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Reliant Scimitar GTE

The video clip features a 1968 GTE. Note from the video uploader; "My 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE. I had the centre silencers removed and replaced them with stainless steel straight through pipes. It still has the rear silencers. This quick clip just shows what it sounds like".

Reliant are probably more well-known for their three wheeler Robin (especially that famous yellow one used in Only Fools and Horses!), so building a high-speed estate car was an innovative idea in the late 1960's.

In 1968, Reliant launched the Scimitar GTE and it soon became a firm favourite with Princess Anne. The Scimitar GT Coupe - this first went into production in 1965 - was dropped after the GTE was proving to be so successful. Reliant were experts with fibreglass, and so it was used to build the GTE. Built in the UK, it featured a V6 Ford Essex 3.0 litre engine which had a top speed of 121 mph and a maximum of 138bhp. Interestingly, the spare wheel was mounted in front of the engine, right in the front nose of the car.

With a powerful engine, good handling and lots of space for the family, this unique and practical sports car couldn't fail to be a sure-fire winner. Well, it was until the recession struck in the early 1980s! Sadly, production of the GTE ended in 1986 and other manufacturer's (particularly Volvo and BMW) were now tapping into the market sector.


Green Reliant Scimitar photographed in 1976

Photo: Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6 (1976) - Creative Commons Author/License

The SE6 was built in the following years; Scimitar GTE SE6 (1975-76), SE6A (1976–79) and SE6B (1979–86) with a Ford Cologne V6 engine - Ford had stopped building the "Essex" engine by 1980.

Reliant Scimitar Convertible Blue - GTC 1980

Photo: Reliant Scimitar Convertible (GTC-M) - Creative Commons License/Author

The GTC SE8 was built between 1980 and 1986. It cost £11,350 in 1980, so it would cost over £40,000 to purchase new today!

1972 Reliant Scimitar GTE 3 litre
1972 GTE SE5A 2994cc - Photo credit: Charles01
Reliant Scimitar GTE automatic
Public Domain photo of a Dutch Reliant Scimitar GTE automatic
1968 - 1972 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5a Overdrive (04)
Photo credit: Georg Schwalbach

 

 

 

 

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