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The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:43 pm
by 02Anders
Hi there,

I'm new to the forum and new to Reliant Scimitar ownership too. I've also just joined the club, but am still waiting for my membership number.
Always been quite a fan of the Scimitar though, and finally managed to treat myself to one. Pretty excited to say the least... :D
I've been around classic cars of all sorts for ages though.

I've just purchased a 1978 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6a with a manual transmission.
Along with two good mates and a handful of guest contributors, I run a classic car website called ViaRETRO.
So my possibly daft plan is to run the Scimitar as an all-year-round daily classic. Needless to say, that will lead to plenty of "Our Classics" reports on our website.
Earlier today we published my introduction of the Scimitar on ViaRETRO. If you're interested, have a glance here: ... -roulette/
Please feel free to comment either here or over on ViaRETRO... :wink:
As it is, one of my ViaRETRO colleagues (who lives in Denmark where I'm also originally from) also owns a Scimitar SE6a of his own, so there's now two of them on our site.

Being all new to Scimitar ownership, I'll no doubt have plenty of silly questions. I hope you'll put up with me...??
First question: Does anyone know the name of the colour of my Scimitar? I'm actually not entirely sure that it's a factory colour, but I'm sure someone here will put me straight.
Second question: Is it easy / worthwhile to treat the Scimitar chassis to rust proofing (such as Dinitrol perhaps) with the bodywork, drivetrain etc all still in place?
Third question: Is it possible to fit three point inertia reel seatbelts for the rear seats?
Heh... I'm sure there will be plenty more questions to come, but for now I'll leave it at that...

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:28 pm
by ScimiTom

That looks like a lovely car you've got there. In answer to your questions:

1. I believe there was a colour known as 'celtic brown', but I'm pretty sure it wasn't as nice as that colour. I never knew brown could look so good!
2. Yes on both counts, I believe.
3. I think others have done this, but I'm not sure how easy it is.

Let me take the opportunity to say how refreshing it is to read such an articulate article (if that's not a tautology!) and opening post. I also approve of the double Latin reference in your website name.

Enjoy the car! I look forward to seeing how you get on.


The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:46 am
by scimjim
Welcome :D

1. Looks like a later respray to me? What’s the original colour code on the VIN?
2. Very easy
3. No factory fit so you need to get creative.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:07 am
by Roger Pennington
Hi, and welcome to the forum, the Club, and most of all, to Scimitar ownership! :D

I'd agree that the colour isn't brown, however it's not the usual Se6a maroon either - that's a much redder colour (called mulberry, see the left hand car in my signature :) ). It looks a bit like highland purple, but that was a 5-series colour.

I was interested to see one of the comments on your website refers to the Brooklands New Year's Day Show, and the Scimitars that were present - well one of them was my Yellow Peril - Pictures in this thread :D

Daily driver - of course they can be!

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:49 am
by philhoward
Welcome! :D

That certainly isn’t a standard colour - I’ve seen similar which was either a Chrysler Cherry Red (as used on the PT Cruiser) or possibly the Cherry Red as used on the Rover Mini 30? It is very nice though!

Rustproofing of the bits you can see is always a good idea / only bits you won’t get are the top faces of the chassis where the body sits on. Dinitrol certainly has a good reputation so I don’t think you’ll go wrong with it.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:12 am
by spegru
O2Anders - nice car.
On your point 3 I have just done that.
I have established that there is a large metal seatbelt attachment plate insert into the rear quarter in my car which is a '79 6a complete with standard thread. My Thin but bright LED flood lamp shows that it's laminated inside
There are several large holes fr the lamination to go through and also two pop rivets where I suppose the reinforcement panel was attached before lamination

Things have moved on since the 70s and we no longer believe that composites such as fibreglass are weak.

I have also fitted another mounting into the same plate for the reel. No final pics of that as yet but there is a closeup of the hole that I drilled below and in front of the upper mounting

It is a pity the pics show up in the wrong order but I think you can tell where the Reel mounting is by observing the green patch next to it. I chose that position because it a) uses the same plate as the upper belt mounting b) it avoids any of the large lamination holes and c) it is sufficiently far from the upper mounting to allow the reel to work. Note that I am using an angle-adjustable reel that has an adjustment to allow mountings that are not on a vertical surface

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:25 am
by scimjim
There is a dimple in the trim panel of later cars to show where the mounting point is - the metal isn’t attached to the chassis though. It’s also a long way back from the seat.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:31 am
by spegru
I did discover that the dimple is not quite in the right place! Luckily I noticed before drilling out to final size. I solved that on the second one by fitting a sharpened bolt into the mounting hole and using it to scratch the inside of the panel. Also for the reel mounting.
Although there is no chassis attachment it is very difficult indeed to imagine a panel as large as that simply pulling through especially as the main pull line would almost be in line with the body. My guess is that it is at least as strong as a mounting on a steel body and certainly far better than not having an upper mounting at all, as with a lap belt

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:50 am
by scimjim
I sort of agree (don’t think it’s quite as strong as a steel monocoque) but Reliant (and possibly MIRA) obviously didn’t :D

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:44 am
by reliant-reviver
The steel / GRP anchorages are incredibly strong IMHO.

You can drag a (late) Robin sideways with a similar point. Not tried it with a GTE mind, but for my own safety I'd have absolutely no concern fitting belts up to them.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:48 am
by reliant-reviver
Oh yes and welcome, I shall be watching with interest. Looks in good order and gorgeous in that colour.

Getting tired of our modern dailies.... The temptation of a "practical" Scimitar grows.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:11 pm
by Dcrosby13
Wow that smart! I didnt see it advertised anywhere either. Welcome.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:19 pm
by Geraint SabreGTCse5
scimjim wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:50 am
I sort of agree (don’t think it’s quite as strong as a steel monocoque) but Reliant (and possibly MIRA) obviously didn’t :D
as Jim says

never met testing requirements at the time, the mounting plate is not fitted to all the se6 (onwards) bodies .... just use a strong magnet to see if it is fitted.

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:54 pm
by 02Anders
Hi everyone,

First of all a big thank you to all of you for the many answers and especially for the warm welcome! :D I really appreciate it...
Joining a new Owner's Club full of enthusiastic and like-minded people is really half the joy of buying a new classic car!

@ScimiTom, I'm glad you approve of both the car, the article and not least our website.
I googled Celtic Brown on Scimitar's and I'm pretty sure that's not the colour mine is.

@Scimjim, So are you saying we can determine the factory colour from the VIN of my car? I'm currently sat in a hotel room in Frankfurt, but will be home again tomorrow. I can share the VIN then, and maybe someone will be able tell me for sure which colour my Scimitar was born in. Mind you, I did have a sneaky suspicion that the colour had been at the very least tweaked a little when it was resprayed back in 2005. I'm normally one of those weirdos who's big on originality and factory colours, but considering just how well this maroons-brown metallic suits the Scimitar (at least to my eyes...), I'll happily make an exception this time...

@Roger Pennington, yeah, mine is definitely not Mulberry, as that looks a fair bit lighter than mine. Amusingly, my ViaRETRO colleague, Claus Ebberfeld, also owns a Scimitar SE6a, and his is the same tone of yellow as your Yellow Peril. Btw. I can reveal that we have a full report from Brooklands on ViaRETRO tomorrow.

@Philhoward, Glad to hear that rustproofing the chassis with the body in place isn't too much of a problem. I much prefer Dinitrol to the otherwise very popular Waxoyl. I just find that there's too much alcohol in Waxoyl which makes it dry out much too fast. Dinitrol stays fluid and thus protects better for much longer.

@spegru, I really appreciate your input on rear seat belts. Your experience and not least pictures will no doubt come in handy. I'm not about to start installing them tomorrow, but at the same time, I do have two daughters of 7 and 10, so if I'm to use my new Scimitar as a daily, I obviously need proper seatbelts for my girls and can't postpone the project too long. Once again - THANK YOU! :wink:

@Reliant-reviver, yeah, I just couldn't bear driving a modern any longer. Watch this space, and you will soon be wiser as to whether taking the plunge as I have done is at all advisable... :lol:

@Dcrosby13, the car was advertised for a very short time about 18 months ago. I very nearly bought it, but chickened out. At the same time, the previous owner decided he didn't want to sell anyway. Still we stayed in touch, and suddenly the stars aligned and here I am as the new owner of this beautiful little SE6a...

The ViaRETRO Scimitar SE6a

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:34 am
Color looks like Russet Red - and very smart too.
There are two or three in France.
Here's one of the VIN plates to decipher the paint code ...
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