Reliant Scimitar is a model name used
by British manufacturer Reliant on several designs of sports car.
Reliant Scimitar @ Retro Show 2007
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Reliant's first Scimitar was a coupé built upon the styling of a Daimler
SP250 prototype and the chassis of a Reliant Sabre. It was first shown in
1964 and powered by a 2.6 L Ford straight six from the Ford Zephyr / Ford
Reliant Scimitar (SE4)
Two Door Coupe
In 1966 the SE4A was replaced by the SE4B, with a V6 3.0 L Ford "Essex"
engine. The cheaper SE4C came with a 2.5 L version of the same engine. Just
over 1000 SE4s were produced.
||Reliant Scimitar (SE5)
||two door coupé
||2553 cc I-6 (1964 - 1966)
2994 cc V-6 (1966 - 1970)
||4 speed manual
||92 in (2337 mm)
||167.5 in (4255 mm)
||62 in (1575 mm)
||51 in (1295 mm)
||2,380 lb (1,080 kg)
||20 imp gal (91 L; 24 US gal)
GTE SE5 (1968–75)
Based on the chassis of the earlier coupé and the Ogle Design GTS
estate car experiment, the four-seater Scimitar GTE SE5 came with
either 2.5 L or 3.0 L engines. The 3.0 L engine, which gave this model a top
speed of over 120 mph (193 km/h), was more popular, and the 2.5 L version
was later dropped. A Borg-Warner automatic transmission was added as an
option in 1970 and by 1971, overdrive on the 4-speed manual was offered. In
1972 several improvements were included in the upgrade to SE5A, including a
boost in power. The extra 7 hp (5 kW) and maximum engine speed raised
performance quite a bit and the GTE was now capable of 0-60 mph (100 km/h)
in 9.3 seconds and top speed was raised by 6 mph (10 km/h). The SE5's flat
dashboard also gave way to a lower quality curved and moulded plastic one.
Around 4311 SE5s were produced.
The 5A model sold more than any other Scimitar, with 5105 manufactured.
GTE SE6 (1975–79) & SE6B until 1986
More of a luxury model than the SE5, the SE6 series was promoted to the
executive market. These models were two-door sports estates, again with the
Ford V6 3.0 L engine, and were a few inches longer and wider than their
predecessor. The SE6 had some quality issues and was soon replaced by the
SE6A. About 543 SE6 models were produced.
The SE6A displayed a number of improvements, including better quality,
brakes and road-holding. There was also the option of power steering. 3877
SE6As were made.
Ford had stopped making the "Essex" engine by 1979, so one of the major
differences with the SE6B was the engine choice. The Ford "Cologne" 2.8 L V6
was used instead, and provided similar power but rather less torque. The
final drive ratio was changed to compensate. Only 437 production SE6Bs were
manufactured. Production ceased by 1986.
Scimitar GTC (circa 1982) with hard-top
GTC / SE8 (1980–86)
The convertible version of the Scimitar GTE was known as the Scimitar
GTC, or SE8B. It was modelled closely on the SE6B and still included
four seats and the 2.8 L "Cologne" engine. Only 442 production GTCs were
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Aiming to fill a gap in the small sports car market, the Michelotti-designed
SS1 was launched in 1984. The chassis was inspired by Lotus's Elan. 1300 cc
and 1600 cc Ford engines were used, at first, later replaced with a 1400 cc
CVH Ford engine and a Nissan 1800 cc turbocharged engine.
This car had unusual uncovered Porsche 928 style pop-up headlights and
shared many components with cars of the day. It is currently one of the most
affordable small sports convertibles on the second hand market. The post
1985 (galvanised chassis) models are particularly sought after, but rarely
fetch over £2000.
Reliant Scimitar Owners Workshop Manual and Portfolio
1968-79 from Amazon.co.uk
"A manual, plus a portfolio of road tests & buyer guide.
A comprehensive manual for the DIY enthusiast that
covers engines, fuel & cooling systems, ignition,
transmission, clutch, suspension wheels, brakes,
electrics, bodywork & servicing. Covers the 2.5GT, 3.0GT
& 3.0GTE. 216 pages with photos & drawings"
Available in America from
SS2 / SST (1988–95)
Restylings of the SS1 in 1988 and 1990 (by William Towns) led to the SS2
The SS2 was going to be targeted towards a North American market, but
never got to the production stage. One example was made for a motor show.
Scimitar Sabre (1991–95)
The Sabre was the last Scimitar model to be produced. Based on the
chassis of the SS1 and SST, it was released in 1991, with a restyle in 1993.
The Rover K-series 1.4 L engine made this the 2nd fastest Reliant ever, with
only the SS1 1800Ti being quicker. Production finished in May 1995 when
Reliant was taken over.
1988 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1300
When production at Reliant ceased in 1986, Middlebridge Scimitar acquired
the manufacturing rights. This company, based in Nottingham, produced a
2.9 L version with many modifications and modernizations including fuel
injection and a 5-speed gearbox.
Only 77 Scimitars were ever produced by Middlebridge, and in 1990
production rights went to Graham Walker, who builds Scimitars to order.
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Reliant Scimitar GTE
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