Classic car hire companies usually stick steadfastly to the mainstream: good, reliable, solid cars that anyone – especially non-enthusiasts – can recognise. That, they say, is just good business sense. So, though we don't usually publicise every addition to every fleet, we thought that the Midlands-based Open Road offering a Saab Sonett was definitely breaking the mould.
Even though the 1973 Sonett III you can now hire from them is one of the most plentiful variants – 8000-odd built compared to just six of the first incarnation – it is a real rarity in the UK. In fact, according to the not always reliable How Many Left? website, there are just seven on the road.
A far more common sight in the USA – its intended primary market – the Sonett is built on a cut-down Saab 96 floorpan with a glassfibre body and roll-bar as standard. Powered by a Ford V4, it reaches 60mph in about 10 secs and tops out at just over 100mph.
The Open Road's example is an ex-US car that came to the UK in 1997. It joins far more traditional fare on the company's fleet including Jaguar Mk2, Ford Mustang, MGB, TR6, Austin-Healey, Stag and E-type. It will cost you £195 a day to hire, or £975 for a full week.
Just for fun, we checked the stocklists of a few more UK classic hire businesses and the weirdest car we could find was the De Lorean that C&SC borrowed from The Great Escape for a recent feature. Or the Classic Car Club's Citroen CX.
So, do you know of a more obscure classic available for hire?
Or, what can you suggest as the next fleet addition for The Open Road? A Volvo P1900 to continue the Swedish theme, or how about an Bricklin SV-1?