German auto designs lean toward function and purpose. Italian designers deliver passion and beauty. The Brits, majesty. American cars, brashness and authority. If you want a funky design, though, you go to Sweden. The land of cheap, do-it-yourself furniture and delicious meatballs knows a thing or six about style and design, and while that character is only now reemerging thanks to a certain string of Volvo concepts, it use to be that Saab was the authority on penning some of the industry’s more unique designs.
Take the beautiful Sonett for example – a small coupe whose appearance is a funky mishmash of a Porsche 911 and a Bugeyed Sprite with just a hint of a Citroën DS (it’s that convex rear window). It’s a positively striking car, made more unique by its two-stroke, three-cylinder powertrain and four-on-the-tree manual transmission. With just 70 horsepower hauling about 1,500 pounds of Swedish style, the Sonett strikes us as an ideal alternative to some of the English sports cars of its day, particularly for those that are looking for something beyond your average MG or Triumph.
For Glenn Roberts, the Sonett was a part of his childhood. His family owned example was originally a special-order item by his parents in 1967. He bought the car from them 13 years later and has never looked back, completing a restoration in 2004. With a story like that, it’s not surprising that Roberts and his silver Sonett are the most recent pairing to get some attention from Petrolicious.