PCH, Valhalla Edition: Sonnet or P1800?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Valhalla Edition: Sonnet or P1800?

It looks like the Sterling just wasn't able to dump as much weight on both sides of the hell/cool scale as the Impulse in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, with the Isuzu vaporizing the Rover by a 4-to-1 vote-ratio landslide. Today we're going north for our cars. Way north. Yes, just like Yngwie on an airliner, you'll unleash the focking fury with either one of these fine Scandihoovian projects.


When a car's styling was created by a couple of guys named Sergio Coggiola and Gunnar Sjögren, you know it's serious. Yes, there's nothing quite like a Saab Sonett III, with its lever-operated pop-up headlights, V4 engine, and fiberglass body, and you'd be rollin' like Odin himself behind the wheel of this '74 Sonett. Well, Odin could probably afford a Sonett that actually ran, but you get the idea. We'll take the most relevant statement about this car right from the seller's own randomly capslocked keyboard: "CAR IS COMPETE, DAS NOT RUN." But hey, at least with a fiberglass body, you don't need to worry about body rot. Floor rot, sure, but whaddya want for $1200? Since any V4 engine scores pretty high on the Engine Rad-O-Meter™, we wouldn't recommend swapping in something else, but there's no rule says a man can't force geological-scale boost pressure into a V4, is there?

You're in the mood for some sporty Swedish steel, all right, but what if you need a car that can haul your black metal band's amps to the gig? The Sonett just doesn't have the load capacity, but this '73 Volvo 1800ES Sport Wagon sure does! Faster than you can rasp out "Þat mundi mitt ráð vera, at vit flýðim undan á skóg," you'll be wailing through the haunted birch forest in your spiffy new wagon. Well, maybe not that fast, because this car needs some work. First of all, it's been sitting since the Berlin Wall was still standing (with a full tank of gas), so you'll need to completely replace do some work on the fuel system. When you're done with that you can replace all the seals in the automatic, then get started on, well, every single component that ever touched fluid or moved electrons. Then some bodywork and... you'll just be getting warmed up! Come on, though, it's a 2-door Swedish station wagon!


Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you're viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



The Sonett is a far more hellish undertaking than the P1800. The 1800 is a fairly mainstream collector's car these days, and any part you need is readily available if you know where to look.

A Sonett, on the other hand, is much rarer and more offbeat than an 1800 and was a bit quirkier and more temperamental even when new, so is likely to be a more trying restoration. Still, both cars, if restored correctly and kept maintained, can turn out to be surprisingly reliable drivers when compared to the British and Italian equivalents.