Press Cars


Reliant Scimitar SS1 1300 

Registration: B731 AOA

Reliant used a whole series of 'AOA' registered SS1's as press cars, however this SS1 stands out more as not only was it the first production car (chassis 001) it was also one of the 1984 Motor Show cars!

The 1984 Motor Show cars were painted in a special pearlescent White paint, for show purposes only, and is believed to be a Porsche colour?

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Above: B731 AOA at the 1984 NEC Motorshow

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Above: Sticker on windscreen states the fact that the colour is for show only

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Above: Article from Road & Track Magazine from November 1985.

B731 AOA stayed with Reliant for about 18 months, before being sold through car dealer 'Tony Gilbert Cars' in Ryton on Dunsmore and sold on to a new owner.

The car covered 26,000 miles before finally being stored in 1998.  In 2008 the SS1/Sabre Registrar and SS1 Guru 'Phil Howard' purchased the car and although it had been stood for 10 years and had a seized engine, amazingly the paintwork had survived very well and it.  Phil managed to get the car running again and with some new tyre and a few other new parts the car past it's MOT. 

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Above: In 2008 B731 AOA is back on the road with a full MOT.

B731 AOA has some unusual features including having fibreglass front wings, rather than the standard Dunlop RRIM plastic wings, Perspex quarter lights and the wiring loom is mainly black and fitted with plastic numbers to identify the loom rather than the colour coded Lucas loom with all love to hate ;o)

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Above: Phil has used the car for various car shows throughout the last couple of years  

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Above:  It's great to see that the car still retains the Tony Gilbert registration plate and tax disk holder!


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Above: In November 2008 the car was back on display at the NEC Motorshow, 25 years after being launched there, for the 25th Anniversary of the Reliant Scimitar SS1



Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6 

Registration: LVP 457P

 I often watch Scimitars for sale on Ebay and this car has been on there a couple of times.  I recognised the registration number and looked through my Scimitar article collection.  It first appeared in an article about the Reliant Motor Company in Car Classics magazine in February 1977, then in May 1977 it was featured in Men Only magazine, followed by a more in-depth article in Autosport magazine in June 1977.

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Above: Men Only article from May 1977

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Above: Autosport article from 30th June 1977

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Above:  LVP 457P today.  Although the Scimitar has long since been resprayed in a different colour (although if I recall the engine bay is still the original colour), it still looks in fine condition.
Let's hope it get a new enthusiastic owner soon   There have already been a  number of Scimitars, as well as many other road worthy classic cars,  fall victim to the Governments new scrappage scheme!!!



Reliant Scimitar GT 

Registration: HRF 238F

 In October 1967 Edward Eves received a Reliant Scimitar GT to do a long term road test report for Autocar magazine.  Edward covered almost 10,000 miles before   being involved in a multiple collision on the M1 in foggy conditions.  The  cars was written off afterwards.  

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Above: Edward Eve's first road test Scimitar GT.

 The above pictures were taken back at the Reliant factory in Tamworth and although they look quite serious Edward actually praised the cars safety structure in the Autocar magazine dated 21st November 1968.  He wrote:  

 "The inadvertent crash test fully demonstrated the safety of the structure and the value of the seat belts.  The long glass-fibre nose proved to be a first class shock absorber crumbling up as far back as the front chassis member.  The boot and relatively lightweight rear chassis members performed the same function at the back.  The passenger compartment was quite intact  and both doors opened and closed correctly".

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Above: Edward Eve's Road test article in Autocar 21st November 1968



Reliant Scimitar GT 

Registration: ORE 459F

 Edward received a new Scimitar registered "ORE 459F", in which he covered a further 23,000 miles and wrote about in his next report in Autocar dated 18th September 1969.

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Above: Long term review of the Scimitar GT by Edward Eves.

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Above:  Edward Eves at the start of the Martha rally


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Above:  I am pleased to see that ORE 459F still survives today.  It is currently being restored by owner Peter Freeman.




Reliant Scimitar GTE - SE5

Reliant had a series of Scimitar GTE's that were loaned to motoring journalists.  

A selection of SE5 Scimitars were used: XRF 974F, XRF 975H, XRF 976H, XRF 977H and XRF 978H.


Registration: XRF 974H

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 XRF 974H first appeared on the front cover of Autocar magazine in 17th December 1970 and Milestones magazine of winter 1970.


Registration: XRF 975H

 XRF 975H features in the Autosport magazine on 12th March 1970.  John Bolster borrowed the Scimitar GTE for one week and and says "The Reliant GTE is a wonderfully effortless car with a very long stride.  It cruises easily at well over 100 mph and the levels of road and wind noise are exceptionally low.  It's a sports car and an estate car rolled into one and it achieves the almost impossible by doing both jobs equally well".  

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Above: John Bolster visits Reliant and road tests the new Scimitar GTE

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Above:  Press photo of XRF 975H, XRF 976H and GBF 474H lined up to in front of  HMS Scimitar.


Registration: XRF 976H

 XRF 976H appeared in Motor magazine on November 14th 1970, where the Scimitar GTE was road tested against a Triumph Stag, Gilbern Invader, Alfa Romeo 1750 and BMW 2002.

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 Above: Sequel to group road test in Motor 14th November 1970


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Above:  Derek Watters ex-press Scimitar is still used today.


Registration: XRF 977H

 XRF 977H features in Car magazine from October 1970.  The Scimitar GTE goes head to head with a Triumph Stag.

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Above: Scimitar GTE vs Triumph Stag.


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Above: XRF 977H was spotted on Ebay last year in need of full restoration.


Registration: XRF 978H

 XRF 977H featured in Autocar magazine from 16th October 1969.  

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Above: Scimitar reviewed


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