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Reviving a Classic: The Remarkable Restoration of a 1969 Saab Sonett II V4

Rediscovering Elegance: The Restoration Triumph of the 1969 Saab Sonett II V4

A meticulously restored 1969 Saab Sonett II V4 in a striking green, featuring classic 'soccer-ball' alloy wheels and a distinctive clamshell hood.

The 1969 Saab Sonett II V4 stands as a testament to the innovative engineering and unique design that defined Saab during the golden era of classic cars. This particular model, having undergone a detailed and loving restoration, showcases the meticulous care classic car enthusiasts dedicate to preserving automotive history. Let’s delve into the story of this beautifully refurbished Saab Sonett, exploring its distinctive features, restoration process, and the lasting legacy of Saab’s innovative designs.

Unveiling the Icon: The 1969 Saab Sonett II V4

The Saab Sonett II, first introduced in the mid-1960s, was a radical departure from conventional automotive design. Known for its lightweight fiberglass body and sporty two-seater configuration, the Sonett was initially developed to meet the demands of racing enthusiasts. The 1969 model, equipped with a robust 1.7-liter V4 engine, represents the evolution of Saab’s design philosophy, combining performance with distinctive aesthetics.

Side view of the classic 1969 Saab Sonett II V4, showcasing its sleek design and vibrant green finish.
Side view of the classic 1969 Saab Sonett II V4, showcasing its sleek design and vibrant green finish.

This particular Sonett II, finished in a subtle yet striking green hue, captures the essence of its era. The car features a clamshell hood, enhancing both functionality and visual appeal. The sleek design is complemented by 15-inch alloy “soccer-ball” wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires, emphasizing its sporty silhouette. Notably, the vehicle retains its original acrylic rear window and minimalist B-pillar vents, staying true to its vintage character.

The Restoration Journey

The restoration of this Saab Sonett II was a labor of love, undertaken by the seller’s father before passing it on to the current owner. Between 2016 and 2022, significant efforts were made to overhaul and update the vehicle’s major components. The engine, originally a 1.7-liter V4, was carefully overhauled and overbored, enhancing its performance and reliability. The four-speed manual transaxle and suspension system were also meticulously refurbished, ensuring that the car remains both drivable and faithful to its original specifications.

Interior view of the 1969 Saab Sonett II V4, featuring its beautifully preserved dark green upholstery and classic dashboard design.
Interior view of the 1969 Saab Sonett II V4, featuring its beautifully preserved dark green upholstery and classic dashboard design.

The interior of the car has been equally pampered, with the green-trimmed fixed-back bucket seats featuring pleated inserts and sliding lumbar supports. These elements not only provide comfort but also accentuate the car’s authentic 1960s charm. Additional interior updates include a refurbished fuel tank and a rebuilt Weber carburetor, crucial for maintaining the vehicle’s smooth operation.


Challenges and Triumphs in Restoration

Restoring a classic car like the Saab Sonett II involves numerous challenges, from sourcing rare parts to addressing decades of wear and tear. One significant challenge was the refurbishment of the vehicle’s unique bodywork. The fiberglass required meticulous attention to address any imperfections while maintaining its original integrity.

Furthermore, the restoration process involved upgrading the braking system to include front discs and rear drums, providing better handling and safety. The suspension system was enhanced with Bilstein shock absorbers, a nod to modern technology while respecting the vehicle’s vintage roots.

Detail of the overhauled 1.7-liter V4 engine in the 1969 Saab Sonett II, equipped with a Weber carburetor and stainless-steel coolant hoses for enhanced performance.
Detail of the overhauled 1.7-liter V4 engine in the 1969 Saab Sonett II, equipped with a Weber carburetor and stainless-steel coolant hoses for enhanced performance.

The Saab Legacy

Saab’s approach to automobile design was always distinct, prioritizing innovation and practicality. The Sonett II V4 embodies this philosophy, from its engine layout to its aerodynamic shape. Saab’s history of producing aircraft influenced the aerodynamic design elements seen in the Sonett, making it not only a beautiful car but also a performer on the road and track.

A Classic Reborn

Today, the 1969 Saab Sonett II V4 stands not only as a beautifully restored classic but also as a symbol of a bygone era of automotive design. It is a reminder of when cars were as much about art and innovation as they were about transportation. For collectors and enthusiasts, the Sonett offers a unique piece of automotive history, combining Swedish engineering with timeless appeal.

As this car goes up for auction, it represents an opportunity for a new owner to experience the joy and pride of owning a piece of Saab’s illustrious history. The restoration journey, filled with challenges and triumphs, underscores the passion and dedication of those who keep the spirit of classic cars alive. Whether it’s showcased at car shows or enjoyed on quiet country drives, this Saab Sonett II continues to turn heads and captivate hearts, just as it did more than five decades ago.

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