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Reliant

From 1929 bicycle manufacturer Raleigh made Karryall three wheeler vans, but they ceased production, so their designer, T L Williams, bought the manufacturing rights and formed Reliant to make the vans in Tamworth, with a 747cc Austin Seven engine. In 1939 Austin stopped making tit, so Reliant licence-built the engines until 1962. In 1952 the Regal three-wheeler car and van appeared, followed by the Mk III (1956), Mk IV (1958) Mk V (1959) and Mk VI (1961). The Regal series culminated in 1962 with the reverse-slope rear window 3/25 car and Supervan, now with Reliant's own 700cc engine. In 1967 Reliant introduced a 16cwt pickup, the TW9. In 1969 Reliant took over competitor Bond, together with the wedge-shaped Bond Bug, made until 1975. Reliant aspired to make four-wheeler cars, starting with the Sabra GRP sports car made for Autocars of Israle. This was anglicised as the Sabre. Ogle's SX250 design for the Daimler V8 was rejected by Jaguar Group, so it was adapted to fit the Sabre chassis and engine, becoming the GRP-bodied Reliant Scimitar GT coupe (SE4). The Reliant Rebel was a GRP-bodied four wheeler, based on the Regal, made from 1964 to 1972. In 1973 the Regal was replaced by the Ogle-designed Robin three-wheeler, followed by its four wheeler version, the Kitten (1975-82). A sports estate concept car designed for Triplex led to Ogle developing the iconic Scimitar GTE (SE5) for Reliant. The Scimitar went through various stages of development, the SE5 and SE5a (1968-75), a longer and wider SE6 (to 1986). The SE8b was the Reliant Scimitar GTC convertible, designed by Ogle in 1978, and GTE production ceased in 1987. Reliant wanted a new sports car to replace the Scimitar, and eventually Michelotti designed the Scimitar SS1, made 1984-90. The Scimitar SST, a facelifted SS1, was made in 1990-92., followed by the Scimitar Sabre, facelifted in 1993 and axed in 1995. Reliant ceased car production, and became a vehicle importer.
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