Car manufacturers, just like everyone else, are always looking for the next, new thing that will propel their business forward, enhance their prestige and generally let them make more money. It’s the name of the game! For Reliant, long a manufacturer of small, three-wheel cars such as the Bond Bug and other economy vehicle, the solution was the 1968 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5. It featured a sexy fiberglass body, designed by British consultancy firm Ogle, mounted on a definitely superior steel frame. This hot two-door station wagon offered plenty of room in the back to store… well, whatever you wanted, while still maintaining a sports car profile and handling.
When you ordered your Scimitar GTE SE5, you had a strange choice of engines: a 2.6-liter straight six, or a 3-liter V6. Of course, the V6 was more powerful, and more people ordered it, which led to the straight-six’s demise. Still, a strange choice to offer people. Anyways, with the V6, the Scimitar GTE could reach a top speed of 121 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in a hair under 9 seconds.
Relatively fast and definitely good-looking, the Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5 was offered with a standard 4-speed manual transmission, to which a fifth overdrive speed was quickly tacked on, or an optional three-speed Borg-Warner automatic. This exact model remained in production until 1972, but the Scimitar name remained in use for decades.