The Saab Facett – Unofficial Prototype

Posted on 26. Sep, 2008 by in 2000-2009


Photo Credit: Saab Archives

The Saab Facett, was an unofficial prototype produced at the same time as Saab produced the Saab Sonett I. This vehicle has recently been converted back to the “Green” Saab Sonett I No.4 out of 6 ever produced.

I have purposely excluded this vehicle from the model listings on the right as it is not an official prototype nor concept car, but is part of the history of Saab without question.

To find out more about the Facett, read below:

On one European continent, a car called the Saab Facett was arouse quite a commotion in the mid-sixties. Photos of what was called a “third prototype” was circulated in the European press at the same time as Saab released the “official prototypes” signed Karlstrom and Sason.

According to the Continental magazines, the Facett was another prototype being used by Saab to test the public reaction and taste. The truth is that they were way off the mark. From the beginningto end, the Facett was a backyard project and the only connection the builder, Sigvard Sorensen, had with Saab was that he was employed in the design department in Trollhättan.

The story begins when one of the first six Sonetts was offered for sale to the employees at Saab in the early sixties. The company had neither the available space or desire to store all the cars in a shed so they simply sold off the cars they felt were superflouos.

Sigvard Sorensen took up the offer and bought himself a bright green Saab Sonett Super Sport. The car was rather impractical, to say the least, and Sorensen started thinking about what he could do to make it more useful.

He began by removing the plastic body and went to work on the chassis. The fuel tank was moved from its odd position in the front wing to between the rear wheels where it was well protected against all types of accidents + standard procedure on all Saabs with the exception of the six Sonett Is.

The original engine was rejected in favor of a standard sport engine which was more suited to everyday driving than a temperamental, highly tuned racing engine. At this stage Sorensen realized that he would have to build a completely new body sheel and preferably with a hardtop. To get the car driveable quicker, he decided to use sheet metal instead of fiberglass.

Since he was really just a hobby builder, he had to make do without the special tools used by professional body-makers. Thus with the use of simple hand-toools and a welding set, he fashioned a body with fairly large flat surfaces and sharp angles, dictated by the available material and tools. “I used sheet steel of 0.6 to 1.0mm since it was easier to work with, ” he explained when he showed his car in the mid-sixties.

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