Chassis Num: S200100
Engine Num: S216251
Sold for $40,700 at 2018 Bonhams
The Sabra was born when Autocars, an Israeli firm, commissioned Reliant, a British car company to build them a sports car. The Sabra Sport was to be sold as a new entry in the growing US sports car market in the early 1960's. Total production is estimated at 208, with 55 sold in the UK under the name of Sabra, and 153 were exported to the US under the name of Sabra. The Sabra Sport was introduced at the 1961 New York Auto Show. The car came with either a re-moveable hardtop as seen here or a convertible top - not both.
The car was not accepted well in the US for several reasons. First it did not come equipped with several amenities such as sun visors, back-up lights and an interior dome light. The Sabra Sport was offered at $3,500 comparable to the Austin-Healey 3000, but its performance was more in line with MG Midget selling for only $2,000.
This car was brought in the country by a Florida dealer in 1962. It remained un-sold and was stored for more than 40 years. The current owners purchased the car in September 2000 with only 40 miles on the odometer. Because of the Florida heat and humidity the car had a complete restoration completed in 2001.
This Sabra was awarded its AACA Senior at Hershey, PA, its AACA Grand National Award in North Carolina in 2002 and its Senior Grand National in 2004. It was also chosen for an AACA National Award (The Emmert Swigert Memorial Cup) in 2002.
Autocars in Israel built 208 Sabras. 153 came to the United States, 55, re-named Sabre, to the United Kingdom. Each fiberglass-bodied car came with either a removable hardtop or a convertible fabric top. It was, frankly, not quite the value, with its 1,701cc Ford Consul 4-cylinder, or an Austin-Healey 3000, both priced at $3,500 but much less common. The UK's Reliant Motor Company of Tamworth built it. Reliant were known for fiberglass economy '3-wheelers' and later the (Ford V6) Scimitar, a mainstream GT car.