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. High gearing was a Scimitar hallmark, making for relaxed rapid cruising with the torquey Essex V6. The chassis is made of steel so it invariably corrodes. 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. Greasing at least twice annually is essential to prevent suspension failures. There were steel items with three different glassfi bre trims, ‘Princess Anne’ alloys, Dunlop composite wheels (with an alloy centre riveted to a steel rim) or Wolfrace alloys. Essex-engined SE6s used to be prone to overheating because of their marginal cooling system. Could this be the most practical sporting classic ever built – and the most underrated? 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. GTC and Middlebridge values are generally £2000-£5000, although the weather affects GTC values. Where can you get quick classic car insurance quotes? The photo was as the new owner took it away on an ‘A’ frame and with a light board over the roof. Being an unstressed unit, the Essex powerplant tends to be durable. Check for usual GRP crazing and bodged repairs, Switchgear comes from variety of cars, known to fail, Stag-like GTC is full four-seater. In 1979, the 2.8-litre V6 Ford ‘Cologne’ engine was introduced, adding little to the mix, other than continued supply. 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. Overview. Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5A. With the help of Parkers, you can find out all of the key specs about the Reliant Scimitar from fuel efficiency in MPG and top speed in MPH, to running costs, dimensions, data and lots more. Share 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. It can take a while for oil pressure to build on early Essex V6s – perhaps as much as fi ve seconds. How to value your classic for insurance purposes, Classics insurance for 17,18,19 & 20 year olds, Insurance when your classic isn't roadworthy, It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics, Hiring rather than buying? This featured Ford’s 2.8-litre Cologne engine with better cooling and a lower fi nal drive ratio; 437 were made. It’s unlikely to be rotten as such; repairs can almost always be carried out; the issue is how much work is needed. Summary: A real head turner, cheap sports car, great drive and handling. Reliant GTE. However, if the GTE does have any shortcomings, they’re well hidden. Overdrive really gives this Reliant a magnificent longer stride, however most came as autos. Buy a good GTE for at least £1500 and you’ll reap the benefi ts of the previous owner’s care, while really good cars start at £3000. It’s also important that you get the right derivative for your needs; as the car was developed, its character changed signifi - cantly. Your email address will not be published. The last models were a real improvement over the earlier SE6s, though, as they were lighter and stiffer and more comprehensively equipped. Faults: Wiper motor seized, front and back. The areas most likely to be affl icted with crazing and cracking are the corners of the bonnet, the base of the windscreen pillars, the panel below the window on the tailgate and around each of the door handles, along with the wiper spindle hole in some of the earlier models. 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. 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. Share ; By. Our guide will save you money. As with many glassfibre cars, the Scimitar’s electrics can be extremely temperamental through poor design, bodges and age. The Middlebridge Scimitar was built between 1988 and 1990. The syspension’s inherent design is good if wear prone plus the cheap dampers were knownto weaken prematurely. So a heavily revised GTE appeared in 1976, known as the SE6. It was first displayed in 1964. Unless you’re intent on a body-off restoration, you’re better off fi nding another car. If the Scimitar has an Achilles’ heel, it’s the front suspension, which is prone to wear in numerous places. The next year Middlebridge bought the production rights to the GTE but it wasn’t until 1989 that the relaunched car became available. Some late SE6bs and GTCs have a galvanised chassis which is unlikely to have any corrosion. That said the interior was made considerably classier, while power-assisted steering was now made optionally available, there was also a new 20-gallon fuel tank along with Girling dual-circuit brakes plus a stronger automatic gearbox too; 550 SE6s were produced before the updated SE6a appeared with a stronger scuttle, stiffer front springs, a change to Lockheed brakes with larger rear drums and, strangely, smaller front discs; 3878 left the factory before the SE6b debuted in 1980. Where can you get cheap classic car insurance? 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. At first the manual final-drive ratio was 3.58:1, later raised to … Performance and handling aren’t lacking, and neither is build quality; there are some bodged examples around, but the strong chassis, corrosion-resistant glassfibre bodyshell and conventional mechanicals ensures that ownership can be a doddle. 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. 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. During that time overdrive and a rear wash/wipe were made standard while a Ford automatic transmission became an option. NEC classic motor show 2020 postponed due to Covid 19 concerns, Classic car auction house Coys goes into administration, Sell Your Car On Honest John Classics For Free. Don’t let that put you off this brilliant bargain all rounder though. Interview - Pat Afford (Reliant co-founder, E.S Thompson’s daughter) Interview - Jack Timbury (Ex-Reliant apprentice 1937 - 1938) Interview - Microsoft on Supervan III in Forza Horizon 3 game; Interview - Trident Motors Inc. USA (Former Reliant customer) Members Stories - Daniel Clift (UK) / … Once hot, expect to see 15-20psi at tickover and 50-75psi at 2500rpm. The Scimitar’s affordability suggests that it has little to recommend itself, as three grand nets a tidy example. Reliant's first Scimitar was a coupé based upon the styling of a Daimler SP250 prototype (renamed the SX250) and the chassis of a Reliant Sabre.It was first displayed in 1964. Those who have one swear it’s the better car…. 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. Thanks to its big engine power the GTE became a respected towcar and it’s reckoned that half of those remaining are so equipped. 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. The new model was known as the SE5; its predecessor was the SE4. As well as being good looking and usefully commodious, the 3-litre Ford V6 gave the Reliant Scimitar GTE plenty of performance. Reliant Scimitar is a wonderful car and ahead of its time in many ways – no roof gutters for a start. With a huge fuel tank, the car can cruise at high speeds for mile after mile, while carrying a family and its luggage in comfort. 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. The Essex powerplant tends to be durable and highly tunable, but it does have a few weak spots. Now you want to know all about it! 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. A strip down and re … I have an old Lada Riva. The GTE was later resurrected by Middlebridge, but failed to take off, despite Princess Anne buying one, and disappeared from view in 1990. 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. Let’s not forget the GTC – Tamworth’s Triumph Stag. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars. 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. 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. 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 . Reviving the Scimitar name, which earned the Tamworth company considerable 1970s credibility with its GTE sports estate ... 2014 Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T first drive review. It continued to sell handsomely and remained Reliant’s main money earner. 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. As a British success story, the Reliant Scimitar GTE remains one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. Replacing both is easy (poly bushes are readily available), but in the case of the latter the correct shims should have been used or the camber will be out. As a result a fair chunk of the agility was lost and the Scimitar’s edge was decidely blunted. The SE5 is a 2-door sporting estate which, because of the extended roofline, may be considered as a full 4-seater. Will my 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK appreciate in value if I keep it in good condition? Also Volvo, who boasted the clientele Reliant wanted to poach, had also launched a GTE-style option on its saintly P1800 plus a sporty Lancia Beta was waiting in the wings. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. Is a towbar fi tted? It was powered by a 2.6 L Ford straight six from the Ford Zephyr / Ford Zodiac. Monthly Car asked way back in 1971 “Is this Britain’s most underrated car?”. 1974 Reliant Scimitar 1974 Reliant Scimitar price guide for classic cars. The Reliant Scimitar SS1 is an automobile which was produced by British manufacturer Reliant from 1984.. Aiming to fill a gap in the small sports car market, Scimitar SS1 was launched in 1984 at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham. 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. It’s hard to credit that this clean, stylish shape is well over 40 years old, but fatter SE6 not so nice. Power steering from a later SE6 can be fi tted and worth doing as the tiller can be heavy when compared to moderns. 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. 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. Oil pressure can be reduced through engine wear as well as the oil pump drive pencil wearing; replacing this is cheap and easy. Nothing wrong in that but check the transmission and clutch for wear. 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 body style proved such a trendsetter that other manufacturers raced to produce their own versions, with Volvo’s P1800ES and … 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. And today, values remain criminally low. 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. Fuseboxes can melt; SE5 units are underthe bonnet while those in an SE6 are in the passenger footwell. 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. Keep it polite and on topic. 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. Lifestyle opinion. However by the mid 70s the Scimitar GTE faced some stiff competition, not least from Ford who introduced Capri II with a hatchback facility. Within a year the production rights had transferred to Graham Walker, but production was never resumed. The name was reported to stand for Small Sports 1. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products. 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! 1972 Reliant Scimitar: the ultimate sporting hold-all? Specs datasheet with technical data and performance data plus an analysis of the direct market competition of Reliant Scimitar GTE 3 Litre in 1971, the model with 3-door kammback coupe body and V-6 2994 cm3 / 182.9 cui engine size, 95.5 kW / 130 PS / 128 hp (DIN) of power, 261 Nm / 192 lb-ft of torque, 4-speed manual powertrain offered up to October 1971 for Europe . The GTE formula was so right that Reliant choose to grow it rather than come up with a replacement. 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