Saturday, September 30, 2006

Skoda Sonett

As the Saab Sonett celebrates its 50th birthday, GM is rightfully taking part in the festivities. It was good to see the company post a press release about Saab's "quintessential two-seat sport car." The article also talks about the upcoming Swedish Car Day which will take place in Brookline, Massachusetts on October 15, 2006. (Too bad its on a Sunday.) The article also describes the various models produced from 1956 to 1974, some of which are quite rare. But what is perhaps more rare is a Škoda (pronounced Sh-ko-da) variant of the Saab Sonett produced between 1968 and 1971.



According to Wikipedia, the Škoda 1100 GT used a rear engine, rear drive layout "powered by a S-110 R engine giving 75 hp." That doesn't sound very peppy by today's standards until you understand the car was made of fiber glass. Perhaps this is why Men's Journal would consider the Saab Sonett II as one of 14 perfect sports cars. As to the Škoda, information is quite limited. I haven't seen any of these cars on eBay, but there are a few sites which talk about them. The fullest description was provided by http://www.thesaabsite.com/sonnetinfo.htm toward the end of their history of the Sonett.
An interesting side note is that the local SAAB dealership in Czechoslovakia opened in 1962 and run by the race driver Zdenek Treybal. Apart from selling Saab 96 he also managed to sell two Sonett V4s. One to a race driver in Prague. The other to AZPN (Automobilové Závody Narodni Podnik) in Mladá Boleslav in 1968. AZPN used the Sonett as the basis of a prototype for Škoda Auto called the Škoda 1100 GT. From the doors and rear it is almost identical with the Sonett, but the front is inspired by Ferrari Dino.
From my searches on the internet, I was unable to find much more information about this interesting rear-engined car. If you find any more information, be sure to let me know.



.



2 comments:

the Mongoose said...

75 HP? I can see 475 HP but 75? How long would it take to get from 0 to 60? 3 days?

Andy Rupert said...

Yeah ... but the car is so small! It probably wasn't a straight away winner but probably did well on windy roads. By the way, the Sonett III took about 12 seconds from what I remember. So, I would guess this one would do about that. Anybody know for sure?