I feel somewhat honored and very pleased to be able to offer you the following. Overnight I received a comment on one of my earlier posts from Lance Cole, author of Saab 99 & 900: The Complete Story. Lance kindly left a copy of his latest writing in comments, a piece recently printed in The Independant on the Saab Sonett.
Lance also has an article on The Independant’s site saluting the Classic 900, which I’d encourage you to read and enjoy - Classic Cars: Saab 900
Well, seeing as Lance has been kind enough to leave the Sonett article in comments, I’ve made the executive decision that that’s tacit permission for me to post it here, with some pictures in accompaniment, for everyone’s enjoyment. If this poses a problem, I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
It’s a short piece when you compare it against an entire book, but entertaining and informative. So sit back, enjoy a cuppa and a biscuit and read on.
Classic Cars: Saab Sonett
Lance Cole recalls the Saab Sonett, a poem of a sporty coupé that never quite made it to epic status
Published: 08 November 2005
If you think the Saab Sonett is a late 1960s-to-1970s fibreglass-bodied coupé that embodies a forgotten, sportier side of Saab, think again. The Sonett actually started life in 1954 as one of the most revolutionary and advanced examples of post-war car design. It was a uniquely constructed open-topped two-seater that looked like a cross between an MG and an Alfa Romeo. Yet it was years before this stillborn wild child of a Scandinavian design group actually became the Saab Sonett.
In Swedish "Sa natt" means "How nice", which is what the legendary Swedish car-designer Sixten Sason is supposed to have said when his first body for the car was finished and mounted on its chassis with a smoky two-stroke engine.
Unlike its 1950s contemporaries, the original Sonett did not have a tubular steel fabricated body nor a floppy monocoque with more shake than a jelly. Instead, the Sonett boasted a unique body made from a blend of aluminium sheets and plastic moulded panels weighing only 70kg, that were bonded together to form a stiff, aviation-style, stressed hull. It would be years later that Colin Chapman created the original Lotus Elite’s fibreglass unitary monocoque body, and decades before a car-maker made an aluminium car.