Out of all the cars on the planet wearing a Cactus as an emblem, the Sabra is certainly the best. It 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. Autocar was a local Israeli builder of Reliant cars for the middle east, but managing director Yitzhak Shubinsky wanted to build 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 and the combination makes for a reasonable market. 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.
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.