A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £1,265
Reliant's first Scimitar was a coupé based upon the styling of a Daimler SP250 prototype (renamed the SX250) and the chassis of a Reliant Sabre. It was first displayed in 1964. It was powered by a 2.6 L Ford straight six from the Ford Zephyr / Ford Zodiac. In order to keep cost down, many components in addition to the engine were existing ones originally designed for competitor models, a point emphasized for buyers of the early Scimitars in which unfolding the sun visor involved knocking the driver's mirror out of adjustment! Various models followed and the Scimitar developed again and again through the SE4 GT's of the late 1960's and early 1970's with Reliant making subtle improvements both mechanically and aesthetically throughout. The SE5 was conceived and ready for the 1968 Motor Show in under 12 months. For the SE5 John Crosthwaite and his team designed a completely different chassis frame, revised and improved suspension, new and relocated fuel tank, a rollover bar, new cooling system, spare wheel mounted in the nose to give increased rear space and a 17 gallon fuel tank. When designing the chassis Crosthwaite worked closely with Ogle body stylist Peter Bailey to modify and refine the prototype. The SE5 came with the same 3.0 L Ford Essex engine used in the SE4a/b. This gave the SE5 a claimed top speed of over 120mph. In 1972 several improvements were included in the upgrade to SE5A, including a boost in power. The extra 7hp and maximum engine speed raised performance quite a bit and the GTE was now capable of 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds and top speed was raised to 121mph. The SE5's flat dashboard also gave way to a curved and moulded plastic one. This model, a 1975 Scimitar GTE SE5A has been dry-stored since 2006 when she was last on the road. She was 'found' under a thick layer of dust having stood for eight years and, after a squirt of new petrol and a new battery, roared back into life 'on the key'. The smooth 3-litre V6 Ford unit still has a sweet and throaty roar despite her 39 years. The clutch and gearbox work as they should. The brakes tell the tale of years of storage and will need attention, as does the leaking radiator. SORN off road and without MoT, she will require restoration to return her to the former glory of being one of the 'must have' carriages of the '70's, however the chassis and body are very good considering and the interior is a heady fusion of browns and beiges as only this decade could produce! Complete with UK V5, 'JHJ 75N' is offered without reserve. Here is a recent British classic only set to appreciate in value. Let's hope this Scimitar cuts a dash for a sharp sale!