NEUS: Swedish Car Day 2006

Good news!

Those of you living in New England have a chance to personally participate in the kicking of a Volvo driver’s ass!!! Who hasn’t wanted to do that at least once??

OK, maybe not literally as that would be antisocial and quite unSwedish. But if you head off to Boston on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of October you will get to help the Saab team outscavenge the Volvo team, thereby kicking their asses in a dignified, engineered way.

……our Saturday Rally will be a scavenger hunt, searching for statues in the metro Boston area. Besides individual prizes, the Saab entrants will be pitted against the Volvo entrants and a composite score for each brand will be determined, with the winning Swedish brand announced at SCD on Sunday.

That rally is on Saturday the 14th. On Sunday the 15th the organisers are holding the 7th annual Swedish Car Day:

For 7 years now, Swedish Car Day has been celebrating these wonderfully unique cars that have quite a devoted following in New England. With a compelling amalgam of safety, function, performance and good looks, and some elegant simplicity thrown in for good measure, Saabs and Volvos have graced our little corner of the country for half a century.

The main focus for Saab lovers at Swedish Car Day this year will be the 50th Anniversary of the Saab Sonett, which made it’s first US appearance at the New York International Motor Show in 1956.

Saab USA are coming along for the ride as well, bringing a number of cars from their Saab heritage collection:

Among the participating cars will be several key members of the Saab Automobile USA heritage collection, including Sonetts of each generation: a priceless, dark orange 1956 Sonett I, a silver 1967 Sonett II 2-stroke and a recently acquired blue 1970 Sonett III V4.

Click on your preferred Sonett to enlarge….
1956%20Saab%20Sonett%201.jpg l Sonett%20III%2073-74%20yellow%202.jpg

Saab owners that would like to participate in the event (which sounds like a hoot, by the way) should read the following:

If you are planning to display your car, please RSVP to Phil Jackson at phil@villageautomotive.com or 617.923.9230. Admission is $10 for each vehicle displayed on the lawn, which includes two adult admissions. We park cars on the Lawn from 8am-10am.

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is located at 15 Newton Street in Brookline, MA. It houses the oldest automobile collection in the nation in the historic Carriage House at Larz Anderson Park.

If you’d like to do a little more Sonett reading, the Saab USA press release continues after the jump.

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The Saab Sonett I “Super Sport” was first unveiled at the 1956 Stockholm Auto Show, and made its North American debut later that year in New York. Originally designed to compete in a racing series that eventually never materialized, Saab only built 6 first-generation Sonetts – which all remain in existence today.

Using contemporary Saab aircraft practices, the Sonett chassis was formed by a riveted aluminum box carrying a fiberglass roadster body. Utilizing the “high-performance” (57.5 bhp) version of the 3-cylinder 750cc 2-stroke engine found in the Saab model 93, the drivetrain was “reversed” so that the engine is behind the transmission and front wheel drive is retained. The 2-stroke engine rotates in the opposite direction from the production Saab sedans of the era to accommodate this reverse transmission layout.

Starting in 1967, the Sonett II represented Saab’s second, and much more ambitious foray into the world of two-seat sport cars. Aimed primarily at the North American market, the sporting intentions of this agile coupe were obvious since the race winning Model 96 Monte Carlo 2-stroke engine, fitted with three-carburetors, was specified as standard equipment. The fiberglass body was attached to a sheet steel frame featuring an integrated roll bar. An unusual one-piece front end hinged completely out of the way for easy access to the engine, transmission and front suspension components.

Capable of 0-60 acceleration times of 12.5 seconds and a top speed approaching 100 mph, only 258 Sonett II’s with the Monte Carlo spec engine were built during the two years of production. A subsequent, more powerful, V-4, four-stroke version of the Sonett II, distinguished by a bulge on the hood to accommodate the taller engine, brought more horsepower, more speed and a total of 1,868 cars built over the next three years.

Launched at the 1970 New York Auto Show, the third generation Saab Sonett was a significantly different car from its predecessor. The V-4 engine was tuned for more horsepower to compensate for the increases in size and weight in the new car.

In terms of styling, the Sonett III benefited from contributions by the Italian designer Sergio Coggiola, featuring bolder front and rear sections plus a new interior. In the back, the Sonett III gained a hinged rear window, offering easy access to the rear luggage compartment. In front, the new treatment included manually-operated pop-up headlights. In addition, features like air conditioning and a floor-mounted transmission shifter were added to meet the requests of U.S. dealers and buyers.

1974 turned out to be the last model year for the Saab Sonett, bringing the production total to 10,236 cars since inception. The very last Sonett to leave the factory in Arlöv, Sweden was bright yellow. It currently resides in the Saab Automobile factory museum in Trollhättan near Gothenburg, on the Swedish West Coast.

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