Now you want to know all about it! Let’s not forget the GTC – Tamworth’s Triumph Stag. Reliant Car Reviews and Road Tests: ... such as the Scimitar, Saber Six and Reliant SS1 sports cars, along with the three wheeled varieties such as the Reliant Robin, Regan and Rialto. Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5A. In this bigger, heavier GTE it became almost intolerably heavy and – in the case of Autocar’s long term test car – even caused the steering wheel to fracture due to fatigue! 1976 Reliant Scimitar Reviews. Back in the late 1960s you could have something sporty or cavernous, but not both – until Reliant came along. Overdrive really gives this Reliant a magnificent longer stride, however most came as autos. However, all cars are fast, refi ned, relaxed tourers that can give many moderns a run for their money as well as make a superb criminally under priced daily driver alternative. The fi rst sign of old age is jumping out of second or fourth gears; when this happens you’ll need to rebuild the gearbox or buy an exchange unit. It seems a pity to scrap it, but does it have any value? Reliant GTE. Read Owners' Reviews Introduction The Reliant Scimitar SS1 had all the ingredients for success - it was affordable, based on tried and trusted components, and had the market pretty much to itself when it arrived in 1984. Also check the heater works okay; they’re a poor design anyway and access to overhaul the matrix of the SE5a onward is tricky. Reliant brought in BRM’s (That’s British Racing Motors) John Crosthwaite to design a chassis for the Scimitar; his cruciform backbone design provides excellent stiffness without being unduly heavy. Few would ever sample it though, because by the time the Middlebridge GTE arrived, the basic design was over two decades old, and buyers wanted something rather more modern for their money. When the later German 2.8 V6 replaced the evergreen Capri 3-litre, the Scimitar was blunted but was improved on the MIddlebridge motors when the freerbreathing 2.9-litre came on stream. Don’t let that put you off this brilliant bargain all rounder though. bookmark with Delicious. Car reviews. The design may have aged gracefully, but demand tailed off. The Middlebridge Scimitar was built between 1988 and 1990. The photo was as the new owner took it away on an ‘A’ frame and with a light board over the roof. None give problems, but each type uses its own fi xings – so make sure the correct type is fitted by looking for signs of movement or wear around the mounting holes. Reliant launched the Scimitar GTE in August 1968; a Ford Zodiac-powered sporting estate based on the more conventional coupe that preceded it but larger, better handling and far more practical. SE5s were Gti quick too, less so the lardy SE6s which could see 0-60mph slump from a best of 8.7 seconds to a more sedate 11 second mooch but all were good for neigh on 120mph and 22-28mpg depending upon driving style. Within a year the production rights had transferred to Graham Walker, but production was never resumed. Road tax-exempt SE5, galvanised SE6bs and concours examples of any of the models are higher than for all other Scimitars, but they’re all superb value. Will my 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK appreciate in value if I keep it in good condition? The top inner wishbone bushes can wear, while the fulcrum bars on which they pivot can corrode. If you’re going to have to get this work done, also budget to have some relays fi tted into the headlight and electric fan circuits. Less of an issue is corrosion in the outriggers just behind the front wheels, along with the side rails below the sills; these areas can both be patched up without the need for too much dismantling. The blend of practicality and sporting appeal that makes the Scimitar such a useable and entertaining classic made it instantly desirable, while behind the wheel was a … Some cars have been converted to the later 2.9-litre engine, with or without fuel injection, and generally mated to a fi ve-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic. Thanks to its big engine power the GTE became a respected towcar and it’s reckoned that half of those remaining are so equipped. A 1978 Reliant Scimitar SE6a features in Me and My Motor today By Lorelei Reddin Community Content Editor My car sorry I don't have one with me in it 1986 Reliant Scimitar SS1 Reviews. It’s also seemingly eternally underrated, with a loyal band of owners singing its praises, and everyone else agreeing it was a great idea… and yet, current values do not reflect the car’s influence on the wider automotive scene. You need to drive a properly sorted Scimitar to understand what all the fuss is about; they really do offer a perfect blend of fun and practicality. Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%, Cheap, fast, practical, tough, easy to tune, easy to maintain, style, Some of the details a bit cheap, overheating and fi re issues, slow appreciator, Ford engines ensure good performance and ease of running. The trim itself is generally durable, especially where leather has been used;it was optional from the SE5a onwards. The body style proved such a trendsetter that other manufacturers raced to produce their own versions, with Volvo’s P1800ES and Lancia’s Beta HPE being the most faithful homages. Those who have one swear it’s the better car…. Also expect wear between the vertical link and bottom trunnion, which is best checked by ensuring the trunnion bolt isn’t seized, and the steering isn’t stiff when the car’s nose is lifted off the ground. There were also three-speed automatic transmissions available; early cars featured a Borg Warner Type 35 unit while from the SE6 there was a Ford-sourced C3 ‘box. During that time overdrive and a rear wash/wipe were made standard while a Ford automatic transmission became an option. It was first displayed in 1964. Faults: Wiper motor seized, front and back. That said the GTE certainly became more practical thanks to a more spacious and luxurious cabin but for many enthusiasts the trade off was too great.When Ford’s 2.8-litre Cologne V6 replaced the Essex unit in 1980, the resulting SE6b was smoother and more refi ned, but it was also less torquey. There was now a 2.9i engine and fi ve-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, but before 75 cars had been produced, the company went bust. The GTE was later resurrected by Middlebridge, but failed to take off, despite Princess Anne buying one, and disappeared from view in 1990. Cracks across the top of the front wheelarches are also quite common, but this may be a sign of impact damage, so look out for signs of other problems such as a distorted chassis. Costing £1559 at its ’68 launch and some £300 more than the 2.5 SE4 that continued in production until late 1970, around 2500 examples of the SE5 were made before the SE5a replaced it three years later. Quentin Willson. And today, values remain criminally low. However, cracks, crazing and poorly repaired accident damage are all too common and can cause lots of grief and expense. The final generation of Reliant produced GTEs - the SE6b - failed to replicate the success of the earlier models. It was powered by a 2.6 L Ford straight six from the Ford Zephyr / Ford Zodiac. Combine that with a glassfi bre bodyshell and you have a car that feels fabulously nimble and it’s quick too, thanks to that lusty 3-litre Ford Essex up front. While Tornado had offered its Typhoon sporting load carrier already (a kit car based upon an old Ford Popular-ed), it wasn’t until the Scimitar arrived in GTE (GrandTouring Estate) form that the sporting load lugger became a mainstream car. Triumph TR4 vs. Jensen Healey vs. Sunbeam Alpine vs. Reliant SS1. What one is now fi tted to the car? Share ; By. In 1976, the the Scimitar GTE was made wider, given a longer wheelbase and sported new chassis settings that erred on the side of comfort. Share As a result a fair chunk of the agility was lost and the Scimitar’s edge was decidely blunted. Combine that with a glassfi bre bodyshell and you have a car that feels fabulously nimble and it’s quick too, thanks to that lusty 3-litre Ford Essex up front. Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%, Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith, Despite its many qualities the Reliant Scimitar still hasn’t cut it as a classic. Five years later in larger, lardier SE6 guise however the mag’s opinion changed to “Starting to age and not so pleasant”. Could this be the most practical sporting classic ever built – and the most underrated? So a heavily revised GTE appeared in 1976, known as the SE6. Yet Reliant revived the name in the eighties with the Scimitar SS1. However, this derivative is the one that causes headaches thanks to its plastic dash surround, which is prone to cracking. Stylish, luxurious and speedy, the new Scimitar was a complete contrast to the company’s downmarket threewheelers and the fi rst – and not very good Reliant sportster of 1961. Reliant brought in BRM’s (That’s British Racing Motors) John Crosthwaite to design a chassis for the Scimitar; his cruciform backbone design provides excellent stiffness without being unduly heavy. Fuseboxes can melt; SE5 units are underthe bonnet while those in an SE6 are in the passenger footwell. As a British success story, the Reliant Scimitar GTE remains one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. Home > Reliant > Scimitar > 1976. In this video I delve into the pages of a 1973-issue sales brochure for Reliant's Scimitar GTE SE5A, not that you'd automatically know that it's a Reliant, so rarely is the name mentioned alongside the words "Scimitar" and "GTE" in this particular publication. The Reliant Scimitar name was used for a series of sports car models produced by British car manufacturer Reliant between 1964 and 1986. The fi nal Reliant-built car was made in 1986, and delivered to GTE fan Princess Anne. The main problem wasn’t the product at all, as this was very good, but the   fact the car was launched in the middle of a recession. Fast, roomy, and very useful, cheap running gear and great specialist support, also still relatively cheap to buy considering its fame and ability, Lacking in build quality, with well-known corrosion issues. RELIANT SCIMITAR, PRINCESS ANNE'S FIRST CAR. Check the colour of the transmission fl uid if in doubt (the dipstick is at the rear of the engine, accessed from under the bonnet); it should be pink rather than black. I'm considering a Lancia Appia. Reliant Scimitar GTE Review Born from the mad designs of the styling house Ogle, the Reliant Scimitar GTE was always going to have a curious life. Reliant Scimitar GTE 2.5 V6 Automatic, 1970 at Billesholms Veteranbilsträff Juni / 2016 and 5 other events at Concours d’Élégance Paleis Het Loo 2016 4 years ago Make sure the front seats feel secure; the frames can fracture as they’re not very well made, leading to back seat driving just when you don’t want it. Specs datasheet with technical data and performance data plus an analysis of the direct market competition of Reliant Scimitar GTC in 1980 the model with 2-door body and V-6 2792 cm3 / 170.4 cui engine size, 99 kW / 135 PS / 133 hp (DIN) of power, 216 Nm / 159 lb-ft of torque, 5-speed manual powertrain offered since mid-year 1980 for Europe . Featuring a much wider, longer bodyshell along with bigger doors and moulded bumpers in place of the previous conventional chromed items, it moved the GTE further upmarket with a price to match: £4368 in March 1976. A simple clean up, Loctite and re-torque provides a long-lasting fi x. Scimitar manual gearboxes (four-speed with or without overdrive) are tough enough, but prone to oil leaks. I have an old Lada Riva. Like GTE, trim fails, . The Scimitar’s affordability suggests that it has little to recommend itself, as three grand nets a tidy example. Power steering from a later SE6 can be fi tted and worth doing as the tiller can be heavy when compared to moderns. With excellent handling, care of a pretty sophisticated Aston-like rear suspension, a decent ride and plenty of feedback from the brakes as well as the steering, the GTE is more of a driver’s car than you’d think any estate of this era could ever be. A strip down and re … The original Scimitar of the sixties and seventies was a V6-powered machine that was famously popular with Princess Anne. Discussions still abound as to whether it’s due to the fl uid capacity, the cooling fan, the routing of the pipework, the cross-fl ow radiator, the water pump or even the underbonnet airfl ow.Most owners solve any problems by reverting troublesome cars to the SE5a pipework and carefully maintaining the system. The chassis is made of steel so it invariably corrodes. Reliant Scimitar is a wonderful car and ahead of its time in many ways – no roof gutters for a start. Nothing wrong in that but check the transmission and clutch for wear. The organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, have decided to postpone the 2020 event. As well as being good looking and usefully commodious, the 3-litre Ford V6 gave the Reliant Scimitar GTE plenty of performance. However by the mid 70s the Scimitar GTE faced some stiff competition, not least from Ford who introduced Capri II with a hatchback facility. However, if the GTE does have any shortcomings, they’re well hidden. Launched at the tail end of the Scimitar’s life to give it a shot in the arm, one wonders why Reliant didn’t do it earlier to compete with the Stag. Brewed onsite in Tamworth, Scimitar was a one off ale created by George Greenaway, With its fresh light clusters and nicer vacuum-formed interior panels the SE5a became a highly respected GT in its day; around 7100 of these were made and many still feel they are the best of the bunch, especially after September 1972 when the car also gained the uprated 138bhp Capri V6 engine. If the Scimitar has an Achilles’ heel, it’s the front suspension, which is prone to wear in numerous places. Circuits at the rear of the car can be especially trouble-prone, but all circuits can cause problems which is why it’s worth replacing the factory-fitted glass-fuse boxes fi tted with the more modern blade type. ... As part the Reliant Scimitar GTE’s 50th Anniversary in October 2018, the Reliant Motor Club teamed with with Tamworth Brewring Co. to unveil a new celebratory beer called Scimitar. Note that we’re talking SE5 models here because the SE6 that replaced the SE5a in 1976 lost too much of its driver appeal as it grew in length (four inches) and girth as well as weight. That large Triumph model had clearly provided inspiration – with its T-piece targa arrangement and removable hardtop – and, just like its fellow British marque, Reliant struggled to meet ambitious sales expectations. It can take a while for oil pressure to build on early Essex V6s – perhaps as much as fi ve seconds. With excellent handling, care of a pretty sophisticated Aston-like rear suspension, a decent ride and plenty of feedback from the brakes as well as the steering… Make sure you check all the switchgear works okay; from the SE5a onwards it’s fragile. GTC and Middlebridge values are generally £2000-£5000, although the weather affects GTC values. Stand for Small sports 1 Reliant SS1 Britain ’ s not forget GTC! 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