Tag Archives: Reliant

Five Cylinder Tim – MANBAT Pegasus Sprint Castle Combe

Last month saw the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club organise it’s final sprint of the year the MANBAT Pegasus Sprint at Castle Combe, as ever with an event involving over 100 competitors many members of the BPMC the Bristol Motor Club and a few others besides along with the team at Castle Combe all mucked in to make it happen.

GTM K3, Graham Matthews, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Here are a few random snaps of the day taken from my vantage point on the start line that I hope give a flavour of the day that was probably better suited to ducks than Motor Sport, above Graham Matthews only made one successful practice run in his GTM K3 before withdrawing from the event.

Marcos Mantis, Philip Jones, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Before the weather was forecast Philip Jones must have fancied his chances of Marcos Mantis competing for the fastest time of the day in his 4.6 litre V8 powered machine but he had to settle for 1st in the Road going Specialist Production Cars class and consul himself that the conditions kept him 14 secs off the fastest time of the day.

MG PA, Howard Harman, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

If there had been a prize for being quickest of the two pre war MG’s present it would have gone to Howard Harman seen above in his 1 litre MG PA who was one and a half seconds quicker than Martin Price in his 1 1/4 litre MG TA.

TVR Vixen, Ian Stallard, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Given the power of some of the more recent TVR’s present it is perhaps surprising that the fast TVR time was set by Iain Stallard, above, in his four cylinder Ford powered TVR Vixen which had less than half the cubic inch capacity of all the other TVR’s present.

Triumph TR3A, Tom Purves, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Tom Purves Triumph TR3A was the oldest and slowest representative of the marque present of those who set a time.

JCB LOADALL, Les Rawlins, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Les Rawlins, Castle Combes Mr Fixit, might have struggled to set a competitive time in his JCB LOADALL, fortunately his skills fixing the barriers were only called on the once.

Mitsubishi EVO6 GSR, Mike McBraida,MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Mike McBraida set fastest time at the wheel of his turbocharged Mitsubishi EVO6 GSR in the Road going Series Production Cars over 2600cc class.

Reliant Scimitar GT, Nick Hall, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

The Reliant Scimitar GT driven by Nick Hall was third in the Road going Specialist Production Cars, Car engines over 1800cc and Motor Cycle engines class.

Audi Quattro, Tim Clarke, MANBAT Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

Winner of the MANBAT Pegasus Sprint was Tim Clarke who set the fastest time of the day in his five cylinder turbocharged Audi Quattro, a car last seen on these pages indulging in a spot of lawn mowing at Hullavigton.

My thanks to all those who contributed to such a splendid day in the rain, and thanks for joining me on this “Five Cylinder Tim” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a cool one off contender for the Carrera Panamericana. Don’t forget to come back now !


Coffee Croissant & Cars 11/14 – Avenue Drivers Club

Around 8am on a sunny Sunday morning I rolled down the hill for the monthly, second Sunday of the month, Avenue Drivers Club meeting at Queen Square in Bristol.

Talbot, Avenue Drivers Club,

Among the hundreds of details I captured this horn from a 1921 Talbot.

Sunbeam, Avenue Drivers Club,

I’m not entirely sure what the story, behind this Lands End mascot sitting atop the radiator of a 1925 Sunbeam, is but he seemed to be enjoying the sun.

Ford, Avenue Drivers Club,

Ford branding circa 1953 on a Ford Anglia.

Jaguar XK120, Avenue Drivers Club,

This superb upgraded 1953 Jaguar was restored by Bristol Classic and Sports Cars Ltd is for sale or they will build you one like it from their stock, usual disclaimers apply.

Land Rover SWB, Avenue Drivers Club,

Another vehicle from 1953 was this 88″ short wheel base (SWB) Land Rover with a Station Wagon body.

Reliant Scimitar GT Coupé, Avenue Drivers Club,

Fast forwarding 13 years this is the fuel cap on a 1968 Reliant Scimitar GT Coupé of which just 118 were built.

MG B GT, Avenue Drivers Club,

Above a teddy bears picnic was being held in the back of a 1970 MG B GT.

Morris Mini Cooper S, Avenue Drivers Club,

Rarest of the Mini Cooper S models are the Mark III, internal door hinges, versions, like the the 1971 example above of which 1,570 were built between 1969 and 1976.

Austin Maxi, Avenue Drivers Club,

The humble Austin Maxi hatchback was the first all new product launched by the newly created British Leyland in 1969. John Lennon was probably the most famous owner of a Maxi, which he subsequently crashed into a tree. The power transverse Maxi power train was used to build a prototype AC and a prototype Ginetta.

Triumph TR6, Avenue Drivers Club,

Another car for sale was this attractive TR6, if you are interested in buying one message me and I’ll put you in touch with the owner, usual disclaimers apply.

Hillman Avenger, Avenue Drivers Club,

In 1976 the Hillman name was dropped in favour of Chrysler and the Avenger model was given a minor face lift while production was moved from Ryton on Dunsmore near Coventry to the former Imp / Chamoise manufacturing plant at Linwood Scotland. All of which must make this Hillman badged face lifted Avenger a bit of a rarity.

Bentley Brooklands R Mulliner, Avenue Drivers Club,

Before the introduction of the Bentley Arnage Bentley built a series of 100 long wheel base Brooklands R Mulliner models in 1998. All of them were RHD and all numbered. Not sure which won was in Queen Square on Sunday but it was a most impressive motor car.

Caterham Roadsport, Avenue Drivers Club,

Looking timeless above a Caterham Super Seven.

TVR Tuscan, Avenue Drivers Club,

Finally from 2001 this TVR Tuscan was one of numerous examples of the marque to turn up on Sunday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee Croissants & Cars 11/14” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a homage to Richard Petty’s 1959 rookie season. Don’t forget to come back now !


50 mpg DIY Sportscar – Liege

In the late 1980’s Peter Leigh Davis set out to design a sporting all rounder which could be driven to work and used for competition at the weekends in much the same way as early Allard, Buckler, Dellow and Lotus cars to name but a few.

The aluminium motor and gearbox for the Liege were taken from a Reliant Robin and a variety of back axles were tried before settling on a Bedford/Suzuki unit from an ultra light commercial van.

Liege Reliant, Trials Car, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

To prove his creation’s reliability Peter took the prototype on a 6500 mile reconnaissance trip for the Liege-Agadir-Liege Endurance Trial to the edge of the Sahara desert. The car carried two people tools and camping gear and ran faultlessly while averaging 50 mpg.

In all 60 Liege kits were built after plans to build a turn key car with Reliant fell through, 45 of these vehicles are thought to be on the road some running twin carbs or superchargers to boost the power while yet more have been fitted with Honda Fireblade, Fiat Fire and various Suzuki motors.

The prototype Liege won a bronze medal on the 1995 Lands End Trial and won the 2 lire class of Le Jog the same year.

The car seen here at last years Castle Combe Autumn Classic is listed as manufactured in 1989 and completed in 2005 with the Reliant power train and Suzuki back axle.

Thanks for joining me on this “50 mpg DIY Sportscar” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the 1974 World Championship Winning McLaren M23. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cotswold Classic Car Club – Frogmill Andoversford

Forgoing a New Years day hangover I a woke yesterday just in time to throw a bucket of water over my Golf and head down to Queen Square in Bristol where I met my friend Ted and his friend Ron with a few other Avenue Drivers Club regulars.

Ford, Queen Square Bristol

The meeting was not a regular Avenue Drivers Club event, they only happen on the second Sunday of every month the next one is scheduled for Sunday 13th. We were meeting with the intention of heading 40 miles north to the Frogmill Inn, Andoversford where the Cotswold Classic Car Club was having it’s annual New Years Day Meeting.

Scimitar GTE, Queen Square, Bristol

Ron led the way in his recently acquired 1972 Reliant Scimitar GTE Automatic.

Cotswold Classic Car Club, Frogmill, Andoversford

After a pleasant drive under unusual blue skies we arrived at Frogmill an hour ahead of the advertised time to find the car parks filled with a variety of veteran, vintage and classic vehicles.

Bristol 411, Frogmill, Andoversford

Some of them will be familiar to regular GALPOT readers like this Bristol 411 which I featured a couple of years ago.

Amphicar, Frogmill, Andoversford

This time last year the United Kingdom was preparing for a drought but the weather has since conspired to make 2012 the wettest since records began which should be good news for owners of amphibious vehicles like this Triumph powered 1967 Amphicar.

Invicta, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

Amongst the vintage vehicles present was this Meadows powered 4.5 litre 1931 Invicta which would have been capable of 100mph when new.

Vauxhall Victor, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

The 1961 Vauxhall Victor F type above was originally sold by Haines & Strange in Cheltenham, it spent 10 years in Switzerland before being found in a barn in the UK by it’s present owner in 1999. It has been undergoing restoration ever since.

Morris Marina 1.3 Coupé, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

One of the stranger classics was at the meeting was this 1972 Morris Marina 1.3 Coupé, once a familiar sight on British roads and the subject of a fair amount of derision for rust among other issues. The Maurice Morihno Racing Team logo appears to be pointing further fun at the model examples of which were used in competition rally events back in the day.

Jaguar XK 140 FHC, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

Signs are that this 1956 Jaguar XK140 FHC may have spent some time in the USA, the UCLA sticker on the back window being an obvious example.

Studebaker Commander, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

This 1950 Studebaker Commander was only imported into the UK a couple of months ago it would appear to be powered by a 5.7 litre / 347 cui V8.

Wolseley 1500, Frogmill, Andoversford

This 1959 Wolseley 1500 is built on a Morris Minor floorplan and fitted with a larger motor and gearbox from the MG ZB.

Pontiac Firehawk, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

According to it’s ‘Birth Certificate’ this manual Pontiac Firehawk Mapleleaf Transam was built on February 28th 1999 at LaSalle in Quebec with speedo reading in kilometers for the Canadian market, it’s capable of covering a quarter mile in 13.4 secs and has a restricted top speed of 160 mph.

Triumph Mayflower, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

Conceived as a small car, same size as a Morris Minor, but following the styling queues of contemporary large Rolls Royce and Bentley models the Triumph Mayflower was aimed squarely at the US market, only 35,000 were built between 1949 and 1953 well below the targeted numbers.

Gilbern Genie, Frogmill Inn, Andoversford

Finally in the overflow car park I found this 1968 Gilbern Genie, built in Wales and powered by a 3 litre 183 cui Ford (Essex) V6 beneath the fibre glass bodywork the suspension is largely inherited from the MG B.

My thanks to Ted Walker for alerting me to the Cotswold Classic Car Club New Years Day meeting.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cotswold Classic Car Club” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Details of some of the vehicles seen at Frogmill can be seen on this link.


Power & Roadholding – Bond Equipe 2 Litre Convertible

In 1967 Bond expanded it’s range of four wheel vehicles from the hitherto single Triumph Herald based Equipe 4S to include a Triumph Vitesse based Equipe 2 Litre GT.

Bond Equipe Convertible, Bristol Classic Car Show

The following year the chassis was upgraded to the new Mk II Vitesse type which featured improved power and rear suspension leading to the marketing strap line “The New Bond is great on power, great on road holding.

Bond Equipe Convertible, Bristol Classic Car Show

1968 also saw the launch of the Convertible version of the six cylinder Equipe 2 litre which was marketed like all Equipe’s through Standard Triumph dealerships.

Bond Equipe Convertible, Bristol Classic Car Show

With an envious eye on Bond’s distribution agreement with Standard Triumph, Reliant, manufacturers of Scimitar cars, purchased Bond in 1969 with a view to expanding the distribution of it’s own vehicles. However these plans came to nought in the wake of Triumphs merger into the British Leyland conglomerate which rationalised that the sales of Bond’s alongside Triumphs own products was superfluous.

Bond Equipe Convertible, Bristol Classic Car Show

The 1969 model seen here is one of just 841 convertibles built between 1968 and 1970 when production of all Bond’s in Preston was wound down and the manufacturing facilities closed by their new owners Reliant.

Thanks for joining me on this “Power & Roadholding” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


To Shepton Mallet – 33rd Bristol Classic Car Show

Despite living in Bristol for 20 years come autumn I did not hear about the Bristol Classic Car show until last April. One of the reasons for this is that two years before I moved to Bristol the show moved to it’s current venue the Bath & West Show Ground just outside Shepton Mallet a good twenty miles south of Bristol and a similar distance from Bath !

Ford Cortina UREN Savage, Bristol Classic Car Show

Among the highlights of the show, which I attended for the first time on Saturday and selected from over 700 photo’s that I took was this 1972 Ford Cortina MK III with unusual bulges in the bonnet and bearing the legend ‘UREN’ in place of the usual ‘FORD’. Jeff Uren’s Race Proved company beefed up the mid size Rep Mobile MK III running gear to take a 218hp 3.0 litre / 183 cui Essex V6 motor more commonly found in the large Ford Zodiac to turn this car into 130 mph road burner with a 0 – 60 mph time of 7 seconds.

Ford Gran Torino, Bristol Classic Car Show

Another 1972 Ford that caught my attention was this 5.8 litre / 351 cui Gran Torino, not sure if that’s a Windsor or Cleveland motor nor even if there is any external way of knowing, if this happens to be your specialist subject please do not hesitate to register and chime in below.

Healey Silverstone Replica, Bristol Classic Car Show

Only 104 Healey Silverstone’s were manufactured between 1949 and 1950 so it was no great surprise to find that the example seen here is a replica, these days more commonly referred to by auction houses as ‘Evocations’, built around a shortened 1951 Healey Tickford Saloon chassis, a model of which only 222 were built from 1950 to 1954. Coincidentally this was lot 104A in the Charterhouse Auction that took place yesterday, Sunday. Lot 104 A was expected to fetch UK £30 – 40,000 about a twentieth of the price of one of the genuine Healey Silverstones still in existence.

Messerschmitt KR2000, Bristol Classic Car Show

After World War 2 many aircraft companies diversified into automobile manufacture including Bristol & Armstrong Siddeley. German aircraft manufacturers were forbidden to make aeroplanes and so Fritz Fend approached Messerschmitt with the idea of manufacturing a humble Kabinenroller (scooter with cabin) bubble car in 1952. A KR200, 10 hp 200 cc / 12.2 cui like the model seen here but with a modified body managed to average a record 64mph over 24 hours at Hockenheimring in 1955 ! Note the cabriolet version in the back ground.

MG 18/80 Six MkII Saloon, Bristol Classic Car Show

When I saw this mascot I thought it ought to belong to a Citroen 2CV powered with a Indian Motor, however it actually sits atop the radiator of a 1930 MG 18/80 Six MK II Saloon that will feature in a Tuesday MG blog in the fullness of time.

Reliant Sabra Prototype, Bristol Classic Car Show

Yitzhak Shubinsky of the Israeli Autocars Ltd saw an Ashley 1172 Special and a new chassis by Leslie Bellamy at a racing car show and came up with the idea of fitting the chassis with body work from the Ashley Special in 1960. He approached Reliant who had previously worked on the Autocar Carmel and Sussita models to build the prototype seen here known as the Sabra. Reliant ended up building the first 100 Sabra models, powered by a 4 cylinder 1703cc / 104 cui usually found in the Ford Consul Mk2, and exported to the USA until Autocars Ltd Israel were ready to start assembling the cars themselves.

Singer Roadster, Bristol Classic Car Show

When I first set eye’s on this 1951 Singer Roadster my first thought was that it looked just like Noddy’s car familiar to many kids my age born around 1959 from the Noddy’s Car picture book by Enid Blyton. Closer inspection of the book cover linked here reveals a few similarities particularly a two tone paint scheme but beyond that all resemblance is mostly a figment of my imagination.

Subaru XT 4WD Turbo Coupé, Bristol Classic Car Show

If ever a car said 1980’s it must be this 1985 Subaru XT 4WD Turbo Coupé which helped transform Subaru from farmers choice into a performance geek choice, the car was brim full of technology that was ahead of most of the opposition including computer controlled air suspension and ‘cybermatic’ steering which varied the amount of power assistance to the steering. Apparently one of these cars went straight from the docks into the Patrick Collection, when the collection was broken up the car was disposed of with out ever being driven on public roads and disappeared with out trace. If you know the where abouts of this XT 4wd Turbo Coupé please get chime in below.

Triumph Dolomite 1500 SE, Bristol Classic Car Show

Regular GALPOT readers will know I am a big fan of the Atwell Wilson Museum in Calne, the Museum are raffling the 1979 Triumph Dolomite 1500 SE seen here, tickets will be available from the Museum until the prize draw in December, I bought my first ticket at the show and hope to purchase a few more in the coming months, only 2163 of a planned 2500 of these ‘black beauties’ fitted with Triumph Spitfire sports car wheels were built.

Van den Plas 1300, Bristol Classic Car Show

A large selection of British Motor Corporation / British Leyland front wheel drive vehicles were on view in both the car parks and in the exhibition halls among the rarer was this range topping 1972 Vanden Plas Princess 1300 variation of the BMC ADO 16 vehicle which was also manufactured with Austin, Morris, MG, Riley Kestrel, and Wolseley badges between 1962 and 1974 during period these vehicles were amongst the biggest sellers in the UK until they were toppled by Fords.

Volvo 740 GL, His & Hearse, Bristol Classic Car Show

Among many stories from my days working at a Volvo dealership some of the funniest stories involve a fleet of hearses we used to look after so this 1988 Volvo 740 His & Hearse naturally raised a possibly macabre smile.

Wolsey Six, Bristol Classic Car Show

I’ll wind up today’s review of the 33rd Bristol Classic Car show, sponsored by Footman James Insurance with this amazing 1973 Wolseley Six “Landcrab” which has been kept in this immaculate condition for 39 years ! It has never been restored and has over 30,000 miles on the clock, a testimony to the rewards of regular servicing and timely repairs.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘To Shepton Mallet’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


MEBEA MIA ! – Reliant Fox

The story of today’s pickup starts in 1960 when two Greek motorcycle assembly operations merged to form Μεσογειακαί Επιχειρήσεις Βιομηχανίας, Εμπορίου και Αντιπροσωπειών which translates to Mediterranean Enterprises for Industry, Commerce and Representations, known as MEBEA. MEBEA manufactured a variety of vehicles using mostly Zundapp motorcycle engines.


Copyright holder unknown image will be removed or credited upon request.

During the 1970’s MEBEA also manufactured glass fiber bodied Reliant vehicles under license. In 1979 the company developed its own pick up the Fox based on the Reliant Kitten chassis and running gear. In order to get the vehicle type approved for the Greek market it was deemed easier and possibly cheaper for Reliant to get the Fox type approved in the United Kingdom first.

Reliant Fox, Oulton Park

It is thought around 3000 MEBEA Foxes were manufactured between 1979 and 1983 when changes in Greek laws stopped favoring vehicles like the Fox.

Reliant Fox, Oulton Park

However that was not the end of Fox production, no sooner had MEBEA ceased production of the Fox in Greece than Reliant started to produce the Fox, powered by an all aluminium 848 cc / 52 cui 4 cylinder motor, for the British market.

Reliant Fox

This 1984 Fox, seen above at Oulton Park, is one of around 600 built between 1983 and 1990.

My thanks to L.S. Skartsis and G.A. Avramidis who’s excellent book “Made in Greece” Typorama, Patras, 2003 proved an invaluable reference source.

Thanks for joining me on this Greek odyssey edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !