One Of Two Left: 1960 AutoCars Susita Sabra Pickup

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Bet you’ve never seen one of these before! Thanks to reader Matt K. for sending in this highly unusual find! It’s located in Ramat-Gan, Israel and is listed for sale here on eBay with a steep buy-it-now of $50,000 but offers below that are welcome.

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This one took some real research to find much of anything beyond what the owner states in the ad. It looks like an entrepreneur in Israel in the late 1950’s named Yitzhak Shubinsky decided to start producing vehicles for both the Israeli market and export to the US. The first attempt was this fiberglass bodied pickup, which was introduced in New York in 1960. Reports differ as to it’s reception, but ultimately AutoCars Israel decided to go in another direction and apparently only 50 of these vehicles were produced.

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According to the seller, only two of the 50 remain, and this is the only one in running condition. It was restored recently. The vehicles eventually produced by AutoCars do not have a stellar reputation, with one owner stating “The car was very unstable. Seriously dangerous, unreliable, and very badly built” on carsurvey.org. The waves in the fiberglass are very evident in this picture.

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Although the steering wheel didn’t get the treatment the rest of the truck did, the interior certainly looks passable. Besides, with only two remaining and 50 ever made, who’s going to question what’s original? The vehicles were made using mostly British mechanical components, which continued through most of AutoCars’ history, with components being sourced from Reliant, Ford and Triumph. Some of you may be familiar with the Sabra sports car that was imported to the US for a short period in the early 1960’s–it was made by the same company in conjunction with Reliant.

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Under the hood we have the venerable British Ford 105E “Kent” engine, which we can see was running when this picture was taken (why don’t more sellers do that!) This is one part of the vehicle for which parts will be easily obtained. Ultimately, this comes down to the question of what price exclusivity is worth to you (and of course, how accessible the truck is to you considering it’s in Israel)? Let us know your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. Glen

    I agree , it is a good idea to photograph the engine while running, and I like the effect. As for the vehicle, kind of ugly! It may be rare, but I still don’t want it.

  2. Jim

    Maybe there is a reason that only 2 survived!

    • George

      The rest committed suicide.

      Like 1
  3. rusty

    First car I have seen on here I did not know about and I own fiberglass cars so have an inclination to run into them while googling

    wow keep me in the conversation to learn any more

  4. DREW V.

    It’s cute as hell and I would love to have it but at about 1/6th of the asking price and only if it was in the States… Here is a classic case of where value is driven more by desirability vs scarcity. There were 108 71 hemi cudas built, over twice the number of this lil truck and several dozen of them survive today. I would gladly sell my house, cars maybe a kidney, as would most people if offered a hemi cuda for $50,000 in similar condition…The lil truck is way rarer than the cuda but not as desirable, ergo the percieved difference in value…

  5. Gary I

    I don’t have to speak negatively about this gem of a find. I think between the price and good looks this one speaks for itself.

  6. J Lemay

    It would look wicked if it was a pro street truck!

  7. Jason Houston

    You’re right – I’ve never seen one before. And I hope I don’t have to look at another. It’s beyond just plain drop-dead ugly. Hey, where’s the street rodders when they’re needed?

  8. Brakeservo

    Seller fails to acknowledge that it’s not just rarity but also desirability that creates demand, hence price. I can’t see anyone desiring this no matter how rare it is. Price is whacky optimistic.

  9. Charles

    It’s so ugly that it is sort of cute. I can’t imagine anyone paying the asking price even for a vehicle as rare as this one.

  10. Howard A Member

    The 1st thing I noticed was the big frowny face. Why would you design a vehicle with a big frown on the front? ( kind of the opposite of the Sprite) I had heard of the Sabra sports car, but not this. Israel is not really known for car production, just keeping the Arabs at bay, is a full time deal, and Israel boasts one of the biggest vehicle armoring plants in the north. Amazing find, but really should be in a museum. Be like driving a Crosley in modern traffic. That name on the tailgate says, in Hebrew ( read backwards) “Susita”. Pretty cool.

  11. Smitty

    Bodyman needs to go back to class

  12. That Guy

    I actually give the restorer props for not over-restoring it. Keeping the crude fiberglass finish tells its story much better. And I think it’s really very cute; I’m a bit surprised at all the “ugly” comments. But then I’m known for my strange taste in vehicles. :-)

    I agree the price seems wildly optimistic, but maybe in its homeland there’s a nostalgic buyer out there. Regardless, it’s an interesting historical footnote in the automotive pantheon.

    • rusty

      Totally agree as people don’t understand that many fiberglass cars had ripples in the bodies. To restore it is to leave the ripples.

  13. geezerglide85

    There is one of these on top of a trailer at Harry’s U-Pull-It in Hazelton, Pa. It has been there as long as I remember, but probably not for sale. It says Sabra on the tailgate.

  14. Ronniecarlo

    WTH……nuff said.

  15. Joe

    I have one of these in upstate NY. It’s in pieces.

    • Chinga-Trailer

      It always amazes me when someone advertises a car that might very well be fairly rare and obscure but makes a statement of “One of only two left” or something like that, when I personally may have owned three of those “only two left!!” But in this case, no, I’ve never owned a Sabra. Came close to though as I’ve seen more than a few for sale over the past 30 some odd years.

  16. Roy

    In 67 I had a 63 panel truck. One of 26 in the states, one of 3 in California. Had been a pizza delivery truck sold by Deeb Oldsmobile, the only Sabra dealer in the southwest. Towed it to PA in ’70. Had to sell it to get home. Still regretting it
    and often wonder if it survived. Attempted to post a pic, don’t know if it did.

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