Classic Sabra Insurance
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Sabra was an Israeli manufacturer of cars between 1960 and 1968 and was founded by Yitzak Shubinsky, who also owned Autocars Ltd. The name Sabra, comes from a cactus that grows in the Mediterranean.
Shubinsky began by showing a small pickup truck at the New York Motor Show, which didn’t do very well. This was a combination of an Ashley body and a Les Bellamy chassis. The design needed work, so deciding to go back to the drawing board, he entered into a license agreement with Reliant to produce a three-wheeled engine, chassis and body together in a convertible configuration for export to the US.
The information available on Sabra is mixed and incomplete. We know the company made the Sussita and Carmel models in their factory in Haifa. However, when it came to making the Reliant venture, they didn’t have the capacity to do so.
The Sabra factory in Haifa wasn’t ready to produce, so the first cars were made at the Reliant factory in Tamworth. Most of them were destined for the US market, but 81 of them ended up in Belgium.
Their two most popular models were the Sabra Sussita and the Sabra Carmel. There was also another model, lesser known, called the Gilboa. The Carmel suited the country as it was more a utility vehicle, which the market very much wanted at the time.
In the late 1960s, Sabra also assembled Triumph cars from kits, although it isn’t known how popular these proved to be. All mention of Sabra disappears after 1968 apart from an owners club that still meets to show off the few remaining Sabra cars.
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