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Reliant Scimitar & GTE

Reliant Scimitar & GTE Published: 30th Apr 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Reliant Scimitar & GTE
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Practical prestigious sports hatch with Royal approval selling for pauper money!

Why buy?


HRH Princess Anne was one of the very first owners of Reliant’s Scimitar GTE, the instigator of the sporting hatchback combining performance with practicality and she remains a fan. For all their qualities, these regal Reliants still sell for pauper’s money.



An exceptionally good car of its kind, Scimitars have always performed well although the more upmarket SE6 that replaced the SE5a, in 1976 lost too much of its famed driver appeal as it grew in size, stature and weight. The GTE’s forte has always been its long distance cruising ability; SE4s and coupés are the most knife edged; earliest cars used straight six Ford Zodiac engines.

What to pay


With the exception of the earlier coupés, Scimitars remain grossly undervalued. Projects start at £1000, a good SE6 for £5000 while even the best cars rarely exceed £6000 and that includes the Stag-like GTC but aforementioned earlier GT4s are a lot costlier.



Some nice cars around but there’s also a lot of scrappy ones so vet as many as possible – there’s plenty around.

Body and chassis


Body can’t rust of course but chassis rot can be bad. Main rails and outrigger condition are critical as are ‘diagonals’ at rear, made worse if heavy towing has been carried out (half of all GTEs sport tow bars). At the front, the suspension can even pull away from frame. The good news is that new frames are available from specialist ORG at under £2500 (SE6) with refurbished alternatives for earlier models.

Running gear

Front suspension essentially Triumph TR until SE6 where a Reliant design took over. Most serious setbacks are wishbone fractures especially on SE6. Brakes are a mix and match but pose no servicing problems. Four types of alloy wheel were fitted with the early four-spoke steel items ‘hens’ teeth’ and so are pricey.

Best model?

SE4 & SE5/SE5a

Worst model?

SE6 sans PAS

Budget buy?

SE6 auto

Ok for unleaded?

Needs additives

Spares situation?

Pretty good

Diy ease?

Very good

Club support?

Very good

Appreciating asset?

Its time will come – surely?

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