The Royale Car Collection
In April 1991 the Drophead was available in kit or fully built format.
This large, luxury 2 door, four seater convertible looked similar to a 1940’s Bentley Mk V1 open top tourer.
The donor vehicle was a Jaguar XJ6 Mk2/3 automatic 4.2litre DOHC naturally aspirated or fuel injected.
Consisting of a substantial factory built chassis and quality fibre glass body parts reinforced with ”Coremat” the car was beautifully finished with leather upholstery, wooden dashboard and drove extremely well. Simply by releasing two locking handles the hood folds down in one operation and can be raised in about 5 seconds. Four adults could be accommodated in comfort for long distance cruising.
Production started steadily with orders flowing in on a regular basis from the UK and Europe.
Rave reviews were published from the motoring press.
2 Dropheads were exported to Malta, 2 to Cyprus, 1 to Spain and 1 to Italy.
The comprehensive kit in 1992 cost £11,000 and a fully built factory car for £20,000.
Around 60 Drophead’s are believed to have been produced when production ceased due to the introduction of SVA in 1998.
Launched in April 1994 this sleek 2 door, sports roadster was an immediate hit with car enthusiasts. 50 kits were sold in the first 9 months. Some compare it to a 1930’s BMW 328 or a Delahaye but it’s so much sleeker. In 1998 a kit could be bought for around £5000 or £14000 factory built in 1998.
The donor vehicle was a Ford Sierra/Granada/Scorpio donor 4 cylinder 2 litre OHC, 2.0 DOHC either naturally aspirated / fuel injected, or V6 2.3, 2.4, 2.8 or 2.9. The V6 was usually coupled to an autobox where the 2.0 Litre was normally 5 speed manual. Two Sabres have Rover 3.5L V8’s installed. Most had all the toys, including electric windows, central locking and ABS braking.
Built on a substantial box section chassis with quality “Coremat” GRP and aluminium body panels. It had additional safety features including door crash protection reinforcing bars. Quality finishes were similar to that of the Drophead. A GRP detachable hard top was also available as an optional extra.
The motoring press raved about the superb design, the quality finish, the ride “like a production car” and the excellent handling. Even Jeremy Clarkson called it “a real sweetie”.
Sales in the UK were extremely successful and in 1995 a left hand drive version was developed and quite a few were sold abroad.
6 new fully built left hand drive V6 Sabres with brand new Ford components were exported to Germany around 1996, where they were TUV’d and also qualified for a 12month Ford manufacturer’s warranty. The German sole agent Vehikel Fur Individualisten (VFI) sold them for around 90000Deutche Marks . They wanted more at a large discount so further supplies stopped. However, in 2002 6 fully built left hand drive V6 Royal Sabres were ordered by the Dutch Empire Car Company, who sold them at around 42000 Euro. Further kits were delivered to the rest of the world….. 5 to the Netherlands, 2 to Germany, 2 to New York and 1 to Russia.
Around 170 Sabres are believed to have been produced.
Finally in 1998 the prestigious Windsor was released superseding the Drophead which again were available in factory built or kit format. Looking rather similar to a 1930’s Rolls Royce or Bentley and having 4 doors it was specifically designed for wedding car use.
A handsome vehicle it is a 4 door, 5 seater landaulette and very spacious.
A 2.8/2.9 V6 Ford Granada/Scorpio donor was normally installed coupled to an automatic gearbox.
Consisting of a substantial factory built chassis and quality fibre glass body parts reinforced with ”Coremat” the car was beautifully finished with leather upholstery, wooden dashboard and drove extremely well.
Build format and quality finishes again were very similar to the Drophead and Sabre, however the build was a lot more complex and time consuming.
It is believed that around 50 kits were produced.