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Cold Start: Correct Intensity

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The Sabra was an interesting car, and not just because it looked a little bit like a robotic catfish dying on a roller skate; it was also one of the first Israeli-built cars, inspired when Yitzhak Shubinsky of Autocars Ltd, essentially Israel’s first carmaker, saw a fiberglass-bodied sports car at a London racing car show, where he was visiting with his business partners at Reliant, who had worked with Autocars to build the Sussita car. The Sabra was Autocar’s attempt at a sports car, and it likely deserves its own full post, but for the moment I just want to point out a detail in one of its brochures.

It’s taillight-related because of course it is. Here, look:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

It’s that phrase “flashing indicators of correct intensity” that really gets me. It’s hard to think of a more space-filling bit of copy than crowing about how your car’s indicator flash with the “correct intensity,” which I’m certain was something many potential buyers crossed off their list of demands with satisfaction.

I’m sure thousands of hours of R&D and testing went into confirming that those lights flashed with an intensity that fell within the demanding, narrow “correct” range.

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Bang up job, Autocars!

 

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Kyle Barry
Kyle Barry
1 year ago

I went to a local car show near Lake George about 10 years ago. A guy had one of these and stated that it was 1 of maybe 4 or 5 in the country. Pretty cool little car.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

Autocars actually tried to sell Sabra Sussitas and Sabra Sports in the US, focusing just on metro areas with significant Jewish populations (so, I guess, New York, Miami, LA?), under the theory that those areas would be most receptive to the idea of buying an Israeli car. It didn’t work, other than a stand at the New York auto show and a few newspaper ads, I dont think the idea when anywhere. Skoda probably sold more cars in the US by a good margin

pkrueger
pkrueger
1 year ago

I am a big fan of rear amber turn signals and think they are much safer than using red (the same color as your tail and brake lights). Your intention to change lanes is communicated more quickly than another red light. Drivers following your car cannot mistake it for a brake light. Every second counts when it comes to avoiding accidents. I believe it is the law in most other countries.
I even take it into consideration when buying car!
I know you all agree!
And to go even further out on a limb:
Favorite rear tail lamp assemblies: Saab Sonett III, Citroen DS 21 (European model), Lotus Europa S1 (from a Lancia), Tatra 603

DAFinReverse
DAFinReverse
1 year ago

“The wire wheels illustrated may be fitted as an optional extra.”

We need Tom Mcparland.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago

So we’re digging into the styling ancestry of the Toyota Supra now, are we?

Jonee Eisen
Jonee Eisen
1 year ago

I’m wondering how the taillight community feels about the way Sabra was proud of the lack of flamboyancy in their rear light clusters. Personally, I like a little ostentation when it comes to rear light fixtures. Why be plain? Taillights are meant to be noticed.

John Gallup
John Gallup
1 year ago

I hate to use the term “illustrator” for whoever prepared that rendering, but honestly he or she needs to go back to school and learn how to draw windshield wipers.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago

What is with the reverse Zagato hump on the roof? It speaks the language of extractor vent but it’s a blank.

Also, if no one gets around to it, I will figure out where the taillights came from once I come home to my automotive library. I am going to guess Ford Zodiac or something.

Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
1 year ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Maybe it’s there for structural rigidity, so the fibre glass roof shouldn’t cave in? But sure looks strange. A fake vent, like on a hood of a Cortina, would really help a lot.

Probably also why it hasn’t any rear opening hatch. Which kind of makes it a bit more exclusive. Like TVR, SAAB 92, an old Opel GT or an old Corvette.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago

You are probably right.

As for the taillights, I am leaning Austin A40 Farina – so BMC did the heavy work of identifying the correct intensity, assuming Sabra didn’t play with the voltage… the Sabra roadster had taillights from the Giulietta Sprint.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Joseph Lucas, Prince of Darkness!

NAMiata
NAMiata
1 year ago

Actually, as an Israeli, I can tell you the real answer. It’s to make it harder for camels to take a bite out of the fiberglass roof. Folklore perhaps, but there were supposedly multiple instances of this happeninf with Autocar’s more common car, the Sussita.

DysLexus
DysLexus
1 year ago

“Petrol tank capacity is 10 U.S. gallons — sufficient for over 250 miles of FAST motoring.”
Impressive 25 mpg.

Fast motoring being a relative term I’m sure. Those Israeli “hypermilers” out there could squeeze out 29.68 mpg with SLOW motoring if only there was enough Israeli highway to even travel 250 miles.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
1 year ago

As a guy with a lot of Israeli friends, this totally tracks.
Buyer: So this car has those super-intense indicators?
Salesmen: They are correct intensity.
Buyer: But I heard they were beyond intense amazing lights?
Salesmen: Correct intensity. You want car or no want car?
Buyer: I’ll give you 20,000 shekel.
Salesman: 200,000 shekel.
Buyer: Ma Pitom?! For that I should get more indicator intensity.
Salesman: You get car or no car. Correct intensity. For you? 198,950 Shekel.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

I’d love a full write-up about this car. Never heard of it. Maybe the Lane museum has one?

However, those front bumpers do not have the “correct intensity”.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
1 year ago

And there was a shirt tail connection to one of my favorite fiberglass car makers…Reliant Motors.

“A similar vehicle was the Israeli Sabra Sport, also based on a Ford engine and running gear. Reliant was so impressed with the design, they sold it in the UK as the Sabre to help Reliant’s company image expand beyond a three-wheeled micro-car maker. The car sold poorly against offerings from Triumph and MG, however. Later, Reliant bought a prototype design for the replacement Daimler Dart, which would become the Scimitar Coupe and later the best-selling sporting estate—the Scimitar GTE. “

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

The Reliant Sabre Six which had IIRC the English Ford inline six and Triumph TR4 running gear and different front bodywork. Is it the same as the Sabra Sport?

As a kid I perused the Motor and Autocar road test annuals amongst the cars mags that accumulated on my father’s book shelves. I can’t remember which publication had the test, but it was the 1963 or 1964 annual.

I think when people saw the name Reliant they thought of the cheap three wheeler and that association was a negative. I believe four wheel Bond offerings were afflicted by a similar curse.

Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
1 year ago

But in the rather weird contest of making the ugliest sports car of the sixties, it hasn’t got a chance against the Daimler SP250!

pkrueger
pkrueger
1 year ago

It was a mishmash of parts and styles that didn’t match. I had a ride in one once – scary!

DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
1 year ago

“Flashing indicators of correct intensity”…….I usually call those pasties whenever I’m at strip joint.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago

Had no idea this existed – so cool, and who doesn’t love those (optional) wheels?

I enjoy how the grammatical convention at the time was to put things like names within quotation marks. So to us today, the ad copy makes it look like Sabra isn’t really its actual name or something.

Also, periods in GT b/c abbreviation!

Fruit Snack
Fruit Snack
1 year ago

“The all-fiberglass body is aerodynamically correct. It looks good.”
Well you sold me! Those mad men in advertising struck again!

pkrueger
pkrueger
1 year ago
Reply to  Fruit Snack

Why is the word “Sabra” in quotes? That’s just its nickname? Wonder what its real name is…..

Gregory Schmidt
Gregory Schmidt
1 year ago

Torch, I do love you man…
But…
Do you see the irony in picking on “space-filling copy” here?

JT: “Is this loosely associated with taillights?”
DT: “Seems to be…”
JT: “Full Send!”
DT: “That’s not how that wo… oh, fuck it.”

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