Royalty! A Pair Of Royale Sabres

The Royale Sabre was a component car designed and produced by a Brit named John Barlow from (sources vary) the late 1980’s through 1996, mainly for the European market. These two are claimed to be the only two imported to the United States, and are for sale either individually or as a pair here in our Barn Finds Classifieds. You can purchase both for $16,999, just the gray one for $12,000 or the white one for $8,000. The cars are located in Northport, New York and come with many of the trim parts to complete them.

The gray car is described as having been assembled using new Ford components and that’s evident when you look at the under car pictures. It does not have an engine but does come complete with all chrome and brightwork necessary to complete it, such as headlights, turn signals, mirrors, bumpers, grille, door and trunk handles, and upper body trim molding. The car also comes with all the glass, weatherstripping, and piping (to separate the fenders from the body after painting).

The white car is essentially identical to the gray car except used Ford components were utilized instead of new ones. The hardtops are removable. There’s one complete soft-top assembly between the two cars and another top frame, so I suspect it will be first come, first served unless the eventual buyer takes both vehicles.

This shot highlights what is still missing — complete drivetrains. The Royale as sold in the UK was fitted with various four and six-cylinder Ford engines as well as Rover V-8s and even a BMW turbo-diesel (!). It appears that some Mustang components have been used in these builds, and I think a V-6 drivetrain from one of those vehicles would be a nice way to motivate these two cars. Perhaps finish them both and then sell a completed vehicle to break even? I found references to sales in Europe of as much as 45,000 Euro, but with few people familiar with the cars on this side of the Atlantic who knows what a completed Royale would bring?

Another thing that separates these Royales from standard kit car fare is the substantial ladder frame made from 4″ rectangular tubing. The fiberglass bodies appear to be much higher quality than I’m used to seeing.

If you were only looking at this picture one could excuse you thinking this was a regular production car. I was surprised to see an independent rear suspension under both cars.

There’s even a usable trunk (boot) in the design. I found a pair of period road test videos of the cars here and here that give insights into what the company was trying to do with their line of neoclassic cars. There’s a further German promotional video here where it appears another company was selling completed cars.

This is what a Sabre looks like when completed. The first video I linked to speaks of the company having sold hundreds of kits, and there are some beautiful cars out there. I think this could be a really engaging and potentially profitable project for a Barn Finds reader — what do you folks think?


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  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Very nice lines, and with that frame the “SBC it!!” contingent can go nuts…
    The front reminds me of the classic 1930’s-‘50’s English/European sports cars like the BMW 507 on a GT type wheel base. Elegant and sporting looks.

    I hope whoever buys these will pop in on BF from time to time with their updates!

    Like 8
  2. Brakeservo

    These show up frequently on Ebay UK -even with shipping it would be cheaper to buy one completed than to build this one . . . unless it were given to someone for absolutely nothing!

  3. Brakeservo

    I think these were more inspired by the lines of a Delahaye or Delage than BMW. Most of those on eBayUK use Brit Ford V6 running gear but a classic twin cam Alfa would look right at home!

    Like 1
  4. Wayne

    This is the first time that i have seen one. Very pretty! Is that a BMW rear suspension/differential? (It looks like it to me.) Definitely a blank slate. All kinds of drive train possibles are dancing around in my head. I would not want to do the stereo/typical LS SBF or SBC. Something different. (Supercharged slant six?, first generation Datsun Z?, Thunderbird Super coupe V6?, Turbocharged Studebaker V8?, Nitrous injected 2nd generation Supra 6?, BMW V12 with 2 banks of Mikunis?, ok, sorry, I will go back to my cage now!

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