If you’re a classic car enthusiast or looking for a unique and stylish vehicle to add to your collection, the 1970 SAAB Sonett III is a car that should not be overlooked. With its distinctive design, impressive performance, and interesting history, this SAAB model is sure to turn heads and provide a thrilling driving experience.
Currently up for auction at Bonhams, this rare gem is waiting for the perfect owner to give it a new home. In this article, we’ll explore the background, features, and benefits of owning a 1970 SAAB Sonett III, and why it’s worth considering for your next classic car purchase.
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Background of the Saab Sonett
The SAAB Sonett III has a fascinating history that dates back to its initial production in 1966. Originally equipped with a two-stroke, three-cylinder SAAB engine, it was later replaced with the Ford V4 engine in 1967 due to a shortage of the original engines.
This change prompted a redesign of the Sonett, resulting in the Sonett III model that you see today. One of the notable updates in the Sonett III is the inclusion of pop-up headlamps and low-speed impact bumpers, which added to its unique appearance and improved safety features.
Powered by Ford’s 1.7-liter V4 engine, the Sonett III offers impressive performance for its time. With a top speed of just over 100 mph and an acceleration time of 13 seconds, this car is a joy to drive, thanks in part to its lightweight design, weighing only 880 kg. The Sonett III also boasts a distinctive look with its sleek profile, pop-up headlamps, glass tailgate, and powerful rear haunches, making it a standout among other classic cars of its era.
The Vehicle: The 1970 SAAB Sonett III
The 1970 SAAB Sonett III currently up for auction at Bonhams is a well-maintained example that has been lovingly cared for by its current owner, a SAAB enthusiast and trained SAAB aircraft engineer. Imported from the United States in 1994 and restored in the mid-to-late 1990s, this Sonett III has been shown at national SAAB gatherings and classic car shows, showcasing its excellent condition and attention to detail.
The 1970 SAAB Sonett III is a true classic car that is set to go up for auction at Bonhams. This iconic vehicle is known for its stylish design and retro charm, with features that harken back to its aircraft-building heritage. With its unique interior, impressive engineering, and a guide price of between £13,000 and £17,000, the SAAB Sonett III is sure to catch the attention of collectors and enthusiasts alike.
In this article, we will explore the reasons why this classic car is worth considering for your collection, from its distinctive interior to its history highlights. So, let’s dive in and discover why the 1970 SAAB Sonett III is a car worth bidding on at Bonhams auction.
The Outside of SAAB Sonett III
One of the first things that catches the eye about the 1970 SAAB Sonett III is its stunning appearance. Finished in a period green color, this car exudes classic charm and style. The paintwork is in excellent condition, with very good panels that fit nicely and a well-presented overall exterior. The pop-up headlamps, Alfa Romeo Montreal-style slotted spot lamp covers, Kamm tail, and glass tailgate are all in great shape, adding to the car’s unique and attractive look.
The 15-inch alloy wheels, while in decent condition, could benefit from refurbishment to match the rest of the exterior. The Firestone F-560 tires are also in good condition, but they lack a date mark, suggesting that they may be over 20 years old. However, the presence of matching high-quality tires is a positive sign of proper maintenance by the current owner, who is clearly dedicated to keeping the car in good condition.
While the paintwork has some minor imperfections such as marks and surface scratches, they do not detract significantly from the overall appearance of the car. Considering the age of the vehicle, it is expected to have some signs of wear and tear.
The interior of the 1970 SAAB Sonett III is a true blast from the past, with retro features that are sure to turn heads. The deeply bolstered seats are covered in tan vinyl with matching cloth centre panels, giving them a distinctive and nostalgic look. While they may not be tartan like the Bay City Rollers, they are in good condition and offer adjustable lumbar supports and built-in headrests for added comfort and safety during your drives.
In terms of safety, an additional removable brace has been fitted to the roll cage, along with a fire extinguisher for added precaution. The indicators have also been fitted with a warning bleeper, although they don’t self-cancel, making it easy to leave them running. Other aesthetic features include a wooden gear knob, a horizontal handbrake lever, a three-spoke steering wheel, pleated door cards, and a prominent SONETT III badge on the dashboard, adding to the overall charm and character of the interior.
The boot of the SAAB Sonett III is also beautifully trimmed and presented, housing the spare alloy wheel and battery. While there may be some cosmetic issues to take care of, such as the paint on the roll cage, these minor imperfections do not detract from the overall magnificence of the interior, which is undoubtedly one of the standout features of this classic car.
Underneath the Sonett
The 1970 SAAB Sonett III not only boasts a unique interior but also offers impressive engineering underneath the hood. In recent years, the transmission has been overhauled by a marque specialist and fitted with the correct Sonett higher final drive ratio for more relaxed cruising.
Other modifications include hardened valve seats for unleaded fuel and a Weber carburettor with manual choke, enhancing the performance and reliability of this classic car.
One notable feature of the SAAB Sonett III is that it has been self-serviced by the owner, who happens to be a time-served and qualified SAAB aircraft engineer. This means that the car starts well, settles into an even tickover, and runs cleanly, with a surprisingly fruity exhaust note given its modest displacement. The attention to detail and expertise in the maintenance of this classic car adds to its overall appeal and value.
Car History Highlights
The SAAB Sonett III comes with its owner’s manual, a service manual, and a host of invoices for the work that has been carried out over the years. While the car does not have a current MoT certificate, it is exempt by virtue of its age. However, Bonhams strongly encourages the new owner to have it MoT’d at the earliest opportunity.
The cost of an MoT is a small investment that provides reassurance to the owner and subsequent purchasers, as well as valuable documentation in case of any insurance or police-related issues. The recent Vehicle History Check is clear, adding to the car’s appeal as a well-maintained classic.
Impressive Design and Engineering
The SAAB Sonett III is not just a pretty face – it is also wonderfully engineered. SAAB has always been known for its innovative approach to design and engineering, and the Sonett III is no exception. With its aerodynamic shape, distinctive front grille, and sleek lines, this car is a head-turner on the road.
The Sonett III also features a fiberglass body, making it lightweight and agile, perfect for those who appreciate a spirited driving experience. The car’s handling and performance are further enhanced by its front-wheel-drive layout and independent suspension, providing a smooth and enjoyable ride.
Retro Charm and Condition
One of the standout features of the SAAB Sonett III is its retro charm. This car is a true classic, evoking a sense of nostalgia with its vintage design elements and unique character. From its rounded headlights to its iconic “bubble” rear window, the Sonett III is a timeless beauty that stands out in a crowd of modern cars.
The interior is equally impressive, with its classic dashboard layout, comfortable bucket seats, and ample headroom. The car’s condition is also noteworthy, with only a few minor cosmetic issues that may not bother those who appreciate the patina of a vintage car. Overall, the SAAB Sonett III is in great condition, reflecting the care and maintenance it has received over the years.
Great Value for Classic Car Enthusiasts
If you’re in the market for a classic car, the SAAB Sonett III offers great value. Bonhams has set the guide price for this vintage beauty between £13,000 and £17,000, making it an affordable option for classic car enthusiasts. Considering its stylish design, impressive engineering, and retro charm, this price range is a bargain for a well-maintained classic like the Sonett III.
Moreover, owning a SAAB Sonett III is not just about the monetary value – it’s also about the pride of owning a piece of automotive history and being part of a passionate community of classic car enthusiasts.