Saab, which stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, was founded in 1937 to make aircraft for the Swedish air force. After World War II, their military contracts stopped paying the bills, so Saab turned to automobiles instead.

When early models proved quite capable in European road rallies, Saab decided to try producing sports cars. A prototype emerged in 1956, but it was plagued by problems. A full decade later, Saab revived the concept, creating 1966’s Saab Sonett II. The styling was sleek and squat, but the engine was an outdated two-cylinder. As a sports car, it met with very limited success, and was discontinued to make room for the next attempt.

1970 saw the Saab Sonett III, which traded in its two-cylinder for a four-cylinder engine, and fleshed out the body a bit, giving the car less of a stunted look than its forerunner. It still wasn’t much better performance-wise than the Sonett II, and Saab eventually abandoned the idea of sports cars altogether.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what made these Saabs tick. With car profiles and pictures, you’ll find out that looks aren’t everything, along with a bit of Saab’s history.

To learn more about Saab and other sports cars, see: