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The Reliant Regal Mk I - Mk VI (1953 - 1962)

Reliant Regal Mk I - 1952 - 1954

The Regal Mk I was first exhibited at Earls Court, London (UK) in November 1952 (although an earlier prototype of the vehicle had been shown at the Cycle and Motor show in 1951).The Mk I however was not manufactured until 1953 as Reliant made many modifications to the production vehicle shaving off both weight and price for it to qualify for a reduced road tax. Many features that were present on the prototype like wind down glass windows and external door handles vanished and as can be seen below the production vehicle was also smaller.

Dimension

Regal Prototype

Regal Production

Wheelbase

84 inches

74 inches

Track

50 inches

45 inches

Overall Length

136 inches

123 inches

Overall Width

58.5 inches

54 inches

Overall Height

55.5 inches

53 inches

Weight

N/A

8 cwt

The car was powered by a 747cc side-valve water cooled engine and had a aluminium body fixed onto an Ash frame which in turn was mounted to a steel box section chassis. Unlike the prototype the Mk I had perspex sidescreens and only one windscreen wiper; The Regal Mk I was manufactured until late 1954 with the only modification being a 2 inch increase in the thickness of the cushion on the front seats to prevent bodily contact with the seat frame.

Reliant Regal Mk II - 1954 - 1956

The Regal Mk II first appeared in May 1954 and was the first Reliant in which it was claimed would seat four adults. Like the Mk I the Mk II had a 747cc engine and was an aluminium body fixed onto an Ash frame though in 1955 a hardtop version was offered which featured a fiberglass top, bonnet lid and rear end. One of the most noticeable differences between the Mk I and the Mk II is the elimination of the large front grill that was attached to the front of the Mk I.  It was also the last Reliant 3-wheeler to feature a full sized bonnet (hood) into the engine bay. In 1956 a 5cwt van version of the Mk II was produced and this replaced the old Reliant Regent range.

Reliant Regal Mk III - 1956 - 1958

The Regal Mk III arrived in November 1956 and was the first all fibreglass Reliant and as a result was able to break away from the box shapes of Reliants past with a shape that was very modern in the 1950s. Like previous models it was powered by the 747cc side-valve engine and still had a steel chassis with an Ash frame to which the glass fiberglass was attached. The body however was now six inches wider allowing greater comfort for passengers with deeper cushioned seats. The semaphors from the Mk II were replaced with flashing indicators.  The Mk III also had sliding door windows and had better cooling and the addition of syncromesh on all the gears with the exception of first gear.  It is also the first Reliant to feature dummy wings at the front of the body with the headlights incorporated into them.

Reliant Regal Mk IV - 1958 - 1959

The Regal Mk IV was introduced in November 1958 and was the last Reliant 3-wheeler to feature both a soft top and hard top option. The electric's on the Mk IV had been increased to 12 volts with separate amber flashes on the front. Changes were also made under the car that saw both the suspension and steering linkage had been replaced and the wheels shrunk from 14 inches to 13 inches. This model also now included an air cleaner which reduced the power of the 747cc engine down to 17.5 hp. Reliant never seemed sure what to do about windows in early Regals and changed the sliding windows for lift up ones. The Mk IV only had a short production run before it was replaced in June 1959 by the Mk V and as a result, today it is the rarest of the side-valve Regals with few survivors.

Reliant Regal Mk V - 1959 - 1960

Introduced in June 1959 the Regal Mk V was the first Reliant to be molded as a full car (although still made in sections that were attached together).  The Mk V was also the first Reliant to have a boot at the rear of the car. Still powered by the 747cc side-valve engine the vehicle had a steel chassis and utilised ash to strengthen the fiberglass body - the body being 8 inches longer than the Mk IV.  The front of the body also had thicker fiberglass sections around the bumper area along with chrome caps to finish them off.  The wheels had also changed in that they now used tubeless tyres.  Side windows were changed again and now were sliding windows.  Inside the Mk V all dash instruments were moved to the center of the dash creating a glove compartment either side.  The front windscreen was exceptionally shallow though now it had two windscreen wipers to clear it rather than just the one fixed to earlier models.  A Mk V 5 cwt van of similar design was soon to follow in August 1959.

Reliant Regal Mk VI - 1960 - 1962

The Regal Mk VI was the last of the Regals in this range and was the last to feature Reliant’s 747cc side-valve engine.  Manufactured from November 1960 the Mk VI like its predecessor used an ash frame to reinforce the fiberglass body . This Mk VI featured a much deeper windscreen and again used sliding windows at the side. The rear of the saloon model now had cluster lights that combined both indicator and running lights in one unit. The roof of the saloon model also overhung the rear window in the same way as the Ford Anglia did. Internally the dashboard instruments were now all condensed into one large speedometer at the center of the dashboard  which resulted in even larger glove compartments either side of the dashboard.  The amber indicators had vanished and were now incorporated into the running lights below the main headlights.  The Mk VI was also able to be started with the ignition key rather than press a starter button.

The saloon version was replaced by a totally new design of Regal, the Regal 3/25, in October 1962 whilst the Mk VI van became the Mk VI-A and was powered by the Regal 3/25's new 600cc OHV engine until it was replaced in 1963 by a Regal 3/25 van.

 

1953 Reliant Regal Mk I

1953 Reliant Regal Mk I

1954 Reliant Regal Mk II

1954 Reliant Regal Mk II

1957 Reliant Regal Mk III

1957 Reliant Regal Mk III

1958 Reliant Regal Mk IV

1958 Reliant Regal Mk IV

1959 Reliant Regal Mk V

1959 Reliant Regal Mk V

1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI

1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI

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