Journal: Pick Your 3/4-Scale Sports Car

Pick Your 3/4-Scale Sports Car

By Petrolicious Productions
April 23, 2013
16 comments

Little sports cars are great fun. They’re small enough to really take by the scruff and toss around, light enough that their little engines make the most of what limited power they make, and they’re usually very affordable to buy and run. These two go even further and add quirkiness and rarity to that shortlist of positive attributes.

Our first contender hails from Germany—a ’72 Opel GT. Looking all the world like a 3/5th scale C3 Corvette, it’s an attractive little thing bursting with character. Manually-operated fliplights and HVAC vents seemingly thrown about at random are just a few of the interior’s idiosyncrasies. RWD with a small four cylinder and manual trans, there’s tons of fun on offer here in a sub-ton package.

From Sweden comes the Saab Sonett III, a ’74 model, which was last of the breed. Translating to “So neat”, Sonetts are fiberglass bodied and of a similar size, shape, and weight to the Opel, but with FWD. This particular car uses a Ford-sourced V4, though earlier versions had Saab’s traditional two-stroke three. Though many came with a column shift, this one’s equipped with a floor-mounted stick. Again, there’s big bags of good times to be had in a tiny package.

1972 Opel GT

Click here for the Opel details.

1974 Saab Sonett III

Click here for the Saab details.

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Len
Len
4 years ago

Fiat X1/9. If any still exist (rust)!

Lewis deSoto
Lewis deSoto
9 years ago

You may take a look at my “strato blue” 72 GT if you like at http://www.desotodesign.net I think the Opel is more of a complete car where the Sonett was more of a bunch of parts “somewhat” integrated. The Sonett never looked like it was orchestrated as a design, but a series of tests to see if things worked or not. Clare McKichan’s design from Bill Mitchell’s studio seem to coalesce the German love of aerodynamics and the American’s love of beautiful surfaces as typified by GM at the time. The 1.9 Liter engine is strong, robust and has a lot of abilities for further performance. I find it exhilarating to just toodle around in it; it makes all the right mechanical sounds and the steering is very direct. I love the look over the hood seeing that little teardrop over the carburetor.

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia
9 years ago
Reply to  Lewis deSoto

Very nice! We’d love to check it out next time we’re in the Bay Area.

Zoo Barthelme
Zoo Barthelme
9 years ago

….I am not a purist when it comes to certain vehicles, so a buddy of mine owns one. Maybe dismay to some, but a 4.3L Vortec V-6 turned this subtle “3/4” car into a monster. Now he wants to supercharge/turbo-charge it, add a five-speed and bigger brakes. Photos to come…..

Rip Curl
Rip Curl
9 years ago

Both awful cars but with a gun to my head I’d take the Opel.

Leucea Alexandru
Leucea Alexandru
9 years ago

I have always wanted a SAAB. I have always admired this brand and i was fortunate enough to drive an AERO and enjoyed it up to the last mile. So i will go for the SAAB on this one, i was never into Opel and if i remove those ugly bumpers the car will look much better.

Erwan Brillot
Erwan Brillot
9 years ago

Opel for me, just to keep opening and closing the front light 🙂

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson
9 years ago

Even though I’m fond of SAAB and that two-stroke engine noise is awesome, I’d have to go with the Opel. There’s basically two reasons… One, GT looks much better, never liked the Sonett (any of the three). Secondly, although not a rocketship, it’s faster with the 1.9 that most buyers went for.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman
9 years ago

opel – the choice of agent 86

🙂

Tommy
Tommy
5 years ago
Reply to  Ae Neuman

Actually 86 drove a Sunbeam tiger.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
9 years ago

Saab for me but only because I had a matchbox one as a kid

John Papalardo
John Papalardo
9 years ago

Both are going to be slow, but I gotta take the Saab, but only if it comes with the 2-stroke and funky coasting transmission.

Alan Franklin
Alan Franklin
9 years ago
Reply to  John Papalardo

I hear you on the 2 stroke, but I think the V4’s also had the freewheeling trans.

Josh Clason
Josh Clason
9 years ago

I am going to side with the Saab on this one.

japanophile25
japanophile25
9 years ago

The Opel. All day long.