Sonabusa update

Can you imagine the funky lines of the Saab Sonett III propelled along at lightning speed by a Suzuki Hayabusa engine?

Now this is my kinda hybrid!!!!!

It’s called Sonabusa and the build continues at Albany Speed Shop, owned and operated by former New Salem Saab proprietor, Darryl Carl.

Last time we checked, they’d just installed the engine and taken it for a first run. They’re a little further along now and I caught up with Darryl earlier this week to see what’s going on and what remains to be done before it’s legal.

From Darryl:

Todays update is good:

  • We are closing in on the first “legal” drive on the streets.
  • The bonnet (lol, Sonett bonett) will be permanently installed within the week.
  • The title is on the way – about three weeks out and then to get some plates (tags).
  • The brake lights and heater and some of the other electrical has been completed.
  • The throw on the shifter has been adjusted.
  • I sorted my interior spare parts and was excited to find a NEW headliner, TWO NEW door seals, a NEW hatch seal and a NEW FRONT CARPET. Its unbelievable! I did not know I had them. So I have ALL the interior pieces and will be reinstalling it back to a prime STOCK looking interior.
  • The tires and wheels that I will use have now come in and are installed. There is a little more poke than we wanted due to the width of the 1980 toyota corolla rearend we installed. You can see more pics on photobucket.
  • I made new front aluminum splash pans/gaurds as the old steal ones were nasty and rotten.
  • The cage is 98% done and awaiting final door tube installion until after the wiring and passanger seat was made/ re-fabricated.
  • The rear panel in the trunk is done as is the battery hold down



  • wiring wiper motor – a PITA as it involves two relays interrelated due to PARK and intermittant operation of the original system
  • Heat wrap front pipe
  • Interior – ALL
  • Headlight system – gathering parts now… uuurgh!
  • Finish the passenger seat – it had to be narrowed 2″ due to new driveshaft tunnel
  • Wire in the directionals
  • Add tachometer thats read 12,000 RPM 🙂
  • Some other stuff, nothing huge that i can think of


Did someone say they wanted to hear that Hayabusa engine?


I can’t wait to see some finished video of this car in action. I’ve driven a Sonett and it’s bundles of fun but this is in a whole other league. If they can maintain the fun-to-drive nature of the Sonett’s lightweight frame and keep the whole thing controllable, then this Sonabusa is going to be a mega-Saab.

Rock on, Darryl!

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  1. Wow! The only thing about that Sonett that is like mine is the body color. 🙂

    I wonder how loud that drive shaft tunnel will be right there in the cabin between the two seats? Going to need a lot of sound dampening material in the interior. 🙂

  2. What a great project, and that Hayabusa has so much potential. I was at the Vance & Hines race shop in Indy last week and they can get 500HP out of that motor for drag racing.

    They are building a 600HP turbo version for Sam Wheeler’s streamliner. He needs to go over 400MPH to set the world record.

    Maybe 300HP would be good enough for the Sonnett!!!!!

  3. Hey everyone!

    We got the headlight system done today! Awesome to see them work. Hasn’t been together in nearly 30 years!

    Yes, In the future there is a turbo in the works. We need to see what we can break with the NA motor first. The goal would be 280hp…. very doable since this stock version is 200hp already.

    A world’s first ~ SonaBusa!

    Thanks for reading!

    Any Questions?