Worth Saving? 1968 Saab Sonett V4

The Saab Sonett II and Saab Sonett V4 are rare to see today in any condition, but is this 1968 Saab Sonett V4 too far gone to bring back to life again? The seller has it listed here on eBay in Dallas, Texas and there is an unmet opening bid price of $1,999 and no reserve after that. There are four days left to figure out if you have what it takes to restore this one.

The early Sonetts, the Sonett II with a three-cylinder two-stroke engine, and the Sonett V4 such as this car with a Ford V4 engine, are the rarest to see today in any condition but this example is pretty rough. Saab reportedly only made around 260 of the two-stroke three-cylinder Sonett II cars before switching to the V4 in mid-1967. 1,610 of the Sonett V4 models were made before the company ended production in 1969 to introduce the new Sonett III, the one that most of us have seen.

You won’t see any rust on the body of this car unless it’s from washing off of an adjacent area, these are fiberglass bodies. But unfortunately, the metal on this car could indeed be leaving rust stains because it’s incredibly rusty underneath, to the point of being missing in some areas. I can’t imagine that this car is even remotely restorable at this point, value-wise. Maybe some of the readers could tell us if they have restored a car in this condition or worse?

The interior is very cool, or it was. The amount of rust here is overwhelming, not to mention the general condition of the car and the interior itself. This Sonett is from a Dallas estate according to the seller.

The Sonett V4, as you know, had a Ford Taunus V4 which in this case should be a 1.5L with 65 horsepower. The seller hasn’t tried to start this one but hopefully it at least turns over. Saab had to add a slightly offset hood bulge in order to get the V4 to fit and that’s an unusual feature and an easy way to tell if you’re looking at a Sonett II or a Sonett V4. Can this Saab be saved?

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Comments

  1. Steve Clinton

    No starting bid? I’m afraid that’s exactly what it’s worth.
    Don’t sink money into it. Just drive it…off a cliff.

    Like 1
  2. chrlsful

    sure worth it, for the bent4 if nothing else, glass body too.
    I remember these and this 1 deserves ‘the treatment’ – back to stock.
    It was a great company from the 96 waggy (3 cyl 2 stroke) right up to the viggen. Subie was “the 4WD co”, saab – the “turbo co.”

    Like 1
  3. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    2 years ago I passed on a much better version in Burlington, NC for $1500. It had the typical rust in the rear but was otherwise pretty clean. The instance car is a $500 parts car at best.

    Like 3
    • CJinSD

      $500 seems like a high price point, but I think this could be the basis of a nice ice racing car. I don’t see any parts that can be sold to fund the build. At least there’s not much here that you don’t need for the final product. With enough hard work, this car could be worth $1,450 some day.

      bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-saab-sonett-2/

  4. Dave Peterson

    I know the origins of the car dealer seems unimportant, but context is everything. When Saab started to jump on the Beetle coattails, your local VW dealer may have also been a gas station. My memory of those early outlets was the ring around the service area of engines, sans cars. The owners had forgotten to add the two cycle oil to the gasoline. Those early cars were my first exposure to front drive. I recall they even supplied the first case of oil with delivery. The wild West aspect of those early days should be commemorated by some smart writer. SAAB, DKW, Citroen , Hillman…You could almost go letter for letter with the alphabet.

    Like 2
    • CJinSD

      Bob Sinclair carried a spare long block in the trunk of his Saab, claiming he was delivering it to a dealer when he really just wanted to be assured of making his rounds. You didn’t need to forget the oil to seize a Saab. All you needed to do was forget to engage the freewheel coasting down a hill, or drive it several thousand miles while remembering to engage the freewheel when coasting down hills. Not good.

  5. Jim Wadzinski

    Did a valve job on the V 4 had to support the whole front bonnet on supports so it would not crack found valves from a Ford industrial eng put it all back together ran great. Also have a sit on rider toy of a sonnet on my shop wall.

    Like 1
  6. Amorypaz Amorypaz

    I am restoring one of these and I can say that it is more expensive than the project I purchased. The one I bought started on the first try and had almost no rust (West Texas car). Also if the rear glass in cracked it is not long for this world and will be around $750 to replace…with polycarbonate. The fiberglass bodies are not generally stiff enough and the glass is hard to put in so if you get replacement glass at $600 or so be prepared to break a few before you get one to work.

    Like 1
  7. Dovi65

    Someone should save this sad sack Sonnett. Surely a resto not for the faint of hear, nor will it be a quick return back to the road, but they’re fun, quirky little cars from a marque that was noted for their quirkiness.

  8. Philip Lepel

    A guy in our area shows up at local cruise ins with the V4 engine with turbo chargers he installed himself. His wife brings her Karmin Ghia which has also been totally redone.

  9. Doug F Member

    This is why I subscribe to Barn Finds. Not for 250k kit cars.I think this would be a great car for someone’s collection. They are fun to drive. This might be a free wheeling unit ??? Can’t tell from these pictures.That added a whole new dimension to the driving experience.This one would be a LOT of work but it’s a blank slate.Do it your way or its a great parts car.Its fiberglass!!Hood scoop looks like it fell off some big block Vette. I’ve restored and enjoyed worse projects. That’s what separates the car guy / enthusiasts from the flipper/€tm feeders

  10. Doug F Member

    This is why I subscribe to Barn Finds. Not for 250k kit cars.I think this would be a great car for someone’s collection. They are fun to drive. This might be a free wheeling unit ??? Can’t tell from these pictures.That added a whole new dimension to the driving experience..Quirky yes !! Notice the crossmember/ tubular/overflow tank ?? This one would be a LOT of work but it’s a blank slate.Do it your way or its a great parts car.Its fiberglass!!Hood scoop looks like it fell off some big block Vette. I’ve restored and enjoyed worse projects. That’s what separates the car guy / enthusiasts from the flipper/€tm feeders

    Like 1
  11. Roger Hackney

    I really think you would have to throw in a free kitten just to give this thing away.

    Like 1
  12. Paul

    Sonett V4s are very cool. You could restore this one. You’d never get your money back, but that would not be the point. You don’t know if the transmission or engine works. A working gearbox is not cheap for these. The rust is overwhelming. It needs absolutely everything. Electrics, wiring, engine, gearbox, brakes, glass, bodywork, paint, interior, wheel bearings, shocks, fabrication, welding, just everything. Realistically, the expense would be hideous and never-ending. A rare car, treated not much better than an old Ford Falcon. How sad. Cars like this were given away back in the day, for parts or to let some teenager learn skills and find satisfaction and self confidence in making something run. This is either a giveaway or a $100-$500 parts car or project car at max. The seller may hope this one is fool’s gold.

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