Hans is ready to race. The Saab Sonett II is a very small car and it looks amazing. I took this photo at the line-up at Falkenberg Classic after a brief talk to Hans about his little racer. Photo by Johan Åhlund
Sweden has several classic car events, and the Falkenberg Classics is considered to be Sweden’s own Goodwood Festival of Speed. A couple of hundred classic cars raced each other on the short and fast racetrack. Last year was as usual very sunny and had a lot of spectacular cars, both on track and in the exhibition area.
Saab Sonett II is a rare car, Saab only made 258 in 1967
One of the nicer cars on the grid is driven by Hans Eklund. Hans is very fond of Saab cars, owns several classic models and is an experienced driver who has been racing for more than 25 years. Hans is running a 1967 red Saab Sonett II. It’s a rare car, Saab only made 258 Sonnet’s in 1967.
The Saab Sonett II in full speed at the straight at Falkenberg racetrack. The 850cc roars like crazy and the audience is cheering in the perfect weather. Photo by Johan Åhlund
Under the bonnet sits the legendary great sounding 60 horsepower three cylinder 841 cc Saab two-stroke engine. Famous from the Saab Sport (also known as the Gran Turismo 850 or the 850 Monte Carlo), the sound this little engine makes when driven hard is remarkable.
Ok, let’s be honest, The Saab Sonett II with the two-stroke engine is not a very fast car. However, like many other classic Saabs it is very fun to drive. Weighing in at 780 kilo (fiber-glass body), the 60 horsepower engine resulted in 0-100 km/h in 12,5 seconds. If you went flat-out you might reach 160 km/h, according to the beautiful Saab press-kit. I wonder how fast a Saab Sonett fitted with the engine from a Volvo Amazon 123 GT (1,8 liter, with 115 horsepower) would be.
The Saab Sonett II has a very nice interior. The dashboard is covered in wood veneer and has very stylish dials from VDO. Photo by Johan Åhlund
The Sonett was most expensive Saab that you could buy
Back in 1967 it was rather expensive; it was actually the most expensive Saab that you could buy. Fortunately it was also, by far the most beautiful. It came with bucket seats, leather steering wheel, had a dashboard in mahogany plywood with very nice designed gauges from VDO, and also a built in roll-bar. Remember, Saab is Swedish and has a tradition of building safe cars.
Compared to later Sonnet’s the engine was quite easy to reach with the front hood section hinged forward. You just flipped it up and then you could easily access the little gem.
Hans in gaining speed as he is heading for the long straight at Mantorp Park. The little Saab is chased by a big Chevrolet Camaro, so far its ahead. Photo by Johan Åhlund
At a different race at Mantorp Park there were a lot of other cars at the track and it was a pure joy to see the little Saab Sonett being chased by Chevrolet Camaros, Porsche 912: s and other monsters.
Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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