Why you’d want a Reliant Scimitar GTE
The aura of Royal patronage and innovative British design and engineering that surrounded the Scimitar GTE like a halo at its launch has long since tarnished and fallen away.
Decades of decaying at the back of secondhand car lots due to excessive insurance premiums and an undeserved reputation for unreliability and catching fire pushed prices to rock bottom, leading to neglect and a one-way trip to the breaker’s yard for many Scimitars.
Behind all of that, the car’s true character shone through and a surprisingly high proportion of the 18 years of Reliant-built GTEs are still with us, showing the Scimitar’s durability and appeal.
And it remains a triumph of British ingenuity, the world’s first series production sporting estate. Princess Anne famously loves GTEs: she bought the last Reliant-made car and still owns a Middlebridge Scimitar, her eighth.
For today’s buyer, the GTE offers exclusivity, durability, practicality and a great sporting feel. Costly insurance disappeared when classic policies were born. ‘Catching fire’ was always unfair, resulting from a long-cured Ford V6 carburettor failing. And unreliability results from neglect rather than any inherent weakness, and can be avoided with some intensive tender loving care.