Bonhams : 1964 Sabra GT CoupeChassis no. GT4819Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658

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Lot 45
1964 Sabra GT Coupe

Sold for US$ 78,400 inc. premium
1964 Sabra GT Coupe
Chassis no. GT4819
Engine no. S305658

1,701cc, SOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin Solex Carburetors
90bhp at 4,400rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension by Coil Springs
Front Disc Brakes, Rear Drum Brakes

*Exceptionally rare make and model
*The only production Israeli sports car
*Comprehensively Restored
*Former Belgian Consulate's wife's car
*Recent participant on the Holy Land 1000 and New England 1000


SABRA CARS

Autocars of Haifa, Israel, can lay claim to being the only true car manufacturer that Israel ever produced and was the brainchild of a Itzhak Shubinsky. Naturally proudly using a Jewish metaphor he chose to call his car the 'Sabra', a term appropriated for Jews that are born in Israel, and Hebrew word for a cactus. It is said that the analogy is that it reflects their prickly exterior and a sweet center!

Autocars bought the Sabra's body design from kit-makers Ashley and the rights to its chassis from Les Ballamy, having seen both exhibited at the 1960 Racing Car Show. Their aim was to market these cars here in the United States and in fact they were to debut a prototype at the New York Auto Show in 1961.

Shubinsky contracted Reliant in the UK to supply the fiberglass bodies, and as it turned out since the Haifa manufacturing plant took a while to set up, Reliant ended up building the first 100 of Sabras in its entirety, using the four-cylinder 1.7-liter Ford Consul engine. Reliant were clearly convinced enough by the car themselves that this led to them building their own version, under the name 'Sabre'.

Once production was fully under swing in Israel, they were able to sell their cars locally as an alternative to imported cars which were taxed heavily. Despite this logical business plan, it turned out that many were sold beyond the country, some 144 arrived in America and the car proved particularly popular in Belgium, where 81 arrived, significant proportions when viewed as fractions of a total production run of 379 (171 of which were built in Haifa) between 1961 and 1968.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Rarely seen and one of only a handful of surviving Coupes, this Sabra GT has been restored to a very high level and is no doubt one of the finest in existence.

Given the number that were supplied to Belgium it is perhaps not surprising that it was there that they were able to find this particular car. Produced in April of 1963 and fitted with an Alexander Tuning kit that bumped the power from 61bhp to 90bhp, this car was delivered to Garage Majestic S.A. in Brussels and acquired new by the wife of the Belgian Israeli Consulate General.

The Sabra was completely refurbished from the ground up by the penultimate owner, with years of work on the body, mechanics and cosmetics being completed a several of years ago. Aesthetically, the car is beautifully refinished in a period pastel blue color, the interior totally redone and now in dark blue leatherette with cloth center panels - a particularly appealing combination. Mechanically, the car was totally gone through and made to go incredibly well—the power to weight ratio unquestionably helps the performance. More recently, electronic ignition and an auxiliary fuel pump have been added for additional reliability.

Shortly after the completion of the restoration, the car was the subject of a feature on Petrolicious by Giuseppe Filippone which comments favorably on both the model and this particular 'feisty' little coupe. The current owner acquired the car from Bonhams at the Amelia Island Auction in 2016. Since taking ownership of the car, in 2016 it won a Best in Class award at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance and Second in Class at the Boston Cup. Just as, if not more significantly, it participated in and completed the 2016 New England 1000 and in 2018 returned to the place of its birth to run in the prestigious Holy Land 1000. In driving over 1000 miles through Israel—with pride of place as the only Sabra on the event—the car generated plenty of attention where ever it went.

Rarely seen anywhere, this fabulous example would be a unique feature in any collection and certainly a talking point for the interesting history of the brand or better still it could be a lot of fun on a car tour!

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this Sabra is fitted with twin SU carburetors, not Solexs.
Contacts
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
<b>1964 Sabra GT Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. GT4819<br />Engine no. S305658
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