Reliant Specifications

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Reliant Specifications
Founded in 1935 by T L Williams to take over making the Raleigh 3 wheeler delivery van, a vehicle that Williams himself had designed in 1933, and one that Raleigh no longer wished to make. Powered by a 750 cc V-twin engine driving the rear wheels through a 3 speed gearbox and shaft drive, in 1939 the engine was replaced by Reliant's version of the straight four cylinder 747cc Austin 7 side-valve engine. In 1952 a four seater was launched and, in 1956, the bodywork was changed to fibre-glass.

The company then went on to make other composite-bodied specialist vehicles, 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. The Sabre Six was powered by a Ford six cylinder engine, and when it was replaced by the Scimitar coupe in 1966 the new Ford V6 was used, and arguably best of all was the 1968 hatchback/estate GTE which could reach 193 km/h, seat four adults and presented some very useable cargo space, qualities very rare in a sports car. It quickly garnered a stellar reputation, even Princess Anne became a customer.

As for the three-wheelers, the Regal was replaced by the more up-to-date Robin in 1973, then a four wheeled version named the Kitten was launched, this even being made under license in India as the Dolphin. Reliant was also responsible for the production of the 1970’s fun car, the Bond Bug, a sporty three wheeler designed by the Ogle designer Tom Karen.

In 1982 the Robin was replaced by the Rialto, then in 1985 the Reliant SS1 made a fresh assault on the budget sports car market. Reliant's expertise in the area of composite car body production also saw the company produce lightweight body shells for Ford RS200 Rally cars and new fibreglass bodied London taxis, the "MetroCab" - the first to have full wheelchair provision, manufactured by a division of Kamkorp.

Reliant has provided designs to several other manufacturers, including Autocars in Israel and Otosan in Turkey in the 1960s, MEBEA in Greece and Sipani in India in the 1970s. In 2001, production rights for the Reliant Robin were sold to B&N Plastics, but production ceased in 2002. Reliant has since concentrated on importing "speciality" vehicles from European manufacturers, including Piaggio, Bultaco and Ligier.
1961 Reliant Sabre 4  

1961 Reliant Sabre 4

1961 Reliant Sabre 6  

1961 Reliant Sabre 6

1964 Reliant Rebel 600  

1964 Reliant Rebel 600

1964 Reliant Scimitar  

1964 Reliant Scimitar

1966 Reliant Scimitar V6  

1966 Reliant Scimitar V6

1967 Reliant Rebel 700 Estate  

1967 Reliant Rebel 700 Estate

1967 Reliant Rebel 750  

1967 Reliant Rebel 750

1967 Reliant Rebel 750 Estate  

1967 Reliant Rebel 750 Estate

1967 Reliant Scimitar V6  

1967 Reliant Scimitar V6

1968 Reliant Regal 3/30  

1968 Reliant Regal 3/30

1970 Reliant Bug  

1970 Reliant Bug

1972 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5a  

1972 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5a

1975 Reliant Kitten  

1975 Reliant Kitten

1975 Reliant Kitten Estate  

1975 Reliant Kitten Estate

1975 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6  

1975 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6

1980 Reliant GTC  

1980 Reliant GTC

1981 Reliant Robin 850  

1981 Reliant Robin 850

1982 Reliant Rialto GLS  

1982 Reliant Rialto GLS

1985 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1300  

1985 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1300

1985 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1600  

1985 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1600

1986 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1800 Ti  

1986 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1800 Ti

1990 Reliant SST 1800 Ti  

1990 Reliant SST 1800 Ti

1994 Reliant Scimitar Sabre  

1994 Reliant Scimitar Sabre

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