’86 Reliant Scimitar SS1

There is something to be said for British engineering. Here is a car, built by the same company that produced the infamous 3-wheeler, and it’s actually good!

Now, my definition of a good car may be different to yours. The Scimitar was bought sight-unseen on a popular auction site, with no knowledge as to what it was actually like.

The roof leaks. It only has one wing mirror. The heater is, as my sister eloquently describes, about as effective as a warm spoon in your hand. The seats are uncomfortable. The gearbox is shot. None of the body panels fit properly.

I think you get the point. How could I possibly describe this thing as “good”?

It’s FUN! There is nothing quite like driving down the road on a sunny day, with the top down, in a car which is nimble, reasonably quick, and makes all sorts of strange noises. It’s certainly an experience.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it won’t stay like this for long. The plan is to give the car a complete overhaul. I have a Ford Type 9 5-speed gearbox waiting to go in, helping it on motorway journeys. It will be getting some new seats from the NA Mazda MX5. A new exhaust system is on the cards, as is a respray.

Check back here later for an update.

If you’d like to know more about the Scimitar SS1, check out Honest John’s review, or the Reliant Scimitar & Sabre Owners Club.