Autocar was an Israeli builder of Reliant 3-wheelers for the middle east, but managing director Yitzhak Shubinsky had dreams of building his own fiberglass bodied sports car and the Sabra was born. Today a used Sabra isn't just rare, the very knowledge of its existence is rare.
Out of all the cars on the planet wearing a Cactus as an emblem, the Sabra is certainly the best. The word Sabra means "Born in Israel" and is derived from the name of the prickly pear, hence the Sabra cactus logo. The Sabra Sport was a multinational effort, with a Ford engine, chassis by Ballamy and body by Ashley, all of which was assembled by Autocar Company in Haifa, Israel.
Find this 1963 Sabra Sport for sale in North Miami, FL for $32,500 via the Dezer Collection.
The backbone chassis used by the Sabra came from a design by LMB Components LTD of Surrey, UK. The chassis was originally used for the LMB Debonair, a stylish fastback that looked like a 3/4 scale Aston Martin DB7 of which 50 were produced between 1960 and 1962. Autocar added a kit fiberglass bodyshell from the Ashley 1172 and a few bumpers/lights for road use and huzzah, the Sabra was born.
Power came from a 1.7 liter inline-4 from the Ford Consul Mk II sedan that made 64 horsepower and was mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. The 1.7 liter engine was on the large size for small British roadsters like the Sprite and Midget, but it wasn't going to thrill any US drivers used to twice the displacement as a minimum and sales were limited to something less than 150 for North America.
The interior of the Sabra is a collection of parts-bin items from the Reliant factory, probably a combination of Smiths, VDO, etc that will keep any DIY tinkerer busy and happy for years. The Sabra is a rare car, and they only occasionally appear for sale, like this needs work for $11,500 example featured as a 2011 NPOCP car and a factory fresh example from 2007 that sold for $36k.
See an odder classic for sale? email@example.com
The DTO (Daily Turismo Omologato) is a rare or interesting example of a DT-friendly classic or performance vehicle, but priced somewhere above the self imposed DT cap of $20k.
Image credits; dezercollection.com