96 in a Nice Frock – 1973 Saab Sonett III

With the demise of Saab, now 4 years ago, and the fact that 3 Saabs are ancestors of the RustyButTrusty fleet, it’s hard to overlook an affordable Saab. Saabs are already unusual cars, but if you take that unusual car and clothe it in an Italian-inspired, fiberglass body with seats for two and the obligatory hatchback, you have something truly unusual. Frankly, they make their compatriot sports car, the attractive Volvo P1800, seem downright plain. Check out this 1973 Saab Sonett III for sale for $2700 in Kalispell, MT.

1973 Saab Sonett III 3 left front

You might ask what a fiberglass car is doing on a site called Rusty But Trusty. Well, there’s still a frame and other key bits that are subject to corrosion. Fortunately, Montana does apparently salt its roads, so you’ll want to find out whether the car’s been used year-round, and crawl underneath with a magnet and some kind of pointy stick. That said, you’d expect more corrosion on the soccer ball wheels if the car were used in salty conditions.

1973 Saab Sonett III 3 right rear

The seller doesn’t give much detail, but usually the best deals are those where the seller does not try so hard. It’s said to run well and only have 75,000 miles, though you’ll never know for sure since the car only has a 5-digit odometer. While this is a rubber bumper car, the absence of a front bumper helps a lot with the aesthetics. Note the zip tie on the rear bumper – is this holding everything together while the inside rusts out?

1973 Saab Sonett III 3 interior

The interior seems to agree with the seller’s mileage statement – sure, it shows wear on the driver’s seat, but the rest of the interior looks good enough that the number could be close. Speaker holes in the doors are a disappointment, but you won’t feel bad installing some of your own since someone else did the cutting. The Sonett III nameplate is also missing, but everything else presents fairly well, and the design is attractive and gives just the right amount of information for a sports car driver. If you’re in Kalispell, or even southern Alberta, you’d better jump on this as it’s likely the only Sonett you’ll see for a while!


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