Friday, June 24, 2011

1963 Sabra

The Sabra is just a blip on the screen of automotive history, but it's an interesting one. It's an Israeli built sports car.

The Sabra was the brainchild of an Israeli company called Autocars Co. Ltd. They secured the rights to the body from Ashley (where it was called the 1172) and the frame from Leslie Bellamy. Autocars hired Britain's Reliant company to combine the body and chassis and develop the car. The engine is a Ford 1700cc 4. (As part of their compensation, Reliant was allowed to build and sell 100 cars under their name. The Sabre - as Reliant called the car - became Reliant's first 4 wheeled car.)

This Sabra has been owned by the same person for the past 18 years. He claims to have put close to $40,000.00 into it. It still needs a bit of work to be a usable car.

Sabra's came with truly hideous front bumpers. They have not been reinstalled on this car. Unless perfect originality is your thing, it's best to leave them off.

It's tough to say what a car like this is worth. Under 400 were built. Less than 50 made their way to the US. Less than 100 are known to still exist worldwide. But... Israel is not known for its automobile industry. The Sabra's engineering is good, but not groundbreaking or exciting. Its performance is pretty much what you'd expect from a fiberglass car that's powered by a 4 cylinder Ford engine; better than some 1960s 4 cylinder sports cars and worse than some others. This is a car that you'd buy just for its uniqueness. It will be interesting to see what it gets bid up to.

Located in Langley, BC, Canada (Although the ad says Langley, BC, United States - Apparently we've annexed British Columbia.), click here to see the eBay listing.

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