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1957 Jabro–So, What’s a Jabro?

Thanks to loyal Barn Finds reader Peter R. for sending in this great find! This is a 1957 Jabro. A Jabro? What’s a Jabro? Well, stay tuned to your Barn Finds channel here and you’ll find out. Wait, you mean we’re not on TV? Phooey. Ok, I guess you’ll have to keep reading to find out more information then. Also, I’m sure some of our readers can add to our knowledge (Dave, you out there?) This sleek little car is located in Vienna, Ohio and is listed for sale here on eBay. I’m sure bidding will rise considerably from the current $2,705 (’cause if it doesn’t, I’ll be bidding…and I really don’t want to explain yet another car to Cristina!)

I think the headrest fairing is my favorite feature on those 50’s sports cars that have it! But you want to hear about what a Jabro is, don’t you! Okay–the seller tells us that this Crosley-powered sports car was built by James Broadwell and Ed Alsbury in very limited production. I wasn’t able to find out how many, but I suspect we are talking no more than double digits here. Again, feel free to correct me if you know more.

You can see the tube chassis here in this picture. According to this Hemmings article, the chassis was made from antenna mast tubing due to the low carbon content, easy welding and flexibility to avoid cracking. As you might expect, it has a fiberglass body that seems to be in decent shape.

Don’t be worried about the lack of engine here; the seller is including not one, not two, but three Crosley engines, including one that has been professionally rebuilt and not run yet. That suspension you see is Crosley as well, which you might wonder about. Actually, the little cars were pretty decent handlers for their day. I like the triangulation in parts of this frame design as well. I’m getting more and more enamored with this car as I complete the post — are you noticing that?

Wow! How would you like to be installing this engine once you finish the paintwork on the Jabro! This one has some period Braje speed parts in addition to being freshly rebuilt. One of the other engines (presumably the original one) has a Jabro valve cover.  Yes, I’d blast and paint the frame first and produce a great little screamer for weeknight and weekend jaunts! And if I painted it British Racing Green, maybe I could squint and convince myself it was a C or D-Type Jaguar when I was walking over to the car. In miniature, of course!

The seller includes this picture of what it could look like when it was completed. I hope one of you buys this car and shares what it looks like when you have it ready to go!



  1. Bruce Dabney

    I’ve seen Jabros race (including the yellow one pictured), and they handle very well. There was one with a Saab engine which was quite fast- passing Alfa Veloces. And the sound of the unmuffled Saab was great; screamed like a thinner-sounding Ferrari.

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  2. sofa king fast

    I believe that these were built by surfers.
    The name is pronounced “Cha Bro”.
    As in “Cha bro, I am so stoked to ride in your homemade car!”

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    • Lee Wise

      No, it’s not Cha bro!!!! It’s just as it sounds! The guy that built them was James Broadwell. Dah!

      I had one in the early 70’s.

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  3. M/K

    I was thinking jabro was pronounced Spanish like “Ha-bro” goofed car lol i’d drive it

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  4. Alex Wiley

    Jamie, The second partner was Ed Alsbury not Ashbury. I knew him when he was using Saab power. His last project was the Dubury Saab with driver Dick Durant. He lived in Overland Park, KS.

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  5. Mr. Bond

    Were these built just for racing? I don’t see any evidence of headlights or taillights.

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    Nice JASBO and a nice engine(s) to boot. Wait for it;;;;;;;;;;;;; who’s the first toad who will write that they want to stuff an ls3 in it……

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    • tugdoc

      A google search brought up a 215 BOP powered one with connections to Bill Mitchell and a Mr. Parker (Parker pen co.).

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  7. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    ..Hmm.. I know where there is a similar one available on the West Coast for about a grand…no motor, but here has been at least one of these that had a Buick Aluminum V8 installed that I know of. I would buy it, but just sold one of our shops and have limited space

    ..I had a full race Mk1 years back with a Crosley… …remember the word ” fast ” is relevant …… with a V8 , it WOULD be FAST … (there is no torque with a 45 cu in Crosley)

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    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      . Call my cell if you are serious about buying the West Coast Jabro 256 507 3328 ….. and Ill give you the contact info

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      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        I want it Dave!

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  8. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    it in Oregon call my cell

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  9. Alex B

    I agree it would look epic in British racing green, cool race car! :D

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  10. Bob Hess

    Beg to differ…. The Hot Shots handled because of low center of gravity. The sedans and wagons handled like a 3 wheel Cushman scooter. My first car was a ’49 wagon rebodied into a ’48 sedan (couldn’t get the chicken smell out) and was great fun everywhere but a 10mph turn… engines could be made to put out almost three times the hp and wind to over 9,000. Never got to do that due to a ’32 5 window coming into my life.

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  11. dogwater

    That looks like fun

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  12. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I thought, someone will correct me I’m sure, that they had a connection to TVR?

    What I remember was a tube frame, fiberglass body that used the same mold for the front and back, one of them was abbreviated but the same lines.

    They had one in NJ when Trevor Wilkinson was invited and showed up to review the cars.

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  13. Jubjub

    The one connected to TVR was the Jomar. But it sure looks similar.

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  14. Paul Wilson

    I have both an orange one (picture) and the yellow one in the article’s picture, which is raced by my friend Rick Presbrey. Ours were derelict projects when found, so no Crosley stuff or original suspensions. They now have Sprite power and, most important, modifications so normal-sized people can fit. Nobody over maybe 5′ 6″ could drive the originals.
    I talked with the guy who restored the original car built by James Broadwell. He asked Broadwell about the name. “I intended it to be JAY’ bro, from my name, JAmes BROadwell,” he said. “But everybody calls it a JAB ro. I guess it doesn’t really matter.”
    Paul Wilson

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