The key thing to check is the state of the main rails; they’re usually preserved by leaked engine oil, but not always. 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. 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. 1976 Reliant Scimitar Reviews. The GTC should have been another money spinner for Reliant. As with many glassfibre cars, the Scimitar’s electrics can be extremely temperamental through poor design, bodges and age. 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. 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. Overdrive really gives this Reliant a magnificent longer stride, however most came as autos. 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. at the kerb, in automatic form. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products. There’s a fine owners’ club, too. Reviving the Scimitar name, which earned the Tamworth company considerable 1970s credibility with its GTE sports estate (pictured), was always going to be risky. You’re onto a winner with the Reliant’s glassfi bre bodywork, as rust isn’t an issue. Der Begriff Scimitar ist im Englischen eine Sammelbezeichnung für orientalische Säbel. The fi nal Reliant-built car was made in 1986, and delivered to GTE fan Princess Anne. Within a year the production rights had transferred to Graham Walker, but production was never resumed. Our guide will save you money. 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… 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. Performance from the smaller bore CVH engines isn’t spectacular but it’s zippy enough and, in true sports car fashion, the fun comes from entertaining handling, care of a really well sorted chassis and light and direct steering. When Middlebridge took over the GTE’s production, it fi tted a 2.9-litre fuel-injected version of the Cologne engine, which offered more of the same really – extra power and refi nement but ultimately the same basic characteristics. Is a towbar fi tted? Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. 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. (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Triumph Spitfire V Reliant Scimitar SS1 Review, Ford Capri vs. Reliant Scimitar GTE vs. Indeed, if you are looking for something to replace a Midget or Spitfi re, but with modern conveniences, then the Reliant has few rivals. It may sound daft but have a look at the steering wheel on early SE6s lacking power steering. The later Cologne V6 doesn’t have the torque of its Essex predecessor so Reliant fi tted a lower ratio back axle to maintain acceleration levels. It can take a while for oil pressure to build on early Essex V6s – perhaps as much as fi ve seconds. This review has 0 comments - Be the first! All Scimitars featured a Ford V6 engine; the 3-litre Essex unit was fi tted until 1979, when it was superseded by the smoother 2.8-litre Cologne lump. 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. Nothing wrong in that but check the transmission and clutch for wear. 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. Reliant Scimitar (SE5A), 1975/N-reg, 45,000 miles, £12,000: At £12,000, this late SE5A sits near the top of the market for clean Scimitars. 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. 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. 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 SE5 and SE5a had different ratio back axles to accommodate the different gearboxesavailable. If the Scimitar has an Achilles’ heel, it’s the front suspension, which is prone to wear in numerous places. 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. 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. 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. 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. GTC and Middlebridge values are generally £2000-£5000, although the weather affects GTC values. As well as being good looking and usefully commodious, the 3-litre Ford V6 gave the Reliant Scimitar GTE plenty of performance. 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. 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. 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. It’s hard to credit that this clean, stylish shape is well over 40 years old, but fatter SE6 not so nice. Carmakers create a new market segment every week nowadays, but it wasn’t always so. This featured Ford’s 2.8-litre Cologne engine with better cooling and a lower fi nal drive ratio; 437 were made. The top inner wishbone bushes can wear, while the fulcrum bars on which they pivot can corrode. 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. How much is a 1977 Toyota Celica liftback worth? Overheating and fi re risks still need some watching. Thanks to its big engine power the GTE became a respected towcar and it’s reckoned that half of those remaining are so equipped. But in the end, it could only be categorised as a brave experiment that didn’t quite make the grade despite being ahead of its time. Power steering is highly desirable. During that time overdrive and a rear wash/wipe were made standard while a Ford automatic transmission became an option. The next year Middlebridge bought the production rights to the GTE but it wasn’t until 1989 that the relaunched car became available. Original-style dashboards are no longer available, but you occasionally see glassfi bre replacements for sale. Home > Reliant > Scimitar > 1976. 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. As well as being good looking and usefully commodious, the 3-litre Ford V6 gave the Reliant Scimitar GTE plenty of performance. Power steering from a later SE6 can be fi tted and worth doing as the tiller can be heavy when compared to moderns. A strip down and re … Fuseboxes can melt; SE5 units are underthe bonnet while those in an SE6 are in the passenger footwell. The other likely malady are the rocker posts pulling out of the heads; if the engine sounds especially tappety, suspect this is about to happen. The syspension’s inherent design is good if wear prone plus the cheap dampers were knownto weaken prematurely. Then there’s the 17ACR alternator, which even when new wasn’t really strong enough; if any extra electrical items have been fi tted, this can lead to the charging system packing in. 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. The Scimitar’s fibreglass body can’t rust of course (chassis can) and the ‘parts bin’ construction, using components from major manufacturers at the time, makes for fairly easy ownership. Keep it polite and on topic. Back in the late 1960s you could have something sporty or cavernous, but not both – until Reliant came along. 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. Where can you get cheap classic car insurance? Monthly Car asked way back in 1971 “Is this Britain’s most underrated car?”. 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