Developed in collaboration with the Israeli motor company Autocars, the first Sabres appeared in 1961 as two-door convertibles using a front engine and rear wheel drive setup powered by the four-cylinder OHV Ford Consul engines of 1703 cc. They had front disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and a ZF all synchro gearbox. The front suspension was a leading-arm setup. Power output was 73 bhp giving at least 90 mph. The body shells were originally based upon the Ashley 1172 to which Reliant had acquired the rights. Coups were introduced in June 1962, and total production reached 208 cars.
In 1962 the Reliant Sabre Six was introduced, with a 109 bhp six-cylinder Ford engine of 2553 cc, capable of 110 mph and 0-60 mph in 12.2 seconds. The nose of the car was different from the earlier Sabres, and all but the first 17 Sabre Sixes had more conventional suspension, taken from the Triumph TR4. From a production total of 77, 75 were coups and just two were convertibles. To show how good and fats these cars were Reliant created a works special Sabre 6 and entered it into the RAC Rally championship where the car performed well.