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We Bet You've Never Heard Of This Rare Israeli Sports Car

For Sale / 13 Comments

It's called the Sabra GT, and it's the only example for sale in the world.

When you type 'Sabra' into a search engine, the first result you will see is for hummus and guacamole dips. But it's also the name of an Israeli car company. The name can be translated to 'tzabar' in Hebrew, which means 'a Jewish person born in Israel.' It can also mean cactus, which explains the company's logo.

We mentioned Sabra in a recent story about car brands you've never heard of and we bring it up again because a dealership in Belgium called Octane Cars & Classics claims to have the only one sale in the world right now. The car was originally purchased in Antwerp, Belgium, where Sabra had a dealership. Octane owner Vincent Wouters says the car was then traded in for a Citroen at his uncle's dealership and he has held onto it for over 20 years.

via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics

Sabra initially launched at the 1960 New York Auto Show with a small, underpowered pickup truck. As you can imagine, the truck was not a success, so Sabra struck a deal with UK automaker Reliant to turn the engine, body, and chassis into a convertible sports car called the Sabra Sports and deliver the 100 units to the United States. Reliant produced the first 100 cars - which were powered by a tiny Ford 1,703 cc engine from a Consul-Zephyr - and the VIN plates read "AUTOCARS COMPANY LIMITED HAIFA ISRAEL" despite being built in the UK. The rest of the cars were eventually built in Israel, with only 41 ever coming to the US.

There was also a coupe version called the Sports GT, which is what Octane currently has for sale. From 1964 to 1968, the car found limited success in the Belgian market, where 81 cars were delivered. Production was forced to stop due to the Six-Day War but since orders were already placed, deliveries resumed in 1968 and 1969.

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via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics

Today, only around 100 of these cars are documented around the world. This particular example is being sold with the original owner's manual, and two original accessories: the radio and the towing iron (both of which were optional). Octane is asking 22,000 euros for this 1967 example, which translates to around $24,000. The car has 55,380 kilometers (34,411 miles) on it and both the interior and exterior could clearly use some love and care.

The original Ford engine only produces around 90 horsepower, so the car certainly isn't fast. But if you are interested in owning a rare piece of Isreaeli history and stumping every know-it-all at your local cars and coffee, this Sabra Sports GT might be for you.

via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics
via Octane Cars & Classics

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