“The Club for Owners and Enthusiasts of Britain’s finest specialist car manufacturer”
No 21. June 2021
Five years old and the Tamworth Pigs are back!
It is amazing to think that 5 years have passed since I sent out the first RMC Newsletter and yet here we are 5 years later. I will confess, there were those who doubted the purpose of the club since Elvis and Mark set it up in 2016, their aim to create the word's largest online Reliant archive and to create a club that not only promotes both the history of Reliant and its vehicles but to also quash the many myths that have emerged, especially since 2001 when Reliant closed its doors for the final time.
Presently the RMC is just shy of 500 members spread across 15 countries which we think is quite amazing and at a time when many motoring clubs have been impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions, with the RMC being an online club, it has been service as normal. In this Newsletter we will look at a few of the club's highlights over the last 5 years.
Earlier this month we were also delighted to see that not only were the Tamworth Pigs back but there is now an actual Reliant pig standing on the grass verge in Watling Street, Tamworth marking where Reliant once stood. The pigs in question are actually large 3ft x 3ft metal and wooden sculptures that originally appeared in 2015 and then vanished in 2019 to be refurbished. There are 15 such pigs situated in and around Tamworth that form a "Trotters Trail" with each pig having its own theme that is associated with part of Tamworth’s heritage. It is superb therefore that the current range has a pig celebrating Reliant.
Thank you to all our members both old and new for your continued support over the years, Here is to the next 5 years.
Until next time,
Take care and stay safe,
The Reliant Pig painted by Thomas Barnes school in Tamworth and marking where the Reliant Motor Company once stood in Two Gates, Tamworth.
RMC Highlights from our first 5 years
2016: HRH The Princess Royal
Shortly after the RMC was formed in 2016 we sent HRH The Princess Royal an invitation to be a Honorary member of the club. Her Royal Highness has long had a fascination for the Reliant Scimitar GTE sports car after receiving one from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for a joint 20th birthday / Christmas present in 1970. In 1975 she also visited the Reliant factory at Tamworth driving there in her second Scimitar GTE.
To date Her Royal Highness has owned a total of 8 Scimitars and still owns a 1989 Middlebridge Scimitar GTE. In addition to Scimitars the Princess has also owned a Reliant Kitten and a Reliant Robin.
We were therefore absolutely delighted when the Princess replied and accepted our invitation and has been an active member ever since keeping in touch each year.
2017: Reliant Blue Plaque
From the day the club was formed one of our main ambitions was to erect a historical blue plaque on the building where the first Reliant was built by T.L.Williams and E.S.Thompson in 1934. Teaming up with the Tamworth Heritage Trust a blue plaque was created and initially was going to be unveiled by E.S.Thompson's daughter Pat Afford although sadly Pat was taken into hospital on the day and was unable to be present. Pat's daughter Charlotte Oliver (pictured) kindly agreed to step in for her mum and unveiled the plaque for us in July 2017.
The plaque is on Bro-Dawel on the Kettlebrook Road in Tamworth.
This was the first blue plaque presented in Tamworth for decades and has had quite an impact as since then interest in the blue plaque has been reignited and a number of other buildings have also received blue plaques.
2018: Scimitar Ale
When it comes to Reliant the last thing you imagine is an ale named after the Reliant Scimitar GTE although this is exactly what happened in October 2018. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Reliant Scimitar GTE and Elvis Payne's book entitled The Reliant Scimitar, Elvis teamed up with his friend George Greenaway, the founder of the Tamworth Tap micro brewery in Tamworth who created a special "Scimitar ale" that George describes as “a traditional bitter made from English hops with a malty after taste”. The ale is 4.5%.
2019: A Robin for the 2020s
In 2019 we were delighted when Graham "Eddie" Pepall offered to create a new design for us detailing how the Reliant Robin may look now if Reliant continued development. The result was a fascinating streamlined electric vehicle that actually has 4 wheels rather than 3 although its design still gives the illusion of a 3-wheeler. The new Robin has sliding doors and designed so that body sides are pre-assembled on the bench by technicians, or possibly, on an independent robotised assembly line and then the whole side is assembled and tested before being attached to the main chassis structure.
2020: RMC Virtual Rally
Things changed for the whole world in 2020 due to Covid-19 resulting in several lockdowns and life as we know it suddenly being cancelled. Therefore in April we held a virtual online Reliant rally that even had the real Mayor of Tamworth welcoming everyone to virtual Tamworth.
The event was a phenomenal success with over 500 people taking part in 6 countries. The rally was complete with all the usual events like Car of the Day and Best Restoration project etc. with people posting photos to take part. Better still, all the winners from each category won real trophies that were sent via the post to each winner.
2021: World's largest Reliant archive
Since the day it was launched our website, our online archive has been growing all the time into what we believe is the largest Reliant archive on the internet. At the time of writing it has just over 820 documents although more will be added when the site is updated again in July..
The archive includes Reliant documents from 1936 onwards, including Reliant Review newspapers, brochures, price list, hand books, letters, technical drawings, paint charts, magazine reviews, press releases and much, much more.
As one member informed us, it is like his personal archive of Reliant brochures that can be enjoyed at anytime and, with an internet connection, any place without the expense and trouble of having to start a collection from scratch. The membership fee to the RMC is the equivalent of one Reliant brochure off e-bay ... and unlike e-bay, you won't get outbid.
The latest edition of the Reliant Motor Club Review (No 10 June 2021) is currently being finalised and will soon be sent to RMC members and of course can be downloaded from our website.
Our 10th edition contains all our usual features along with various articles including one from former Reliant MD Ray Wiggin's grandson Ben Kitchen along with RMC President Barrie Wills and RMC Founders Elvis Payne and Mark Cropper all taking part in the 10 Question interviews. There is also an interview with former Reliant employee John Collins who set up the "Reliant Film Club" at Reliant and a new Reliant brochure location revealed that has been baffling us for years,.
For those who have recently joined or opted out of our mailing list, this and past editions that can be viewed here.
We are now working on our next edition due December 2021. Remember. this is your club so if you have a story or anything you would like to share with club members via the magazine then please let us know.
The June 2021 edition will be emailed to all current RMC members as soon as it is ready.
A reminder to all our members looking for insurance for their vehicles. We have partnered with classicline insurance to find the best deal and better still, RMC members receive 10% off. To find out more information visit their website at www.classiclineinsurance.co.uk
One of the key aims of the RMC is to co-exist and work alongside other clubs and so we feel compelled to also thank the Reliant Sabre and Scimitar Owners Club, the Bug Club and the Kitten Register for all their encouragement and cooperation. The RMC is also a member of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, the Tamworth and District Civic Society, the Tamworth Heritage Trust and shares resources with the Staffordshire County Council Archives Department.
Reliant Motor Club Window Sticker
Our RMC window stickers make a great addition to any car. What better way to show your affiliation to the Reliant Motor Club.
For more information on a RMC window sticker for your car(s), please click here.
Amongst other benefits RMC members are also eligible for the following discounts:
The perfect way to enjoy a cuppa when you have been busy in the garage or indeed to have at hand whilst browsing the RMC website.
Mugs cost £5 each plus £3 Post & Packing (for overseas orders please enquire). For more details please contact email@example.com
The Reliant Motor Company
Elvis Payne's book entitled The Reliant Motor Company has been receiving some very positive praise for both its wide coverage of Reliant and for its historical accuracy. With a foreword by H.R.H The Princess Royal, this is the first book to cover the whole of Reliant, both three wheeler and four wheeler models, in a single volume. It also includes numerous projects in addition to vehicles created for the car industry in Turkey and Israel.
Click here for more info. The book is priced at £18.95 and is available at all good book shops.
We are also delighted to announce the following Reliant Specialist who support the RMC:
Specialist offering servicing, repairs and MOTs.
Tel: 01392 833301
If you have not already done so please come along and join us, our online signup process takes just a few minutes. Membership is £8.50 for 1 year or £15.50 for 2 years.
For more information please visit www.reliant.website.
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Don't forget we are on Facebook and Twitter (Links below) where you can catch up on the latest news.
We were the first "Reliant Tribe" to appear on the DriveTribe web site. Why not visit and join the tribe. Click here