By Andy Bannister
Some countries, it seems, are pre-destined to be car builders, others acquire an auto manufacturing industry almost by accident, while a third category simply try their best but fail.
In the latter grouping sits Israel, today the centre of a politically-troubled region which generally has more to worry about than producing automobiles.
Half a century ago, however, it was a different story. Little Israel was busy gearing up for an improbable assault on what was then by far the most advanced car market in the world, the United States of America.
Behind this audacious move was a bold outfit called Autocars Ltd, based beneath the slopes of the biblical Mount Carmel, in the port city of Haifa.
Israel then was a new and young country, born somewhat controversially in 1948 out of the horrors the Jewish people had suffered in the Second World War, and suffused with an optimism that anything was possible.