Available from August 31st 2018, The Reliant Scimitar is a follow up to Elvis Payne’s previous book on the Reliant Motor Company. This book concentrates on the sports cars that Reliant produced and looks into their history in more detail,
Few would have believed that when a small engineering company started producing three wheeled vans in 1935, they would go on to produce a sports car that would be emulated in one form or another by almost every other car manufacturer around the world. The Reliant Engineering Company (Tamworth) Ltd. (as it was originally known) is well known for its threewheeled vehicles although many people are surprised to learn the company also produced groundbreaking sports cars.
It was demand for a competitive four-wheeled vehicle in Israel that persuaded Reliant to add an extra wheel and before long had developed the Sabra Sports for the Israeli market. Seeing a potential in the home market, Reliant introduced the Sabre sports car which was quickly followed by a more powerful Sabre Six and a more executive sports car with the Scimitar GT. This led to perhaps Reliant’s most famous sports car of all, the Scimitar GTE. The Scimitar GTE was something the world had never seen before, with its unique rising waistline it broke all the standards for sports
car design providing both a sports and family estate car rolled into one. It became a phenomenon and an instant hit with celebrities and Royals alike.
The changing economic tide of the 1980s brought a new smaller sports car with the Scimitar SS1 which itself went through various development stages resulting in the SST, Sabre and Scimitar Sabre until production finally ceased in 1995.
This book details all Reliant sports cars from the Sabra to the last Scimitar Sabre and in addition, also covers many sports car projects like the Scimitar SE7, SE82 and plans for a new Scimitar in the late 1990s.
As with previous books, research for the Reliant Scimitar has gone back to the basics investigating new sources along with the assistance of dedicated Reliant enthusiast and numerous ex-Reliant employees and directors. The latter includes Barrie Wills, Ed Osmond, Jonathan Heynes, Ritchie Spencer and Stewart Halstead. Along with Reliant directors are Tom Karen and Peter Stevens from Ogle Design Ltd, In addition, E.S Thompson’s (co-founder of Reliant) daughter, Pat Afford, and Ray Wiggin’s (Managing Director) daughter, Ruth Kitchen, have also provided information. This along with archived material from the Reliant Sabre & Scimitar Owners Club, the Reliant Motor Club and the author’s own archives.
A foreword for the book is provided by HRH The Princess Royal.