Quick, list the cars named after exclamations, and including your own because you routinely call it a stupid POS doesn't count. There's the Countach, and today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Saab, named after the Swedish phrase Så nätt den är. This Sonett III may come with a turbo, but will its price have you exclaiming so what?
Roughly translated, så nätt den är, means so neat it is, or how pretty they are. Either way, it's a fitting moniker for Saab's only true sports car. The original Sonett I, which was also known variously as the Super Sport or Saab 94, was a pure racer. Constructed in near secrecy by a group of Saab engineers, it was an attempt to build a competitive racer to counter the restrictive competition rules under which the company's existing products were constrained. A change in the sport's governance made the car unnecessary and, as has always been the case with Saab, financial concerns prevented its further development as a road car.
Saab continued to pine for a real sports car and in 1966, more than a decade after the Sonett I debuted at the Stockholm Bilsalong, the Sonett II arrived in Saab dealerships. The production car followed the pattern set down by its competitors - taking the mechanical bits from a production sedan or the like, applied to a sporty platform with more aggressive tuning. The Sonett två came with Saab's roarty two-stroke triple, which pumped out 60-bhp and could move the 1,900-lb car to 100 kph in under 13 seconds.
Today we may look at the two-stroke Saabs as among the company's most interesting products, but back in the late sixties the average American buyer could barely be expected to check his car's engine oil, much less be concerned with adding the glop to its gas. That led Saab to purchase 1,498-cc V4s from Ford, late of the German Taunus. A version of that motor had powered the original mid-engine Mustang, so it at least had a sporting provenance when it was slotted under the hood of the Sonett.
The 65-horse V4 was carried over in the Sonett III, along with the entire center section of the body. The remainder - both front clip and rear end - received freshened styling, which was a vast improvement over the ungainly II.
This 1971 Sonett, in electric blue, carries a rebuilt V4, which itself carries a Garrett T3 sucking on the fat Italian teat of a 40DCOE. The power is fed through a later ‘King Kong' four-speed, and the seller notes that its freewheeling function - required on the earlier two-strokes and kept for the later V4s - has been disabled. Unlike the Sonett II which featured a column shifter, the III is rowed from a floor-mounted stick.
That stick, along with the remainder of the brown on more brown interior, looks a little tired but at least tidy and complete. There is a tumorous ‘80s-style cassette deck poking out from the dash, plus a probably necessary but knee-room compromising triple gauge hanging below it. A cool feature of the Sonett's OJ alibi-thin seats is the adjustable lumbar pillow which can be moved from kidney cosseting to thong nestling whenever the mood hits you.
The car overall may be a hit as well, the fact that it's in such nice shape and features Saab soccer balls but not the company's ungainly self-healing bumpers. The turbo motor, which the ad claims to have done but 4,000 miles since the rebuild, is a plus, as is the fact that the car comes an extra entire drivetrain. Another bonus is the complicated (it requires reinforcing the fiberglass, adding henge points, etc) tilt nose, which changes engine access from back breaking to grand canyon-esque.
The seller says he's owned the car for over 35 years, which makes its appearance here on eBay a bit of a head scratcher. You have to wonder, having owned the car for so long, and having obviously recently spent some serious bank on the engine rebuild and paint, why is he selling it now?
Whatever his reason, he's set a Buy It Now of $7,800 for this turbo'd Swede, and that's a damn-sight better than the asking price for this Bring a Trailer full of Money exclusive. Hell, that one breathes the same air pressure we do, what's the fun in that?
But the question remains, is this one worth the $7,800 it would cost to hit that Buy It Now? What's your opinion, is this Swede for speed worth that kind of Kronor? Or, is this a Sonett whose price is not on it?
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