Product spotlight #1: Restored 1972 Sonett Chassis

 

So, my beefcake gearbox is already sold as of Thanksgiving 2018…!   It went out to a great guy in the Midwest with a ’68 Sonett.  [UPDATE 12/29/18:  And it looks like the chassis is already sold now too.  It’s going to a great home in CT.  I’ll get you guys an update soon regarding the couple of other items I still have available.]. And you guys have been quick about checking in for more info about everything else.   While virtually everything I’ve done is documented throughout my blog, I figured it would be way more convenient if I just did a summary post for each remaining piece that is available.  Also, I thought you would guys would dig the “vintage” image in front of my neighbors barn:

20181022_130356-effects So, here are the details:

  • 1972 Sonett III chassis, with just over 30,000 miles on it that spent it’s life in the South/Midwest US (Arkansas).  Brought to Massachusetts just under 5 years ago, stored in a heated & air conditioned garage.  This chassis has a full, clean, Massachusetts title and I have the OEM VIN plate.
  • Chassis was full stripped and professionally sandblasted by Superior Sandblasting out of Medway, MA.
  • Any and all spots of corrosion were cut out and replaced by fresh 16 gauge sheetmetal (same as OEM), and fully seam-welded in.  Any suspected seams were fully seam welded as well.
  • Entire chassis was acid-etched, and received an full coat of POR-15.  Prior to cure, all seams were treated to fresh Eastwood Seam Sealer.  Prior to that cure, the entire chassis received a second full coat of POR-15.
  • Entire underside received a full coat of POR-15 Undercoating (to ensure compatibility with the regular POR-15).  After curing, the entire underside received a full coating of Hercules truck bed liner to provide additional protection and help simulate the heavy coating Saab had used originally.
  • ALL suspension pieces were sandblasted and powdercoated (upper & lower A-Arms, rear “axle”, steering knuckles, brake backing plates, rear control arms, driveshafts, front spring perches, etc…).  Brand new bushings all around.
  • Brand new springs were made up by Coil Spring Specialties based on the OEM Sonett springs.  Springs were wound with the correct spring rates and wire thickness, but with 3/4″ drop to improve handling.  According to Jack Ashcraft, this one step makes the biggest improvement in Sonett handling of everything you can do.  Also did brand new rear upper spring perches, which were a surprisingly high $290.00 for the pair..!?!
  • Brand new bearings front and rear, packed with Mobil 1 Synthetic grease.
  • Freshly rebuilt brake master cylinder by White Post Restoration with documentation.  Brand new cupronickel brake lines.  Brand new front rotors (with high temp painted rotor hubs and edges to prevent rusting), front brake pads (EBC Greenstuff street performance pads), rebuilt and coated front calipers.  New rear brake cylinders and shoes, refurbished and coated rear brake drums (POR-15 with POR-15 high temp top coat).  Brand new correct brake fluid reservoir.
  • Brand new Wilwood clutch master with hardened clevis and bolt.  Brand new correct clutch fluid reservoir.
  • Freshly rebuilt steering rack by The Rebuilding Factory in California.
  • Most interior contacting surfaces coated with noise and heat rejecting rubberized mats.
  • Brand new 2 gauge battery wire run front to back.  Pure, multi-strand copper, welding cable was used, and clear heat shrink sleeve bonded to much of it to provide additional protection.  Secured with rubber isolated stainless steel clamps.
  • Brand new, custom made, handbrake cables were made based on OEM cables.  These are not available for “off-the-shelf” purchase typically.
  • Custom, 16 gauge stainless steel, pedal cover sheet (vs flimsy OEM standard steel one) to help prevent vibrations and noise transfer.  Will never rust.
  • Every single nut and bolt replace in either beefy Grade 8 or stainless steel depending on strength required.
  • Pedal stand is fully sandblasted and restored, with new stainless metric pins.  New rubber footpads (not yet installed).
  • Set of five “Soccerball” wheels in good condition.  Not yet refurbished, but workable to move the car around.
  • Every single boot and seal has been replaced, without exception:  inner and outer CV boots, new A-Arm bumpers, new bumpstops, new steering rack boots, all grease seals, etc)

 

 

So, there you have the vast majority of it.  It literally was a “nut and bolt” restoration that reads like a wishlist of everything you could think of.  I skipped nothing and spared no expense.  What can I say, I just wanted to do it right.  This chassis will come with a good condition fiberglass body shell.  All of the glass is included, and it all looks to be in very good condition.  I also have virtually all of the interior parts as well that will go with it (seats, dash, upholstery, etc).  I’m hoping this chassis is the perfect basis for one of you girls or guys to built the perfect Sonett.  I’m located in Central Massachusetts, so pickup is obviously easiest.  I could arrange for a delivery in an hour or so radius, but if you’re much further away you’re welcome to send the transport of your choice.

In terms of money, I have $4,000.00 in material receipts alone, plus the cost of the car to begin with, plus well over a hundred hours of labor.  Your local stealership or professional restorer would no doubt look for $10,000.00 to cover the labor and welding, which I am obviously not looking for.  But at around $20,000.00 total all in, it’s not insignificant.  Is $5,000.00 reasonable?  That puts me at about 25 cents on the dollar, and a fantastic bargain for someone.  Let’s talk if your interested (jcayea99 at gmail is best way to reach me).  But I can’t think of a nicer chassis available to the vintage Saab community.

 

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