Model Year 1964
Like the Saab Formula Junior and the Saab Sonett Super Sport (Sonett I) the Catherina began life as the personal sports car project of Sixten Sason.
Sason conducted freelance work but was soon commissioned by Saab to adapt his design for full scale production. Work on this commenced in January 1963 and by May work began on the assembly of a prototype at the Svenska Järnvagsverkstäderna (ASJ) workshops in Katrineholm (hence the car’s name).
The prototype was first shown on 24th April 1965 at the Linköping Sports Centre. The Catherina had a number of features that were ahead of their time, such as the targa top that was the correct shape to be neatly stowed in the boot. Other features that Sixten Sason envisaged, such as the roof-mounted headlamps to provide greater range on dipped beam, never made it to the prototype.
One might note the resemblance between the lines of the Catherina and those of the forthcoming Saab 99. This is not entirely surprising since both designs shared Sason’s drawing board.
Test drives of the Catherina revealed the need for more development before production could be commenced. In the meantime a competitor in the form of MFI13 had appeared on the scene. A comparison of the two cars led to the MFI13 being chosen as the basis for a new model, the Saab Sonett II. Sason’s Catherina is on display in the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan.