The Builder, Visionary, Leader

 

For 30+ years, Sabra Johnson has been in and around the restoration and performance industry from a teen working in a local Porsche shop to today as the owner of the legendary City Classic Cars Restoration Center. Although Sabra has restored cars for heads of industry, celebrities and has an international client base, he continues to be just another one of the guys. Sabra’s impact and interest go beyond restoring cars and trucks, to mentoring young people through his “Next-Gen Car Builders” HS apprenticeship program in partnership with the local school district, empowering young people at boys and girls clubs across the country through his “Sabra Talks”, creating and supporting local ministries of impact, training championship horses at his ranch, reading great literature and spending time with his wife and children. Sabra believes every day is another opportunity to be epic in your life. A winning spirit, a passion for excellence and a “nothing is impossible” mentality has shaped Sabra’s life and every car he has built. 

 

Sabra is serving his second elected term as a council member of the prestigious Automotive Restoration Market Organization, Leads the Show Builders Panel held live at the annual SEMA SHOW in Vegas featuring legendary car builders from across the globe as well as a member of the following local service and industry groups: Good Guys, Antique Automobile Club of America, Ferrari Club of America, Specialty Equipment Market Association, the Porsche Club of America, American Quarter Horse Association Pro Level, Thoroughbred Racing Association, Redline member of the SEMA Pac, member of the Klein Chamber of Commerce, The Houston Rotary Club, and a lifetime member of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Sabra Johnson, Owner of City Classic Cars

Sabra Johnson

 

City Classic Cars Restoration Farm & Performance Training Center North 

City Classic Cars is a premier restoration facility known throughout the industry for uncompromising standards in restoration, caring for our projects, and treating all our clients, suppliers, and team members with dignity and respect. To understand and appreciate our campus is to understand the training regimen of Championship horses. Sabra has adapted his restoration campus to the same principles and flow measures used to train and race championship Thoroughbreds. City Classic Cars Restoration Farm and Performance Training Center rest on 5 acres comprised of multiple car barns located in Harris County 2 miles outside Houston, Texas nestled in Spring, Texas. 

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The Restoration
Office

Sabra has a dedicated office team to handle the business administration, project management, and customer update process to ensure he and his crew of restoration craftsmen can stay focused on the work. This area of the Restoration facility is anchored by Carol Sosa, the GM, Sara Ann, Client Relations, and Chris Knight Marketing and Brand Management.

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The Receiving

Barn

Every car that comes to the facility, like a horse entering a new race track, must first enter the receiving barn which in this case is Bay 2. Although Sabra Johnson has an office in the administrative wings, like every great trainer he spends most of his time with the automotive horses.

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The Galloping

Track

Horses are born knowing how to run, but they have to be developed to race as champions.  The track is where they learn the art of racing. Sabra views his north building as his Galloping Track where the vehicles are broken, legged up, conditioned, and learn to master the “gates”. In this building, Sabra has a dedicated fabrication and suspension Shop for building and modifying chassis, a vintage body shop where cars are worked the old way and finally this building houses Sabra’s paint booth, state-of-the-art mixing room, and the recipes to his specialty signature colors.

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The Holding

Barn

About 4 hours before the race, horses head to a secure “holding barn” to ensure there is no tampering and to ensure horses are ready when their turn for the gates arrive. Sabra has a Barn dedicated to “holding” restorations post paint. In the holding barn, projects are broadly assembled, pre-mechanicals are completed and interior touches are finished. Large shelves and countertops allow the many multiple parts to be laid out and the car remains in a quarantine state.

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Performance

Stables

Once a horse is trained and racing, he will need rehabilitation and special care to keep winning championships.   Classic and Vintage cars require rehabilitation and mechanical maintenance to keep them moving whether that’s minor brake services or major wiring overhauls and safety upgrades. This area of the Shop is dedicated to only servicing classic, vintage and antique for “heavy line” work and restorative mechanical work. In horse racing rehabilitation involves regular examinations, nerve blocks, thermography, radiography, ultrasonography, endoscopy, fully equipped lab and technician all play crucial roles in developing an individualized rehabilitation program based on your horse’s injuries or needs. Sabra has a signature classic car rehabilitation center for cars already built and restored.

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The Parade

Paddock

The horse paddock is where the runners in the forthcoming race are paraded for racegoers to get a proper look at them. The parade also gets the horses moving and relaxed. The horses are led around by their grooms, with the process designed to help them stay warm and focused. Racegoers can get an early look at the horses without saddling equipment to assess their raceway demeanor and fitness. In this phase, Sabra has a special Bay where he gets the cars moving in a controlled environment at the front of the Shop area where all staffers and guests like to look and see the iron horses run. Nearer to race time, horses will move from the pre-parade ring to the main paddock. Owners and trainers (often collectively referred to as ‘connections’) will be waiting for the jockeys to appear and to talk over their tactics for the race before the jockeys get aboard their horses and depart the parade ring to go out on the track. Before moving to the ed station, this is where Sabra invites his clients out to view and feel the milestone moments of this phase.

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The Test
Barn

Pre and post-race sampling protocols at the racetrack test barn are the industry’s front line for ensuring fair, safe racing through medication and substance integrity. The cars start at Sabra’s bays and the last few steps end at Sabra’s workstation in the shop. Although Sabra inspects every department and oversees every step of the process, he anchors Steps 3 and 22-25, or shall we say the beginning and the end. Like every great trainer, there are some things you must do yourself.

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Tack Rooms & Turnouts

Championship horses require championship care and this requires the right tools being available at the right time. The tack room is a centralized location for this equipment. 

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Paddocks &
Pastures

Covered areas for vehicles awaiting service or the next step of the build process and a green pasture where part cars are stored as well as large oversized Conex trailers for long-term storage of parts to name a few of the other facility areas. 

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The Stake
Barn

Covered areas for vehicles awaiting service or the next step of the build process and a green pasture where part cars are stored as well as large oversized Conex trailers for long-term storage of parts to name a few of the other facility areas. 

The Road to Restoration Starts Here

Congratulations on starting your restoration journey! Upon completion of the general intake questionnaire, our General Manager will contact you to schedule your personal consultation.

We have restored vehicles from all over the world and are well equipped with the knowledge and expertise to ensure a seamless intake and delivery process.

Transparency is a key aspect of our build process. You can follow your car's journey via our social media platforms or you can schedule a personal in-depth viewing of your project to see your dream car become a reality.

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Thank you for submitting your vehicle application. We're excited to be a part of the journey with you. Our General Manager will be in contact with you within the next 48 hours for consultation.