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. 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. All panels are available; problems may arise when you try to graft them in though. 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. 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. It can take a while for oil pressure to build on early Essex V6s – perhaps as much as fi ve seconds. Insurance tips and tricks by make and model - could you save? 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. It’s also important that you get the right derivative for your needs; as the car was developed, its character changed signifi - cantly. 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. 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. Monthly Car asked way back in 1971 “Is this Britain’s most underrated car?”. The syspension’s inherent design is good if wear prone plus the cheap dampers were knownto weaken prematurely. 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. During that time overdrive and a rear wash/wipe were made standard while a Ford automatic transmission became an option. 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. 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. The key thing to check is the state of the main rails; they’re usually preserved by leaked engine oil, but not always. If ever the adage “it goes better than it looks” applied to a car, then it has to be the Scimitar. When it emerged in 1980, it had the market all to itself – the Stag had been dead three years. The bigger, SE6 benefits from a much roomier cockpit (plus PAS option) but the trade off is a less sharper Scimitar although if … Reviving the Scimitar name, which earned the Tamworth company considerable 1970s credibility with its GTE sports estate (pictured), was always going to be risky. 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. One of the most common is stripping of the fi bre timing gears, which is why many owners simply fi t metal replacements; they’re less troublesome but more noisy. 1976 Reliant Scimitar Reviews. However by the mid 70s the Scimitar GTE faced some stiff competition, not least from Ford who introduced Capri II with a hatchback facility. 1976 Reliant Scimitar GTE 3.0L V6 Essex from UK and Ireland. Some late SE6bs and GTCs have a galvanised chassis which is unlikely to have any corrosion. 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. Its estate-like body, folding rear seats and the addition of an opening rear hatch make it practical for everyday use too, which is another reason to consider buying one. 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. The Scimitar’s affordability suggests that it has little to recommend itself, as three grand nets a tidy example. Triumph 2000 vs. Volvo P1800 vs. BMW 5 Series Review, Rolls-Royce Shadow vs. Bentley Mulsanne vs. Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, MGB vs. However, this derivative is the one that causes headaches thanks to its plastic dash surround, which is prone to cracking. 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. Those who have one swear it’s the better car…. The next year Middlebridge bought the production rights to the GTE but it wasn’t until 1989 that the relaunched car became available. However, if the GTE does have any shortcomings, they’re well hidden. It’s a skill you can learn at home, but making invisible repairs to glassfi bre can be fraught with problems such as paint sinkage and joints that are less than perfectly blended in. The design may have aged gracefully, but demand tailed off. As a result a fair chunk of the agility was lost and the Scimitar’s edge was decidely blunted. The GTE was later resurrected by Middlebridge, but failed to take off, despite Princess Anne buying one, and disappeared from view in 1990. 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! Like GTE, trim fails, . 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. The present Reliant Scimitar has a wheelbase of 8 ft. 7.81 in. The GTE formula was so right that Reliant choose to grow it rather than come up with a replacement. 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. Pretty it isn’t, but they go pretty darn well in a Midget-like fashion. 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. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products. Being an unstressed unit, the Essex powerplant tends to be durable. 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? It may sound daft but have a look at the steering wheel on early SE6s lacking power steering. The final generation of Reliant produced GTEs - the SE6b - failed to replicate the success of the earlier models. Our guide will save you money. 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. It’s hard to credit that this clean, stylish shape is well over 40 years old, but fatter SE6 not so nice. Is a towbar fi tted? Thanks to its big engine power the GTE became a respected towcar and it’s reckoned that half of those remaining are so equipped. 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. 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. Greasing at least twice annually is essential to prevent suspension failures. 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. The trim itself is generally durable, especially where leather has been used;it was optional from the SE5a onwards. 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. 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. It continued to sell handsomely and remained Reliant’s main money earner. 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. Oil pressure can be reduced through engine wear as well as the oil pump drive pencil wearing; replacing this is cheap and easy. 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.

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