The wonderful sound of the trolls - a Saab Sonett II

It is the wonderful sound of the trolls that makes this Saab Sonett II so desirable. So forget all the prejudices you have ever had against a 2-stroke engine. The Sonett II enchants with the sound of three cylinders, resistance is pointless. However, the era of the two-stroke engines was tight for the Sonett. Production of the Sonett II started in 1966 and the first V4 engines came just a year later, which were supposed to end the wonderful sound of the two-stroke engine.

Saab Sonnet II 1967
Saab Sonnet II 1967

The better sonnet II

The sophisticated three-cylinder two-stroke engine with a displacement of 748 cm³ made around 60 hp. It was this sound of the rally, the music of Erik Carlsson, Greta Molander and the trolls, with which the little two-stroke trumpeted its love of life to the world. No comparison to the V4 Sonett, which had 5 hp more power, but had to lug around additional weight with the heavy engine. Worse still, with the three-cylinder 60% of the weight was on the front axle, it was much more with the V4. The top-heaviness of the Sonett II increased again.

We don't even want to talk about the missing sound.

Hood without hood like the V4
Hood without hood like the V4

Also, there was the matter of optics. A subject that is also not nice. In order for the engine to fit at all, the V4 Sonett received a not exactly advantageous scoop on the bonnet. A prominent bump that did not add to the beauty of the appearance.

The two-stroke sonnet was not only the better, but also the nicer choice. The only tragic thing is that only 258 pieces were made of her.

Classic Saab logo with airplane
Classic Saab logo with airplane

Sonnet from Arlöv

The Sonett II was not built in Trollhättan. In expectation of high numbers that never existed, Saab commissioned ASJ in Arlöv with the construction of the Sonett II. The external production, the experimentation with new materials, led to some problems and it took time until the quality was described as satisfactory. In Sweden the Sonett II was not a success, the majority of the production ended up in the USA.

Like a Sonett II from 1967 that was sold to North America and returned to Sweden in 1995. It was extensively restored, and both Swedish Saab clubs and former factory employees were involved. Restoration is generally a difficult subject in a sonnet. Often times the result is not what it should be. But this is primarily due to the fact that some parts are difficult (or not at all) to get.

Interior restored with contemporary equipment
Interior restored with contemporary equipment

This Sonnet II is a real exception. The restoration was carried out on a very high level, with an eye for small details and a feeling for historical reproduction. This little sports car is probably more beautiful and better now than it was in 1967 when it rolled off the assembly line in Arlöv. One can only guess how much money went into the restoration. It will not have been a little. However, you have to like this flawlessness too. Because the story since 1967 can no longer be recognized. It was wiped out.

This Sonett II is kind of a new car.

The Sonett was built by ASJ in Arlöv
The Sonett was built by ASJ in Arlöv

The sound of the trolls

Whatever the case, the Sonett II is looking for a new home. Someone who is enthusiastic about the sound of the trolls and who is willing to invest some money. The Saab Sonett II is now in Sweden auctioned, the estimate is not that high.

Sophisticated two-stroke with three cylinders
Sophisticated two-stroke with three cylinders

You would probably have to invest between € 30 and 33.000, the restoration would have cost more. There are many spare parts in the package. Components such as a gearbox or an exhaust system are among them. Parts that would be pretty hard to get if you needed them urgently.

The Sonett II is definitely an exciting example for a collection. It is also part of Saab history, and anyone who wants to read into the dramatic development can do it here to do. But it could just be the sound of the trolls, today's exotic two-stroke technology that could discourage people from buying.

With images from bilweb

2 thoughts on "The wonderful sound of the trolls - a Saab Sonett II"

  • I can't get anything out of the sonnet regardless of whether 1,2, 3 or XNUMX. I don't find either the form or the performance particularly interesting. The subject of lightweight construction and limited performance has been implemented much better by Lotus.

  • 256 copies

    It is more exclusive than a Koenigsegg Gemera and will hopefully be in good hands ...

    Fascinating how far apart both sports cars are - apart from the common feature of a three-cylinder. There are few cars that embody and celebrate minimalism and reduction so radically and in its purest form as a Sonett ll ...

    The contemporary from Gothenburg (P1800) was a comparatively complex and bloated construction with a lot of hip and belly fat, around 50% more weight and consumption of resources ...

    For me, the sonnet is a monument that makes you think. As one of the last representatives of its kind, it embodies a school of thought that has relied entirely on reduction for maximum efficiency.

    I still don't trust the alternative proposal that we can achieve maximum efficiency and environmental protection with maximum effort.

    According to this, an energy-saving house in Greenland that is packed in 30 cm Styrofoam would be more environmentally friendly than an igloo.
    But that can't be right ...

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