Autocrossing a Saab Sonett

At yesterday’s SASCA autocross, I saw a rare, vintage jewel – a well restored 1968 Saab Sonett.  I have never seen one in person, let alone close up and in excellent condition.

Saab Sonett V4 hood ID

Steve has owned this unique car for a few years.  He rebuilt the looks part, a complete body off restoration, back in 1996.  Of course the body is fiberglass & Steve mentioned that Saab dealers have no idea what you’re talking about for parts.  So if he wasn’t able to find it on eBay, it was something he had to fabricate.  He just recently completed a second rebuild, the go part, specifically on the engine.

Steve, on the right, discussing his Saab

The engine specifics, modifications & updates: V4, 1700cc, fully balanced & blueprinted, oversized valves, Isky F6 ground cam, lightened lifters & flywheel, polished intake, Holly 450 single barrel carb, Koni shocks all around, & Jack Lawrence headers.  I’m sure there was much more to list, but these were the highlights that Steve wanted to mention.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a shot of all that rebuilt glory – Steve never did open the hood.

Saab posing, right front quarter

Saab posing, rear left quarter

The interior has been well-restored and nicely understated – it seems more sumptuous than spartan.  I think most of us would be comfortable here…

A pristine, nicely sorted of interior

As you look through that large back window canopy, you see a roll bar.  It’s not just for safety, it’s part of the structural bracing for the car.

Roll bar which serves as a structural roll

This run was his debut at autocrossing this cherry little car.

Ready to rumble out to the course

I wasn’t able to get back with Steve @Sean Park Law Atlanta to see how he did.  I could tell, though, that he had fun & nothing broke.  That was probably the best news!

Saab Sonett on course at speed

Besides autocrossing, Steve calls his Saab his “taco truck”, just used to go around the corner for the occasional eggs & milk, etc.  In other words, this is clearly not his daily driver.

An interesting Saab wheel design

As you can seem you don’t need a current model vehicle to autocross.  This 40 year old example may seem extreme, but it just goes to show you what you can do.  Racing Ready will continue to give examples of what you can & should do!


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