Saab 97 Sonett 3

Model Years 1970 to 1974

The Saab Sonett II suffered increasing criticism of its awkward lines by both customers and within Saab itself. After just two years of production Saab contracted the Italian stylist Sergio Coggiola to redesign the Sonett II.

Saab Sonett 3 (Saab 97), Saab Bilmuseum, Trollhattan, Sweden.

Coggiola had a tough task – forbidden by Saab to redesign the complicated central section – and his designs were subject to a number of amendments by Gunnar A. Sjögren, Saab’s own designer.

The Sonett III,the product of this Swedish-Italian cooperation, was unveiled in Spring 1970.

Access to the engine of the Sonett III, for service or repair, was by way of a small hatch on the bonnet. Gone was the full tip up bonnet. The boot, however, was now significantly larger with access through the glass tailgate. This was supported by a graphite prop for 1970 to 1973 models being replaced by gas struts for 1974 models.

Saab Sonett 3 (Saab 97), Saab Bilmuseum, Trollhattan, Sweden.

Tools could be stowed alongside the spare wheel and the battery beneath the plywood subfloor. The seats were made from fibreglass covered with a thin layer of padding. An adjustable lumbar cushion makes these seats suprisingly comfortable.

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