From the GRM Vault: How Was the Saab Sonett Ahead of Its Time?

By Staff Writer
Jun 8, 2017 | Saab | Posted in Buyer's Guides | Never miss an article

This story comes from all the way back in 1989. So we had to march back to our archives, pick out the magazine, and then dig out the scanner.

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Saab Sonett Vintage Views

Saab Sonett Vintage Views

Saab Sonett Vintage Views

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jere HalfDork
6/9/17 5:49 a.m.

Oh man cool looking car but no kidding about postage stamp hood!

Is this the era where Saabs that needed oil mixed with the gas?

I pretty sure I've heard that story from old grandad when getting the old Evinrudes going for the boating season

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/9/17 9:18 a.m.

the 2 strokes need the oil, The V4 did not. The transmission's "drop to neutral when coasting" feature was in place for the 2 stroke, as you do not want to use the car's momentum to drive the engine as then it gets no lubrication and wears out quickly in the process. They are neat cars, I would love to pick up one with a rusty frame/floor and mate it to a locost style frame with a 900's engine and rear wheel drive

MugenReplica New Reader
6/9/17 11:05 a.m.

Love all the old Saabs (wouldn't mind a 96 myself). Wish they would have kept the 3-cyl. 2 stroke and built off it like crazy through the 70s/early 80s, but that's what emissions are for I guess.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
6/9/17 11:46 a.m.

I have read that the transmissions are quite weak. Is there away to beef it up, or is there a swap? I know some have been raced, so I'm guessing so.

TeamEvil Dork
6/9/17 12:01 p.m.

One of my "dream dates" for sure. They never turn up around here any more, but always on the look out. A buddy and I found one right across the street from his house, he sold it on to a friend he worked with rather than giving me first dibs, never figured that one out . . . .

As mentioned above, the perfect candidate for a chassis and drivetrain swap. Cool light weight vintage 70's body with better underpinnings would make a great sleeper and be a blast to flog around.

WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/9/17 12:10 p.m.

No specific comments on these other than I've always loved the look of the car.

I just wanted to say thanks for digging these old articles up an posting them. I love reading through it :)

oldeskewltoy UltraDork
6/9/17 3:59 p.m.

That is their third try....

I have a friend who once owned a Sonett II... not so friendly on the eyes....

iceracer UltimaDork
6/9/17 5:01 p.m.

Later 2 cycles had oil injection. No need to mix.

I had a 96 Special (sedan) all the Monte Carlo running gear in a lighter body. three carbs and and all. I found no weakness in the transmission and it got use hard. With OI the free wheeling could be locked out.

The easiest car to work on that I ever owned.

iceracer UltimaDork
6/9/17 5:05 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine: That was not a "drop to neutral" it was simply an overrunning clutch that allowed free wheeling on over run. It could be locked out by a handle under the dash.

oldsaw UltimaDork
6/9/17 10:23 p.m.

It was nice to note Jack Lawrence's contribution to Sonnet III history. Too bad there were no pics of his lovely, flared and very yellow FP car. Man, that thing was fast and pretty.

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