Cohort Outtake: Rom Carmel 1300 Pickup – Betcha’ You Didn’t Recognize It


It seems to be time to educate ourselves about the cars of Israel. Prolific Cohort poster Yohai Rodin has uploaded a number of models made by Israel’s primary domestic builder, Autocars Co. Ltd. The company was founded in the 1950s, and lasted through 1980, making a number of cars including a very attractive sports car, the Sabra, which we’ll get to soon. This little pickup is identified by Yohai as a Rom Carmel 1300, which would imply it was made after 1973, when Rom Carmel Industries bought out Autocars after it failed in 1971. Rom Carmel itself was then bought out in 1978 by Urdan Industries. Needless to say, trying to establish a viable domestic autobuilder in Israel was a challenge that was never quite overcome.

All the vehicles built by Autocars, except a kit-built Triumph 1300, had fiberglass bodies, thanks to their UK partner Reliant, who had experience in that. From what I can gather, this Rom Carmel has a Simca engine. The sedan version was largely the same, from the B-pillar forward. These were built in small numbers, and a lrge percentage of Autocar’s output was bought by government agencies due to a mandate to buy domestic vehicles.

We need to do a full history of Autocars. Anyone out there interested? T. Turtle?