Tom Williams founded the Reliant company in 1935 when the Raleigh firm known on production of motorcycles in which creation he also participated, stopped release of the three-wheeled Safety Seven car. The neogenic enterprise Reliant began the activity with production of the same simple three-wheeled model. It was very popular car as it cost absolutely not much, and taxes for it were raised no more, than for the motorcycle. One more advantage of model was that in 1939 Reliant cars received engines from Austin Seven.
After the end of World War II Great Britain left without changes tax privileges for owners of various vehicles weighing up to 406 kg. Therefore the Reliant company continued production of three-wheeled cars. So in 1952 there was a Regal model for two or four people equipped with the 0,75 liters 4-cylinder engine. This car was made up to the beginning of the 1970th years with various volume of the motor – 0,6 and 0,7 liters.
In the mid-fifties there was an obvious decrease in demand for three-wheeled cars that forced the Reliant company to switch to production of standard four-wheel cars, first of which appeared in 1961. It was the Sabre model with a sports body of Ashley Laminates from plastic and the 1,7 liters 4-cylinder motor from Ford Consul. The car was equipped with a running gear of production Ford. The Sabre car was unreliable: it badly held the road in this connection, it was laid off quickly. Nevertheless, the license according to which the same model in the territory of Israel was issued was sold.
In 1962 the Reliant company was a part of Hodge Group concern that favorably affected further development of firm. In 1963 the Sabre car was finished, received the name Sabre-6 and the 6-cylinder engine with a working volume of 2,5 liters from Ford Zephyr.
In 1964 representatives of the Reliant company independently developed the 4-cylinder motor created especially for inexpensive cars. Same year let out quite successful Scimitar GT model. The sports body of a compartment of this car was designed by Ogle Design firm which and participated further in creation of bodies for Reliant cars. Then, in 1964, there were also Rebel minicars equipped with the 0,6 liters engine. Further the Kitten models of the 1975th year and Fox of the 1982nd which, however, didn't win special popularity were distinguished from minicars.
In 1968 the Scimitar GTE model with a body the versatile person who provided a capacious luggage carrier at all advantages of the sports car was presented quite unusual, but attractive externally and technically. Scimitar GTE equipped with the 6-cylinder V6 engine from Ford with a working capacity of 2,5 or nearly 3 liters which power made 119 or 135 horsepowers respectively. The car was equipped with a mechanical 5-staged transmission, a forward independent suspension bracket and a back beam, disk brakes on forward wheels and drum on the back.
The maximum speed of the Scimitar GTE model reached 200 km/h. Dispersal to "one hundred" happened in 8,5 seconds. The car was in great demand, and by 1974-1975 was annually made on 2,5 thousand copies. In 1976 the model was modernized: a little the body and the chassis changed, but in general the design didn't change nearly 18 years. In 1980 the Ford company stopped production of V6 engines of 3 liters that led to replacement of motors and on models of Reliant firm.
Scimitar GTC cabriolet with the Ford V6 engine with a working volume of 2,8 liters was the same year presented. Power of this car remained same, as well as the GTE model power, but the maximum speed reached 187 km/h at dispersal to 100 km/h in 11 seconds. By the end of the 1970th – the beginning of the 1980th demand for cars of this series started falling significantly. The last copy was built in 1986. In general, GTE cars more than 15 thousand, and GTC cabriolets – 443 copies were let out.
In 1969 Hodge Group included the Bond Cars company which made three-wheeled cars. So together with Relian the Bond Bug car which body was executed in modern style with a wedge-shaped front was released. But already in the early seventies the plant of Bond Cars firm was closed, and the word Bond disappeared from names of cars. Robin of a sample of 1973 became a latest model of the three-wheeled car started in mass production. The body of this model was made of fibreglass. However, in 1982 released the Rialto car especially for fans of original three-wheeled cars of Reliant.
With falling of popularity of the Scimitar GTE and GTC models, the management of the Reliant company directed all the efforts to development of a new sports car. So only in 1984 the new Scimitar SS-1 model equipped with the Ford CVH engine of 1,3 liters which in a consequence was replaced with the motor in 1,6 liters was let out. Power of such unit made 96 "horses" that allowed the car to disperse to 161 km/h though quite successful running gear of the car assumed also a high speed. The body made of fibreglass was developed by Italian Mikelotti. But a cabriolet recognized "toy", and it had no special success.
In 1985 the Reliant company concluded the agreement with Ford concern on production of a special sports car of Escort RS-200. In 1986 there was the following modification of Scimitar – the model 1800Ti equipped with the engine with a turbo-supercharging of Nissan with a capacity of 1,8 liters. Power of this motor made 135 horsepowers that allowed to gather speed to 205 km/h at dispersal to 100 km/h in only 7,9 seconds. But also this model didn't win popularity that led to sharp decline in demand for Reliant cars. So in 1987 only 230 Scimitar SS-1 cars were sold, and in 1989 hardly realized less than 100 copies. The company appeared on the verge of bankruptcy.
In 1992 all development of Scimitar was redeemed by Beans Industries firm which carried out a number of modifications. As a result in 1993 the Scimitar Sabre model collected on the basis of Scimitar SS-1, but with a new body was presented. On this model the engine developed by Nissan corporation was installed. But the car which gathered speed about 210 km/h, didn't draw public attention. Production of this car was again stopped.
In 1996 the Reliant company was officially declared bankrupt. Nevertheless, in 2000 release of Scimitar cars was resumed by means of investors. And at the beginning of the XXI century the model was equipped with 4-cylinder Rover motors which volume made 1,4 and nearly 2 liters, and power – 103 and 136 "horses" respectively. The modern Scimitar car with the 2 liters engine reaches speed in 217 km/h at dispersal to 100 km/h of everything in 6,7 seconds.1 - 31
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