A ride in the Saab Sonett

One of the greatest experiences I had one my recent trip to Sweden was an all-encompassing tour of the Saab Museum with the guy who’s responsible for archiving, preserving and protecting Saab’s history – Peter Bäckström.

We got to drive a few of the cars (more on that later), which was a rare privelege, but then Peter bought out the jaw-dropper in the form of the Saab Sonett.

This is one of only six Sonetts ever made and this white one is actually chassis #1.

The video isn’t the best quality in visual terms. i didn’t want to hold the camera up too high as I didn’t want wind noise to ruin what is an incredible soundtrack from this little two-stroker.

What it lacks in visuals, however, it hopefully makes up for in communicating the experience that is riding in a Saab Sonett.

My thanks to Peter and the guys at the Saab Museum for what was an incredible day, more of which is still to be covered here at SU.



If you want some excellent background reading on the Saab Sonett, then you can’t go past this excellent piece by Lance Cole, first published in The Independent and re-published at Trollhattan Saab with the author’s permission.

Classic Cars: Saab Sonett

Capturing the Saab Sonett at IntSaab 2009

There was a comment from “Marc” in an IntSaab entry about an hour ago and Marc has since sent some photos through via email to accompany the story.
This is typical of some of the magic that accompanies Saab events like this – those little moments you can get involved in, either actively or just as an observer.
Remember as you read this, that there are only six of these Sonetts in existence. Saab could be forgiven for mothballing them but here they are, out on the track, doing what they were made to do.

We were making some photos of the Sonett on the oval.
First we were driving in front in a Saab 95 me sitting backwards in the little backseat. Later we were driving behind it, again to make pictures.
JP, one of the organizers had the priveledge to be the passenger in the Sonett I. But he is quite a big bloke so he rose above the little windscreen like too big a mast on a little boat. The driver didn’t particulately like it as he thought JP was fauling the aerodynamics. So, to squeeze the last rpm out of the Sonett JP was ordered to get his head down but as he was already cramped in, all he could do was bent it down a little.
It must have helped. When we came on one of the straights, I told our driver to give the 95 the berries to get closer to the Sonett but he already had the pedal to the metal and as we were crawling to 150kph I could see the Sonett getting away from us….
JP told me later they were nodging 7000rpm backshifting.
My thanks to Marc for the photos and one of those special little insights from IntSaab 2009.
If you ever get the chance to go to one of these big Saab events – whether it be in the US, greater Europe or in Sweden itself – I’d encourage you to take the opportunity.
It’s well worth it.

Saab Sonett heaven on Flickr

We have a super-big lottery on here in Australia tonight. If our numbers come up, I’m going to find this guy and make him an offer he can’t refuse.
I’ve always coveted the Saab Sonett III, maybe mostly because it’s so exotic to a Saabnut from Australia. We never got the Sonett III here and to my knowledge, there’s only one or two that have been privately imported. I’ve never driven one, but look forward to the opportunity some time in the future.
Michael Z has drawn my attention to this collection of Sonett III photos on Flickr – and it’s absolutely stunning.
Click any of the shots to enlarge (esp the engine) and click here to see the entire collection.
Congratulations to the owner on a superb example and to Chad Truss, the photographer, on some absolutely awesome shots.
This one is, of course, a little deceptive given that the Sonett is front-wheel-drive, but an excellent piece of composition nonetheless.
The interior is as neat as a pin. Aftermarket sunroof, or did these come as an option?
The engine’s been treated to some shiny treatment…. which seems to suit the V4 nicely.
Is it just me, or is the Saab Sonett a real life black sheep in the Saab family?
It’s like nothing else that ever existed in the range, which I guess is part of the fascination of the car for me.

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