The Saab Sonett II and III

No, I haven't owned one of these.   Yet.  But maybe soon.

The early Swedish-built Saab Sonnet II had a two-stroke (Ford V-4) engine -- meaning that instead of the modern four-stroke system of:

1.) Fuel + Air Intake Stroke
2.) Compression Stroke
3.) Combustion/Power Stroke
4.) Exhaust Stroke

The Sonett I and early II's engine has only two strokes, which effectively combine steps 1 and 2 of a "normal" four-stroke process nearly simultaneously, and then does the same with steps 3 and 4.  The result is that you actually get away with a higher red line and more horsepower, since every other stroke is a power stroke.  Unfortunately, in a two-stroke engines, you have to mix the oil with the gasoline, which is environmentally disasterous.  There aren't many 2-stroke engines left today.  I think that some motocycle manufacturers have found a way to make them a little cleaner. Later Sonnett IIs switched over to 4-stroke engines.

The Saab Sonett III, has a slightly more conventional powerplant -- a V-4, front wheel drive engine -- which is to say, a totally alien engine.  There weren't many front wheel drive cars in the early 1970s, and almost no V-4 engines...  except on other Saabs.  The Sonett III is sharp-looking, especially when the flip-up headlights are down -- it's pointier than a Fiat X 1/9 or a Triumph TR-7.  It has a fibreglass body, meaning it doesn't rust.  It features a sturdy steel roll-cage that's visible inside the car to protect the occupants.  The car may not look or feel safe, but the roll cage is serious business -- the beams are about two inches thick.  I've seen video footage of a Sonett III being rolled in a race.  The driver just extracted himelf from the car, dusted himself off, and with the help of a few other guys, rolled the car up-right, and drove off.