My Car

This page is all about my 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5









Q: Why did I choose a Reliant Scimitar?

A: After owning many weird and wonderful cars, I decided I wanted another classic car.  Most of my previous cars had suffered badly with rust.  

Click to see my  "Previous Cars" page which includes a Mk1 Ford Escort, a Mk1 Fiesta, a Fiat Strada, a Fiat X19, a Vauxhall Chevette, a Ford Orion and a Reliant Kitten.  

The last car I had before the Scimitar was a MK5 Ford Escort Van.  It was practical for me at the time as I could fit camping equipment and my mountain bike in the back of it.  It was fairly reliable, but very sluggish and extremely boring to drive!  At that time my father owned a 1967 Lotus Elan and a MK2 Lotus Cortina, of which I was quite jealous!  I started to look around for a classic car for myself.  I knew that I couldn't afford a Lotus Cortina or a Lotus Elan and besides I wouldn't have been able to get my bike and camping equipment in either of the cars!  I came to the conclusion I needed a saloon car and a sports car......and a convertible!  I had looked at various other marques including Triumph Spitfires and MK1 Escorts, but I really struggled to find one which met all my requirements.

While I was at work one afternoon, I heard a car pull up outside of our office.  When I looked out of the window I saw a superb looking Reliant Scimitar.  I didn't really know much about them, so I nipped outside to chat to the owner.  The owner was very helpful and was happy to show me around the car.  I liked what I saw and asked him if it was practical to use as a daily car.  The owner said they were very practical and great fun to drive.  

I logged onto the Reliant Sabre and Scimitar Owners Club website for some much needed information about Scimitar and printed off a list of things to look for when buying one.  Within one week I was on my way to Worcester to road test my first Scimitar.  When I got there, I was really excited to see a 1969 Scimitar GTE parked, ready for me to take for a spin.  The owner showed me around the car and then started it up for me.  I examined the engine bay to check for signs any bad oil leaks or water leaks, but everything was fine.  I checked the chassis, all the suspension and once the engine had warmed up, I checked it had been running at the correct temperature, there was no sign of overheating.  

It was now time for me to drive the car and I climbed/fell into the drivers seat.  The instrumentation and the switches on the dashboard reminded me of an airplane cockpit.  I pulled away and I was navigated around some great country lanes.  Although at first I thought the steering was heavy, once I got used to the seating position I was soon at home chucking the car around tight corners.  I was really impressed with the cars performance and handling.  When we got back we agreed a price for the car and I was then the new owner!


December 2010

snowgte_1.JPG (163894 bytes)  snowgte_2.JPG (193405 bytes)  snowgte_3.JPG (210886 bytes)  snowgte_4.JPG (171613 bytes)

Above:  My Scimitar enjoying the snow.  Front end is way still too low at the moment as I have fitted shorter front springs, but found it almost impossible to adjust the height of the platforms while they were still fitted to the Scim.  So when it's a bit warmer, I will remove the front shocks and adjust them before refitting.


October/November 2010

DSCF4132.JPG (195753 bytes)  I wanted to do a list of jobs on my Scimitar and my good friend Karl Dandridge (Triumph Specialist) very kindly gave me some space in his unit so I could carry out some repairs and some general tidying up and wax oiling the underneath of my Scimitar ready for winter. 

DSCF4135.JPG (209209 bytes)  DSCF4136.JPG (196233 bytes)  Soon it was on axle stands ready to remove to clean up and overhaul the brakes and suspension.

DSCF4140.JPG (172333 bytes)  DSCF4151.JPG (208724 bytes)  One of the jobs on the list that needed doing was to replace the brake disks as they had worn, especially the backs as on full lock they used to catch the lower wishbone, even with the bump stop adjusted.

DSCF4152.JPG (210205 bytes)  DSCF4154.JPG (214808 bytes)  As you can clearly see, the disks needed to be replaced due to the deep grooves!

DSCF4163.JPG (206628 bytes)  Next the hub and wishbones were removed.

fulcrum_old.JPG (251651 bytes)  Once the top wishbones were removed, it then became clear why the polybush had worn so badly.  The fulcrum was very worn, thinned out and pitted.

DSCF4170.JPG (189700 bytes)  DSCF4173.JPG (119553 bytes)  DSCF4179.JPG (147030 bytes)  DSCF4181.JPG (159578 bytes)  Evidence....  the very worn out and misshapen polybush.

DSCF4220.JPG (231563 bytes)  The top fulcrum was removed and I ordered a new one from Queensberry Road Garage.

DSCF4240.JPG (275668 bytes)  DSCF4245.JPG (211782 bytes)  DSCF4246.JPG (222512 bytes)    DSCF4206.JPG (231921 bytes)  All the suspension was cleaned, disassembled ready for inspection.

DSCF4269.JPG (209879 bytes)  DSCF4276.JPG (229714 bytes)  DSCF4274.JPG (154961 bytes)  There had been discussion in the past about whether the SE5 (not SE5a) Scimitar had standard Triumph TR6 suspension parts and on further inspection we indeed found the the vertical links had a 'Stanpart' logo and Triumph part number on them.

DSCF4286.JPG (213002 bytes) DSCF4296.JPG (243349 bytes)  While the car was jacked up, I decided to remove the tow bar assembly ready to repaint.

DSCF4304.JPG (199779 bytes)  It was then suggested that rather than me use black smoothrite again (which didn't last long) I should get the parts shot blasted and powder coated.

DSCF4371.JPG (269723 bytes)  Shiny parts arrive back from the powder coaters ready to be re-assembled and refitted back to car.

DSCF4387.JPG (231519 bytes)  The lower wishbones are put back together the correct way now I have adjustable platforms on the shocks, (I had swapped around the wishbones back in 2002 to make the car slightly lower).

DSCF4380.JPG (221526 bytes)  DSCF4382.JPG (227704 bytes)  The top wishbone are fitted with new Superflex bushes.

fulcrum_new.JPG (226234 bytes)  New top fulcrum is fitted

DSCF4392.JPG (219159 bytes)  Vertical links are re-assembled with trunnions, new bush kits and new grease nipples.

DSCF4362.JPG (256361 bytes)  Dampers, disks, hubs and calipers are treated to a new coat of chassis black.

DSCF4306.JPG (203000 bytes)  Replaced the leaking brake cylinder and fit new shoes

DSCF4390.JPG (232723 bytes)  DSCF4393.JPG (190317 bytes)  DSCF4396.JPG (198484 bytes)    Reassembled suspension and fitted new Superflex poly bushes to the anti-roll bar and drop links.

DSCF4406.JPG (204655 bytes)  DSCF4403.JPG (207749 bytes)  DSCF4401.JPG (197958 bytes)  DSCF4404.JPG (190037 bytes)  All back together and looking much better!

DSCF4400.JPG (145912 bytes)  Refitted rear shocks and brakes etc.

DSCF4409.JPG (190129 bytes)  Refitted tow bar assembly, then cleaned wax oiled chassis.

DSCF4417.JPG (190852 bytes)  Scimitar finally back on all four wheels.

A Massive thanks to Karl Dandridge of KD Triumph and Classic Cars for he use of his premises and for his help and advice and to David Hollingsworth for helping me get the car finished.



I had some play in the nearside suspension and needed to investigate the problem. 

DSCF3444.JPG (204032 bytes)  Scimitar on the ramps at KD Triumph & Classic Sports Cars in Coventry

polybush_1.JPG (220297 bytes)  polybush_2.JPG (139761 bytes)  On further investigation it turned out to be a worn out polybush on the top wishbone.



slave_cylinder.JPG (257767 bytes)  A leaking clutch slave cylinder was the reason for loosing the clutch, sadly after first fitting a repair kit, it soon failed again.

 slave_cylinder_a.JPG (149317 bytes)  A replacement clutch slave cylinder was sourced from Ebay

slave_cylinder_b.JPG (240522 bytes)  Fitted replacement clutch slave cylinder and now have a clutch again!!



chrome bezels.JPG (197081 bytes)  Finally finished off fitting all chrome bezels


Recent Photos

scimitar_gte_01.jpg (179589 bytes)  scimitar_gte_02.jpg (291804 bytes)


Tidied Engine Bay

Bonnet_00.jpg (199075 bytes)  - I decided it was time to tidy up the engine bay a little bit.

Bonnet_01.jpg (178161 bytes) - Started off by removing the bonnet and painting the bonnet hinges

Bonnet_01a.jpg (208394 bytes) - Then set about scraping off the old foam and paint (you can see the original colour of the car Mediterranean Green)

Bonnet_02.jpg (187284 bytes) - Finally with a bit of sanding the bonnet is ready for a coat of paint

Bonnet_03.jpg (128269 bytes) - A few coats of red oxide plastic primer and it looks better already

Bonnet_04.jpg (135456 bytes) - Rather than try and match the paint up to the rest of the body work, I decided to paint it in Satin Black.

Enginebay.jpg (256847 bytes)  Enginebay_02.jpg (226502 bytes)  Enginebay_03.jpg (224890 bytes) - Engine bay looks much better



More stories and pictures of my car:

My Car 2009 | My Car 2008 | My Car 2007 My Car 2006

My Car 2005 | My Car 2004 back to 1998