Drew B may have unravelled a long-term Saab mystery tonight. Whether he actually has remains to be seen, but he might have found one of the few ‘Lightburn’ Saabs of the early 1960s.
This car has turned up in an ad in a local car trading magazine here in Australia. The car is for sale in South Australia, which is notable.
Here’s the back-story…..
There’s not much written about it, but back in the late 1950s or early 1960s, several carmakers petitioned Saab with potential models based on the architecture that became the Saab Sonett II. One of these petitioners was an engineer in South Australia named Harold Lightburn.
He sent his idea for the car to Sweden in scale model form and whilst Saab did some preliminary work on it, nothing became of it and the whole story has been consigned to a very brief and largely undocumented chapter of history.
The car for sale here is advertised as a Saab 1960 “Supersport”, it’s LHD, has a similar 3 cylinder 2-stroke engine to what appeared in Saabs at the time and a fibreglass body, as do the actual Saab Sonetts that were eventually made.
My theory is that this may be a working prototype made by Lightburn off a Saab 95 or 96 platform, which may have been imported from Sweden or the United States.
I’m just guessing, though. I’ve emailed Peter Backstrom at the Saab Museum to see if he knows any more about it. Drew B is going to call the owner tomorrow and see what he can find, including the possibility of some digital photos.
I love a good mystery, and this one’s a doozy!!