bigger one? Such is the case at Charles River Saab, where a couple of the mechanics took away prizes in various classes.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking the awards were an inside job – one look at these cars and you’ll see the quality. There were plenty of great cars at Swedish Car Day, but the two that I’ll show you over the next day or so were worthy winners.

The first of the two cars I’ll show you belongs to Ralph Bockoven, one of the techs at CRS. It’s a 1968 Saab Sonett II V4 and whilst it looks sweet in virginal white, this car is far from innocent.

Ralph bought the car in 1989. It was far from the showpiece you see today and despite the low 58,000 miles on the clock, Ralph got it for a bargain $1,000 from a very sick owner who hadn’t had the time to restore it (the owner actually passed away the day before Ralph came to pick it up).

Read moreSwedish Car Day – Saab Sonett V4

Driving the Saab Sonett III

Wiser people than me have warned that one should never meet one’s heroes. The expectation is often too much and the potential for disappointment severe. Despite this advice, people often seek the presence of heroes, consequences be damned.

I had this warning in my own mind when I got the chance yesterday to drive one of Saab’s biggest curiosities and one of my own personal must-drives ……. the Saab Sonett III.

I think a lot of Saab fans outside of the US are curious about this car as the Sonett was rarely available outside the US as a new vehicle. Personal imports have seen them trickle into other markets over the years. If you non-US Saab fans are like me, then you’ve probably considered buying one there and bringing it home yourself. It’s a fair bit of work, however, so for many, the Sonett is still just a curiosity.

The Saab Sonett III made its international debut in the US in Spring of 1970, replacing the much rarer Saab Sonett II. The Sonett III brought with it a slightly larger body with a whole new look. It had pop-up headlamps at the front, which were operated manually via a pull-lever in the cabin. At the rear, the small trunk access offered by the Sonett II was upgraded by way of a glass rear hatch cover.

The overall look changed remarkably, though debates remain unsettled as to which is the more beautiful car. Personally, I think the debate is pointless. Even if it were resolved, the beauty of one car would not render the other ugly. They are both unique designs, beautiful to the eye of the beholder in their own way.

Read moreDriving the Saab Sonett III

Saab Sonett II on Ebay – rare opportunity

A Saab Sonett II is a beautiful but quite rare thing. A quick look around the internets right now tells me there’s just one for sale in the usual US-based classified sites, so this one coming up for sale – and in such good condition – presents what one might call an opportunity.

It’s not for the feint of heart however, as there’s an asking price that’s considerable compared to some other vintage Saabs. It does look to be in superb condition, though, with a genuine sounding owner who gives a pretty full description of the car and the work done.

What we have here is a 1969 Saab Sonett V4 located in Texas and restored to some level of competition specification, though apparently it has never been run competitively in any events.

You should check out the full description on Ebay but be quick, as there’s less than a day to run on the sale.

As I write this, the car is priced at just over $9K, but there’s still room for growth there as the reserve is mentioned in the sale details, at $13K.

I have no relationship with the seller. I just love Sonett II’s and think this is a cracker of a car.

Could this be the first Saab delivered to Australia in 2010?

Saab Australia are basically non-existant right now. Officially speaking, Saab is still being distributed by GM here but the head of Saab Oz, Parveen Batish, has been snatched up by Saab Cars North America and in the last few months, he might have actually the been the only person to see any correspondence at GM relating to Saab.

There hasn’t been a car come into the country since early 2009. Dealers were living off old stock for a while but we’re now in a situation where there have actually been several months where the total number of Saab sales in Australia was zero.

I don’t know when regular importation will begin again, but it’s good to see at least one Saab land on the docks…..

Read moreCould this be the first Saab delivered to Australia in 2010?

I love a good modified Saab 96

I’m not sure how current this is. The website looks a little out of date now and I haven’t taken the time to contact the owner yet.
It’s sure fun to look at, though.
This is a Saab 96 Turbo, built by a guy named Martin Roth. It just goes to show how good these cars can look with the right styling (have a look at the black Saab 96 V6 if you need some more convincing).
Martin’s website is here and you can check out the build of the Saab 96 Turbo on the site. There’s some great photos of Saab gatherings there, too, with heaps of Saab 96s in formation.
And whilst you’re there, I’m sure you’ll enjoy checking out the awesome, mid-engined Saab Sonett Turbo as well πŸ™‚
Thanks to Mark S for the links.

Autoweek photoshop future Saabs

UPDATE – Apparently they’re older shots that we’ve featured before. I lose track of all the photos I see and post up here. Still fun.
AutoWeek had a one-pager on the Saab sale in their latest issue and MoodySaaber was kind enough to scan-and-send a copy of it via email.
I mentioned a few days ago that Auto Motor and Sport have a big Saab special in their latest issue and it’ll be interesting to compare these images to AMS’s as I’m pretty sure it’s the same agency doing the photochops for them both (Motor Forecast).
Here is the new 9-3 as they see it……(notice the door count there)
….and as a special treat, their take on a new Sonett (put a roof on that sucka, please!).
How close they might be to reality is anyone’s guess, but if these are the same as the AMS images then they might be reasonably close. Those Swedes have amazing contacts!

Wednesday Snippets – furniture edition

We are now two-thirds of the way through the Saab dealer listing for the future Saab Cars North America, with 93 down and 44 to go as at the time of writing.
I’m trying to put together a list of all 218 dealers so that I can figure who’s as-yet unaccounted for. I know there’s a good few in Colorado we’ve not counted yet, for example.
As always, your help on the ground there in the US is much appreciated, and thanks to all the dealers who have chimed in, as well.
I’m quite sure that the decision on who to cut and who to keep has come from Koenigsegg/Saab, under advisement from Saab Cars North America. This isn’t a GM thing.

Mike Colleran, chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, said that may be a possibility but it hasn’t been discussed by company officials. He said the decision not to bring all 218 dealerships on board if a sale is finalized was difficult but was the best one based on the company’s “business plan.”
“We wanted dealers that in the end can make money,” Colleran said. “We came out with the 137 stores that we needed.” He said non-subjective standards were used to determine which dealers would be asked to remain with Saab.

That’s from the story about Kunkle Saab.
Those of you looking for something Saaby to mark on your calendars…..
The Midnight Sun Rally will pass through Trollhattan on July 15 next year. The Saabs United Historic Rally Team will be there. Look for us up near the front of our class πŸ™‚
Robin M is already busy organising Swedish Day UK for next year, too. It’ll be on Sunday the 9th May.
Nick Taliaferro from GenuineSaab.com has a blog, just in case you didn’t know. You can get loads of hi-po information there.
Whilst decidedly not hi-po on this occasion, I did note that he’s been busy crafting some groovy Saab furniture πŸ™‚
I have a basketball trophy made in a similar manner. I was working for Deloitte at the time so we were nicknamed the Deloitte Pistons.
Anyone else got some Saab-inspired furnishings in their home?
Things looking very autumnal in New England. Thanks Sumit.
JMK Saab in Springfield New Jersey have just added a new-old Saab to their corporate fleet πŸ™‚
Plenty of photos on their homepage.
I really would love to drive a Sonett one day. It’ll happen.

Guy dreams up Saab 95 Sonett combination

I don’t know who Theophilus Chin is, but he turned up on my feeds when he came up with an idea for a new Saab Sonett as a lead vehicle for a new Koenigsegg-owned Saab.
OK, he’s not the first to suggest a new Sonett and many of us would love for Saab to introduce a tossable coupe/hatch. I’m not sure Mr Chin’s idea is going to go down that well, however:

A modern interpretation of the Sonett with a shortened platform of the upcoming Saab 9-3, a crossover between a coupe and a two door hatch back, yet with longer rear overhangs sporting a large glass door hatch. What this does, is that it is essentially a 2+2, yet unlike most modern 2+2 cars that’s actually 2 adults plus 2 chihuahuas, the Sonett’s rear seats will be facing rearwards, looking out into the rear windscreen, with smaller seats and a slightly recessed boot deck. This allows two adults up front, and two children or rather petite adults at the back, seating four. Impossible to have a little sports car for the family? Not quite.

It may well be possible to have a little sports car for the family, but I’m pretty sure it’s darn well impossible to have a little sports car for the family without the rear-facing kids throwing up when you drive it like a sports car should be driven!
I don’t know if you’ve ever sat in the rear facing seat of an old Saab 95 wagon, but let’s just say it’s not a place for the feinthearted. The inability to see the road ahead means that your body can’t prepare for the undulations in the road. It’s the closest thing on four wheels to being in a boat.
I’d hate to be cleaning out that proposed Sonett after a family lunch at Sizzler!
Still, it’s a nice proposal, and it’s nice to see others thinking about our little car company. Make it a stripped down pure 2-seater, 2.0T HOT with XWD, give it some better rear visibility and you’ve sold one already!

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