1971 Saab Sonett III

1971 Saab Sonett III

1971 Saab Sonett III
Coupe
Designer: Sergio Coggiola
Chassis #: 71500184
The 1971 Saab Sonett, with its unique overhead-valve, four-stroke 60-degree V-4 engine received only minor changes. The wheels were restyled and the alloy rims were no longer offered.

The Saab Sonett III had a drastically-revised body penned by Sergio Coggiola and was the company's second production fiberglass sports car and introduced for the 1970 model year in the US market. The engine was a 1700cc German Ford V4 engine that was backed up by a special SAAB transaxle with a higher final drive ratio than the wagons and sedans. All cars featured front disc brakes with a SAAB-only dual-diagonal twin circuit master cylinder for safety.

This example has been recently given a three-year body-off rotisserie restoration. It has some very short-run custom parts including the accurate reproduction bumpers (of which only 30 sets were made).

In 2012, this car was offered for sale at the Glenmoor Gathering presented by Classic Motorcar Auctions. The car was sold for $9,288 including buyer's premium.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
The Saab 97, also designated the Saab Sonnett III, was the answer to the outdated look and design of the 1970s Sonett.

Introduced at the New York Motor Show in the Spring of 1970, the Sonett III was a significantly wider vehicle than previous models and weighed only 770 kgs.

Designed by Italian designer Sergio Coggiola and Swedish designer Gunnar A. Sjögren.
Due to many modifications, Coggiola's name didn't appear on the new vehicle, but he is still credited for a vast portion of the design.

Coggiola was known for his design on Saab Sonett III, Fiat Punto Surf, Fiat Brava Sentiero, Pontiac CF 428, Lancia Thema Coupe and many more vehicles.

Using the same Ford V4 engine as before, the Sonett III had the type indicator ‘97' in the chassis number and 1500 cc in 1970 and 1971.

The Saab Sonett III came with pop-up headlights operated by manually operated levers, and in 1973 it received self-repairing bumpers. It also came with a hinged rear window that became the hatch to the rear luggage compartment that improved access. A small, matt-black panel in top of the front section reveals access to the engine compartment.

With an option of installed air conditioning, the Sonett III came with a floor shifter rather than a column shifter found in previous models.

In order to handle US emissions controls the engine was updated to a 1700 cc. With an engine of 65 hp (48 kW), the Sonett III was able to achieve top speed of 165 km/h.

The Sonnett was able to reach 0 to 100 km/h in 13 seconds, and had a drag coefficient of 0.31.

In 1974, unable to handle the more strict automobile emission control in the US, production on the Sonett III ended.

Before production ended, a total of 10, 219 Saab 97 (both II and III Sonetts') were created.

By Jessica Donaldson

Concepts by Saab

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1971 Sonett III
$4,000-$35,600
1971 Saab Sonett III Base Price : $4,000

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Saab
1976Chevrolet (2,103,862)Toyota (1,884,260)Ford (1,861,537)95,927
1975Chevrolet (1,755,773)Toyota (1,714,836)Ford (1,569,608)90,962
1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)92,554
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)89,467
1972Chevrolet (2,420,564)Ford (2,246,563)Fiat (1,368,216)83,997
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)72,960
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)73,982
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)61,711
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)52,551
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)45,325
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)37,009

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