Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Reliant Scimitar GT (1964 - 1970)

Last updated 19 October 2013

 
4
Fast and good looking, low maintenance glass fibre body, simple Ford engines and gearboxes
Extensive rust can be hidden underneath a cosmetically sound looking body

Introduction

The Reliant Scimitar GT car originally started life as a styling exercise built on a Daimler SP250 'Dart' chassis as designed by Ogle. However, the Tamworth-based company liked the shape of the SX250 so much it bought the rights, and introduced it in 1964. Suitably re-modelled for the Sabre-Six platform and called the Scimitar GT SE4, the car had the honour of becoming the company's first genuine sports car success. Its body was made from by-now Reliant-traditional glass fibre bodywork – and was powered lifted directly from the Ford range, initially the 2.6-litre (159 cu in) Zephyr Six unit, and then later, the V6 Essex engine developed for the Capri.

Early cars were tricky to handle at speed, but the addition of trailing arm rear suspension in 1965 reversed this defect significantly, making the later versions genuine performance cars, with excellent handling, potent acceleration and surprisingly good build quality. Were it not for the amount of time required to hand-build the cars, Reliant could easily have sold more Scimitars, and it built up quite a waiting list. However, the company – and Ogle – were already working on a larger and more powerful successor which became a serious player in the sports car market of the late 1960s and early 1970s – the innovative hatchbacked Scimitar GTE.

 

Ask Honest John