Massachusetts 1974 Saab Sonett Electric

17 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Massachusetts 1974 Saab Sonett Electric отключены
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Massachusetts — 1974 Saab Sonett Electric

Buy-it-Now price: $10,500

Description on eBay:

This car was owned by the late Walter Kern, a man well-known in vintage Saab circles for a variety of reasons, including the creation of a racing Saab (SCCA H-Modified class) called the Quantum. (There is a great wikipedia article about the Quantum. I think links are not allowed; just search.) He was also an engineer in Boston, at Teradyne, where, apparently, he got some of the cable used in the conversion. the nicest #000 cabling I have ever seen.

And the conversion was done with his friend and fellow Saab enthusiast Dave H. who is still around. It was my pleasure to meet him a few years ago at Swedish Car Day at Larz Anderson Park in Brookline MA. He was surpised and delighted to see the car. for the first time in about 20 years. (One of the Flickr images is of Dave H. next to the car at that event.)

It has a web page, too: Saab Sonett III — Electric. The domain name comes with the car, if you want it. Lots of Flickr pictures off that page, or go straight to them: saab-e phot set at Flickr.

One of the reasons the old Saabs are good conversion candidates is that they have free-running clutches. (You can choose free-running or locked — there’s a nylon lever on the outside of the transmission — but this is a legacy of the two-… days. This car and other Sonett IIIs generally came in to the US with English-built Ford V-4 motors, but Sonetts and other old Saabs had two-strokes.) The Sonetts also had relatively solid structure for cars of their weight; if I have it right, they shared a lot of the undercarriage with heaver Saab models.)

There’s an article about THIS VERY CAR at, including two 1993 videos from Rhode Island TV news.

I started working on the car about four years ago for its (then) owner from CT, who had found the car on eBay. It had been sitting for five or six years by then; last inspected in 1999. I ended up buying it about three years ago. It is re-powered, now, with a larger motor (Advanced DC 4001), 120V system instead of 72V, a new charging system, on board, (ElCon), air cooling for the motor (Dodge Caravan blower), an ElCon DC-DC converter (instead of an alternator), and a few other features. It has the same 350A Curtis controller that it had in the 80s, though I added a heat sink and a cooling fan for it.

I updated one of the main contactors and added a fuse block halfway through the 120V string. It has new brakes and tires, and Gabriel air-adjustable shocks in the rear. (It has less battery weight with the present 10 12V batteries than it had as a 72V machine; it had 12 T-145 6V batteries then).

I am selling it reluctantly. I need space and some cash for the next project. If I kept it, I would: continue documenting the electrical system (there’s nothing unusual in there; it’s all vanilla e-car stuff.

And the documentation is in pretty good shape, just not done); make the original gas gauge show the charge state (it has a Curtis gauge in it now), add a circuit to show battery current (the current ammeter shows motor current; this and battery current are not always the same), and find an original shift lever knob; maybe add a tilt-nose the way the Saab guy Jack Ashcraft (builder of another electric Sonett, the Electric Norseman(!), who is a very nice guy and a great resource); the inertial switch, which disables the electric system in a crash, isn’t hooked up yet, though it is in place by the driver’s left knee; I’m sure there are other things. I’ll add them as I think of them.

It has no heat, but the heat/def blower works. The wiper motor is feeble, but it works. (I almost never had it out in the rain. Once, I think. Not on purpose.) It needs a cap for one of the wheel hubs.

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There are some small scrapes, etc. and the passenger door lost about 3/4 wide by about 7 long piece of leading edge; I have it. Included, of course. The voltmeter on the dash measures proportionally, not absolutely (the scale is 0-100V, I tried to make it 0-100% of max charging voltage. it’s pretty good, thought it makes the scale wrong!). I have had trouble with Speed Caps allowing electrolyte to seep onto the battery tops, and thus corroding my battery racks.

I’m almost done replacing them with conventional caps (which don’t allow seepage. so much for Speed Caps). waaay better. I’ll clean up the batteries and the well before the buyer picks up the vehicle.

When I put in the current lead-acid batteries, it made economic sense. At the next battery change it might be time for some Lithiums. in just three years, the prices have come down a LOT, and they keep coming down. The only change necessary would be new brackets and an update to the charger algorithm (available through ElCon).

Includes Tyvek cover, all the bits I got with it or displaced updating it, all the documentation (including old registration certificates from the Walter Kern days) The car used to be red, it seems; see the Flickr pics.

It goes faster than 65 mph and about 40-50 miles on a charge, depending on how you drive.

And it’s a neat car. Sonett is derived from the Swedish phrase Sе ntt den r (how neat it is, or more literally so neat they are), says Wikipedia’s Sonett article. This car makes people smile!

Look at the pictures (saab-e photos) and its website, Saab Sonett III — Electric .

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