Reliant Classic Cars for Sale

Over its 65 year history, Reliant Motor Company produced over half a million cars, selling in seven different countries. It was the second largest car company in Britain for over two decades and therefore a significant part of the motor industry throughout the twentieth century.

Reliant's early years

The British motor company Reliant was founded in 1935 when Tom Williams and E.S. Thompson built a prototype vehicle in a private design office in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Williams had recently been working for Raleigh, a motorcycle company; hence the first Reliant model had many attributes of a motorcycle, most notably the single wheel at the front and the driver's seating position being astride the engine. After the prototype received positive reviews from local traders, the first Reliant factory was set up in Tamworth, where vehicles were made until the outbreak of the Second World War, during which the company was devoted to engineering parts for various government departments.

Reliant's post-war development

The manufacture of Reliant vehicles restarted soon after the war ended. New models, including a van seating four passengers - the famous Reliant Regal - were unveiled and quickly became popular. Significantly, unlike in the early years of production, Reliant vehicles were now powered by their own engines rather than by those made by the hugely successful Austin Motor Company. Reliant continued to prosper during the latter part of the 20th century, mainly due to the hugely successful Reliant Robin - which was produced from 1973 until the company's closure in 2001 - as well as the company's sports car range.

The Reliant Sabre and Reliant Scimitar

Reliant began to manufacture high performance sports cars in 1961. The first model was the Sabre, a two-door convertible. Just three years later, the Sabre was replaced by the Scimitar, production of which continued for 22 years. The earliest version of the Scimitar, the SE4, used the same Ford engine as the Sabre, yet it could now achieve a maximum speed of 117mph. Reliant focused as much on the elegance of the car's appearance as its performance; perhaps why the Scimitar is so desirable today. The Scimitar SE4 was followed by the SE5 in 1968, which came equipped with a new body design and interior. In terms of performance, the SE5 model had a 0-60mph time of 8.5 seconds and could surpass 120mph. A final model - the Reliant Scimitar SE6 - was released in 1975. It targeted the high-end market, being more luxuriously fitted than previous models. Unfortunately, due to difficulties caused by a change in the engine that was provided by Ford, the Scimitar struggled to sell in the 1980's and its manufacture eventually ceased in 1986.

Search results