Is a towbar fi tted? Buy a good GTE for at least £1500 and you’ll reap the benefi ts of the previous owner’s care, while really good cars start at £3000. That said the GTE certainly became more practical thanks to a more spacious and luxurious cabin but for many enthusiasts the trade off was too great.When Ford’s 2.8-litre Cologne V6 replaced the Essex unit in 1980, the resulting SE6b was smoother and more refi ned, but it was also less torquey. Summary: A real head turner, cheap sports car, great drive and handling. Fast, roomy, and very useful, cheap running gear and great specialist support, also still relatively cheap to buy considering its fame and ability, Lacking in build quality, with well-known corrosion issues. A simple clean up, Loctite and re-torque provides a long-lasting fi x. Scimitar manual gearboxes (four-speed with or without overdrive) are tough enough, but prone to oil leaks. Make sure you check all the switchgear works okay; from the SE5a onwards it’s fragile. So a heavily revised GTE appeared in 1976, known as the SE6. Reliant Scimitar (SE5A), 1975/N-reg, 45,000 miles, £12,000: At £12,000, this late SE5A sits near the top of the market for clean Scimitars. Insurance tips and tricks by make and model - could you save? There’s a fine owners’ club, too. When Middlebridge took over the GTE’s production, it fi tted a 2.9-litre fuel-injected version of the Cologne engine, which offered more of the same really – extra power and refi nement but ultimately the same basic characteristics. The Essex powerplant tends to be durable and highly tunable, but it does have a few weak spots. GTE projects start at all of £50, but wade in at this end of the market and it’ll cost at least another £1000 in parts alone to create a car that’s reliable and looks reasonably smart – but you’ll have to do all the work yourself if the bills aren’t to mushroom. Thanks to its big engine power the GTE became a respected towcar and it’s reckoned that half of those remaining are so equipped. The organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, have decided to postpone the 2020 event. How much is a 1977 Toyota Celica liftback worth? Could this be the most practical sporting classic ever built – and the most underrated? Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%, Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith, Despite its many qualities the Reliant Scimitar still hasn’t cut it as a classic. Some late SE6bs and GTCs have a galvanised chassis which is unlikely to have any corrosion. Also expect wear between the vertical link and bottom trunnion, which is best checked by ensuring the trunnion bolt isn’t seized, and the steering isn’t stiff when the car’s nose is lifted off the ground. There was now a 2.9i engine and fi ve-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, but before 75 cars had been produced, the company went bust. Power steering is highly desirable. A strip down and re … Where can you get cheap classic car insurance? That large Triumph model had clearly provided inspiration – with its T-piece targa arrangement and removable hardtop – and, just like its fellow British marque, Reliant struggled to meet ambitious sales expectations. The body style proved such a trendsetter that other manufacturers raced to produce their own versions, with Volvo’s P1800ES and Lancia’s Beta HPE being the most faithful homages. As a result a fair chunk of the agility was lost and the Scimitar’s edge was decidely blunted. It’s unlikely to be rotten as such; repairs can almost always be carried out; the issue is how much work is needed. The GTE formula was so right that Reliant choose to grow it rather than come up with a replacement. The Reliant Scimitar SS1 had all the ingredients for success - it was affordable, based on tried and trusted components, and had the market pretty much to itself when it arrived in 1984. There were also three-speed automatic transmissions available; early cars featured a Borg Warner Type 35 unit while from the SE6 there was a Ford-sourced C3 ‘box. However, this derivative is the one that causes headaches thanks to its plastic dash surround, which is prone to cracking. It gives the impression of being less arm-cramping than formerly. None give problems, but each type uses its own fi xings – so make sure the correct type is fitted by looking for signs of movement or wear around the mounting holes. Where can you get quick classic car insurance quotes? With a huge fuel tank, the car can cruise at high speeds for mile after mile, while carrying a family and its luggage in comfort. Greasing at least twice annually is essential to prevent suspension failures. Launched at the tail end of the Scimitar’s life to give it a shot in the arm, one wonders why Reliant didn’t do it earlier to compete with the Stag. Like GTE, trim fails, . However, if the GTE does have any shortcomings, they’re well hidden. Can I get a warranty on a 30 year old campervan? The main problem wasn’t the product at all, as this was very good, but the fact the car was launched in the middle of a recession. Featuring a much wider, longer bodyshell along with bigger doors and moulded bumpers in place of the previous conventional chromed items, it moved the GTE further upmarket with a price to match: £4368 in March 1976. The Scimitar’s fibreglass body can’t rust of course (chassis can) and the ‘parts bin’ construction, using components from major manufacturers at the time, makes for fairly easy ownership. Five years later in larger, lardier SE6 guise however the mag’s opinion changed to “Starting to age and not so pleasant”. It can take a while for oil pressure to build on early Essex V6s – perhaps as much as fi ve seconds. The final generation of Reliant produced GTEs - the SE6b - failed to replicate the success of the earlier models. The present Reliant Scimitar has a wheelbase of 8 ft. 7.81 in. Those who have one swear it’s the better car…. Monthly Car asked way back in 1971 “Is this Britain’s most underrated car?”. There were steel items with three different glassfi bre trims, ‘Princess Anne’ alloys, Dunlop composite wheels (with an alloy centre riveted to a steel rim) or Wolfrace alloys. Why Edd China was right to quit Wheeler Dealers, Report: Anglia classic car auction, King's Lynn, 25 January, Video: Scrappage scheme classic car graveyard uncovered. The Reliant Scimitar GTE is a truly overlooked British classic car that’s quick enough, good value and an absolute doddle to maintain thanks to humble Ford running gear. All Scimitars featured a Ford V6 engine; the 3-litre Essex unit was fi tted until 1979, when it was superseded by the smoother 2.8-litre Cologne lump. All panels are available; problems may arise when you try to graft them in though. The GTE’s forte was its long distance cruising ability thanks to tall gearing (particularly so with overdrive) and a massive fuel tank. The GTC should have been another money spinner for Reliant. A set of quality replacements and poly bushing is a wise step along with good quality tyres. Carmakers create a new market segment every week nowadays, but it wasn’t always so. With excellent handling, care of a pretty sophisticated Aston-like rear suspension, a decent ride and plenty of feedback from the brakes as well as the steering, the GTE is more of a driver’s car than you’d think any estate of this era could ever be. The top inner wishbone bushes can wear, while the fulcrum bars on which they pivot can corrode. If ever the adage “it goes better than it looks” applied to a car, then it has to be the Scimitar. Overdrive really gives this Reliant a magnificent longer stride, however most came as autos. Should I worry about buying a classic with the changes to grades of fuel? Oil pressure can be reduced through engine wear as well as the oil pump drive pencil wearing; replacing this is cheap and easy. The key thing to check is the state of the main rails; they’re usually preserved by leaked engine oil, but not always. The Reliant GTC was seen as great sports tourer when new and regarded as a fine alternative to an Alfa or a BMW, plus offered better build quality than a TVR. Our guide will save you money. Combine that with a glassfi bre bodyshell and you have a car that feels fabulously nimble and it’s quick too, thanks to that lusty 3-litre Ford Essex up front. The new model was known as the SE5; its predecessor was the SE4.