Stored Since ’75: 1972 Saab Sonett III

The second owner of this Saab Sonett III removed the car from the road in 1975 and it’s been sitting in their garage near Fairfield, California ever since! Apparently, it’s time to pass the car on to a new owner as it’s listed for sale here on craigslist for only $3,500. The ad is worth reading just for grins, trust me — the seller makes it clear that they are tired of time wasters!

You’re not alone if you aren’t very familiar with the Sonett; some have called it a Swedish interpretation of a Corvette. It’s pretty unique, with front-wheel drive, a metal floor pan, and a fiberglass body that is quite angular. Maybe a cross between a Citroen, a Corvette, and a Lotus? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Sherwin who sent in this neat find!

I’m pretty sure that the bowling balls were post-dealer add-ons! The interior of the Sonnett looks very 1970’s and this part seems to be in nice shape. While the seller calls the car a 1971 model, and it was produced in August 1971, it’s actually an early 1972 model according to this chart. That means it has the 1700 cc Ford V-4 (not a typo!) engine.

Looking at the damage to this seat, it’s a little hard to believe the car was only on the road for four years. However, animals might have contributed to the problem (I’ve run into that recently myself) and it’s amazing what the little buggers can do when left to themselves.

I can hear you saying “wow, what great front-end access!” Unfortunately, the front end will require some fiberglass work and I’m sure has been removed for that purpose. The actual opening makes engine access more difficult than the Sonett II, the III’s predecessor. One good thing about this project is that an extra transaxle and some spare parts from a parts car come with the sale. Be serious about your approach, however, as the seller admonishes “Responses will be screened for seriousness” and I’m guessing they actually mean it! Trivia time: One of these pictures shows a British Leyland part that was adopted by Saab for their use. A Barn Finds “Hurrah!” for the first person that can tell me what it is in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    Could it be that steering wheel

    Like 1
  2. sir_mike

    He/she did all this damage in 3-4yrs.??? Asking price too high for this poor Saab.

    Like 4
  3. CHRIS STONE

    the tail lights

  4. Terrry

    It was probably wrecked then put away all those years. And at his price I’d be asking a lot of questions no matter if he doesn’t like “time wasters”.

    Like 4
    • TLews

      Taillights adapted from TR6. Also has English wiper motor

  5. chrlsful

    more sonnetts I say! All 4 (?) models/gen.
    No ‘soccer ball’ wheels on this one (close, pentagon ctr).
    I like up all. A guy n. of Boston finds/resurects. Sounds like
    fun.

  6. Chris Clarke

    That missing rear glass may be worth more than the entire car.

  7. mike b

    Seems like the only version seen for sale is III. Where are the I’s & II’s?

    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      The Sonett I was only made for 2 years in the mid 1950’s Very few produced and they’re museum or parade/vintage racer show cars. The Sonett II was a 3 cyl 2 stroke car that was made for not even 2 years. Not much love for those except by enthusiasts and mostly Europeans. The II became the Sonett V4 in the late 67 and then became the Sonett III in 1970.

      So the short answer is, there were never many Sonetts made in all flavors, but the I (unicorn), the II (also a unicorn) and the V4 (unicorn’s cousin) just didn’t have that much bandwidth new.

      Add to low production numbers, some unobtanium parts and that’s why you don’t see that many offered now 60 years on.

      Like 4
      • Carbuzzard Member

        The Sonett II V4 was funky, even more so with the hood bulge needed for clearance for the Ford V4. There were a lot of speed parts for that engine. I remember a 96 with an unusual dual carb setup with side draft carburetors mounted on an intake manifold crossing over the vee. I doubt there would be room under the Sonett’s hood, even with the bulge.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Here is a Sonett V4 that was just listed here a couple of days ago. Very noticeable difference between the 2 models.
        https://barnfinds.com/sporty-swede-1969-saab-sonett-v4/

  8. Gary

    A girl I knew had one in partners with her girlfriend that they autocrossed with. They actually did well with it from what I heard. Butt ugly turds IMHO.

    Like 1
    • Clyde

      The cars or the girls?

  9. CCFisher

    Whatever it is, I pray it isn’t electrical.

    Like 2
  10. CCFisher

    It’s the taillights.

    • Gary

      Triumph Dolomite rear lights!

  11. Tim

    Aren’t the rear light clusters BL? Possibly Triumph Dolomite.

  12. Joe Btfsplk

    It’s the side marker lights.

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      And Joe is correct!!!!!! Hurrah!

  13. Joe Btfsplk

    I hope that the rear glass comes with it.. very hard to find and expensive.

  14. stephen kinney van auken

    i had a 1972, yellow, wonder car. traided it for a 1973 dodge truck. new owner took it apart and stored it to this day. one of his young girls got stopped doing 90. sad.

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