Saved from Shredder: 1969 Saab Sonett

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The seller claims he spotted this 1969 Saab Sonnet in line to be crushed at a salvage yard facility and rescued it before falling to such a fate. This is a story I can certainly emphasize with, given the origins of my 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 project. The Saab is largely complete aside from some parts that may have been sold off of it, and is available here on eBay with bidding over $500 and no reserve. 

The Saab appears to have a damage-free shell with good glass and lenses. These early Sonnets are truly funky, as they look even more unusual than the next-generation Sonnet did with its flip-up headlights. These cars still have a strong following today, even if values aren’t particularly high. The seller notes the engine will not turn over and the condition of the transmission is unknown.

The interior is missing its seats, a similar tale to my junkyard project in that certain parts had already been sold off of it before I rescued it from the confines of a Pennsylvania salvage facility. However, also like my Cosworth, the seats are seemingly the only major component missing (well, my car has its seats, but the radiator and rear window regulators were sold). The interior actually appears quite sound, but the seller notes the back glass is cracked.

Now, there are likely to be other faults associated with the crude handling cars experience when they enter salvage facilities, but the price is so low I doubt the seller is going to provide an exhaustive overview of those issues. The Sonnet may not be the sports coupe for everyone, but we can surely all agree one this complete should not be rendered to the scrap heap.

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  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    That would be a fun project for someone…

    Like 1
  2. John

    This is a story you can emphasize with? LOL.

    Like 5
  3. Richard Coley

    This Saab bears a resemblance to the early Datsun Z-cars. i agree, it would be a waste and a shame to have a car this complete be crushed and made into Cambells soup cans.

    Like 0
    • Bob C

      Wouldn’t yield too many soup cans, since body is fiberglass.

      Like 11
  4. Rex Rice

    It is truly (ouch!) a Saab Story.

    Like 13
  5. Mark Hoffman

    An Air Force couple had a SAAB sonnet in 1974, second generation. I was 15. The guy took me for a ride in his. Fun car.

    Like 9
  6. wuzjeepnowsaab

    This is the Sonnet V4 (between the “true” Sonnet II and the III). Looks to be in decent shape, but looks can be deceiving on these. Even though the shell is fiberglass, the frames can rot on them leaving you with a heart break. Still, if the price stays low there are some unobtanium parts on this…and if the frame structure is in good shape it would be easy to put back on the road since the V4’s are easy to source.

    Like 2
  7. stillrunners


    Like 2
  8. PDXBryan

    On first glance I thought the writer was saying that Sonnets had “crude handling” which is absolutely not true. I realize now he was talking about the abuse from the salvage yards. I had a Sonnet III years ago and it was one of the most responsive handling cars you can imagine. Too bad about the cracked rear glass.

    Like 3
  9. HoA Howard AMember

    I think we’ll see more of this, as people acquire cars they don’t know what to do with. A Saab Sonnet at the crusher, preposterous, yet, to someone that knows nothing about cars, it’s just a POS to them. Terrible, someone to do that, but here it is. Sonnets were great cars, probably one of Saabs finest.

    Like 3
  10. Bob_S

    This car has been for sale for a while. The rear glass is cracked and very hard to find a replacement.

    Like 2
  11. Adam Wright

    The taillights are worth their weight in gold, same as the Porsche 904.

    Like 6
  12. DLM

    Just finishing up a 69 Sonett V4, same color. Not going to do another one, and this is hard to tell without an underbody shot. But as said earlier, lots of hard to find parts here.

    Like 10
    • Rich Townsend

      1971 – Barreling thru Chattanooga at 2 AM, a Navy buddy and I were traveling in his new Firebird Formula from Jax to Columbus when a Saab Sonnett passed at a high rate of speed. He accepted the challenge and we gave chase. It was wild, and neck and neck! Enough g-force and twist that the windshield on the Partiac cracked all the way across!

      Like 1
  13. Steve

    What can I say, I’m a sucker for “Saab” stories like this! Glad to see it was saved from such a pressing fate!

    Like 1
  14. scottymac

    Nice work, DLM! Nice touch with the Ford blue. Always wondered if there was room to move the radiator forward and install a Cologne V-6? Just imagine how much fun an Explorer 4.0 OHV would be!

    Like 3
  15. Nevis Beeman

    A Canadian couple who I know here on Nevis owned for many years a 1969 Saab Sonett same model and even colour as this; bought in the USA they kept it in Ontario Canada for more than 20 years and when sold it apparently went to Edmonton, Alberta.It was an absolute privilge to be taken for a short ride in it….and how I wish I could have bought it.

    Like 1

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