Sonett III info sought

I’m wondering who out there has any info lying around on the Sonett III?

I consulted the library here at home and it’s strange that many of the books in my collection have little to say about the later Sonetts.  There’s a quite a bit of info out there on the Super Sport, but Sonetts II and III get very little column space.

Eric Dymock’s book has little to say and Mark Chatterton’s book has a Sonett section as an appendix rather than as a proper chapter in the book.  There’s a few websites around as well, but nothing that’s what I’d call a definitive source.  I might have to make one myself….

So, who’s holding all the info?  Anyone out there got any Sonett III brochures that they could either scan or sell?


Speaking of selling, have a look at this baby.  USA Sonett aspirants take note!

It’s for sale on Ebay at the moment.  A 1974 Sonett III with only 20,000 miles on the clock.  There’s a few nicks here and there to fix, but for a totally original car it’s pretty darn good.

You can see the ad on Ebay by clicking here.  As at the time of writing the bidding’s up to US$7,100 and it finishes on June 15th at 8.00PM (PDT – the car’s in Oregon).


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  1. A very good question Swade.

    When I was writing my Sonett article for the Independent (which you ran on this site)I found a dearth of info on the Mk3.

    Had to resort to asking people!

    Of note was the Mk3 that raced in the USA and a one off soft top – also in the USA.

    Owners clubs seem to have loads of info.You might find info by using the name of Cogglia- the stylist Saab used on the Mk3.

    Is anyone out there a true Sonett nerd? If so- write a book.

    Sonett – plastic fantastic- just don’t crash one….a safty issue that never seemed to get raised….

  2. Lance, I’ve always wondered about their safety, but I’ve never known of any bad accidents involving one. I wonder how bad they really were.

    On a side note. I hope the lucky winners of the Saab convertibles on American Express Mywishlist were all Saabisti. I tried, but there must have been a billion others trying. It’d be a real shame if a wealthy BMW owner got one just for his kids! But, at least they’d have the better automobile.

  3. Ted,

    Safety was /is always an issue with fibre glass /grp cars. Even newer ones remain worrisome.

    The fact is they resist impact far better than steel monocoques- which leads to the erroneous impression that they are stronger and thus safer.

    I have spent years researching safety which is why nearly all my cars have been Volvos, Saabs or Mercs (never new ones sadly!)

    Fibreglass resists impact but does not easily deform and absorb kinetic forces. At a certain energy value, it will explode into shards and transfer its loads through its own structure – to the weakest/thinest fibre/gel point- often the roof pillar to scuttle join- which actually should be the strongest point -but is not.

    Find a grp car that has crashed into a steel car at below around 45mph and often the steel cars shows far worse damage.

    But- the less damaged grp car will not have absorbed the impact and may have subjected its occupants to the lethal energy. Above a certain speed, the grp will suddenly “give” and shatter and split – just as in the marine experience.

    These days, car makers can create fibre glass under- frames that allow some form of crush zone to exist around it, so that the fibre glass/composite does not split to its weakest point.

    Thats why composite F1 cars are now so safe.

    The Sonnets came with a visible built in steel roll cage -they had too as the fibre grp panels were floppy- as with all grp cars. Saab made efforts to build up a stronger grp core in the cabin and bulkhead, but I have seen a Sonett that literally “snapped” at the sills – I have seen later 1980s Lotuses do the same thing.

    Adding steel backbone chassis does little in impact and intrusion resistance terms.

    With a one piece bonnet wing strucutre with hollow corners and wings, the frontal offset crash performance – now the benchmark – exposes grp one piece front mouldings as not good in a crash.

    Leg and thoracic injuries in grp car crashes are a very common feature of the type.

    But at least Saab made the effort to add roll bars and internal bulkheads- certain other grp car makers of the time and later- allegedly did not….

    That blue Mk 3 Sonett for sale for $7000 dollars plus represents a high figure for the US Sonett market. I have seen good ones for less. Nice car, rare too.

  4. Lance,
    Thanks for the education; it’s appreciated. I was only expecting a “pretty bad” or “not so bad” answer;-)

  5. Hi Swade
    I have a couple of books on the Sonett. One is by Bjorn Svallner called Alla SAABs Sportbilar, in english The Sonett, and All Other SAAB Sports Cars. It was published in 1983 and the ISBN is 91-85496-18-9. It’s probably long out of print but features all the Sonetts including Sonett III Quantum and the SAAB Lightburn to be built in Australia! Half of this book is in Swedish with an English translation near the back. All the photos have Engish translations too. There are lots of pictures and drawngs featuring design concepts and facelifts.
    The other book I have is SAAB Sonett 1966-1974 Collection No 1, published by Brooklands Books sometime ago. The ISBN for this one is 0 907 073 891. Again this might be out of print. This features mostly reprints of articles and road tests from various publications.
    Hope this info is helpful.
    Good luck to Australia in your next game in the World Cup. Hope it goes the same way as against Japan.

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