Smitten with a Scimitar?

So, I’ve finally collected the Scimitar, but is it as good as I hoped?

Scimitar and BX load space

Scimitar joins the fleet, with a load of parts. BX off to pastures new and already working hard

After the 120 mile drive home, I think generally, the answer is yes. Ok, so electrical gremlins are already rearing their head with a low reading on the voltmeter when lots of kit is on, but the combination of tight handling and lusty Ford Essex V6 have already started to make an impression. As has the load carrying capacity – the back is still full of spares and literature so I’ve got more than the car to get familiar with.

The first full day of ownership has allowed me to prove that the voltmeter is telling fibs – it’s actually fine – and discover that it’s a pig to start from cold. If there’s a best technique, I need to discover it. Mind you, the previous owner seemed to struggle too! There’s a sweet spot on that choke setting somewhere…

Buying with plastic

Oh gawd. I’ve gone and bought a new car, BEFORE the Land Rover has sold. Well, I’ve left a deposit anyway. The balance needs to wait for a certain Land Rover to finish on Ebay – which it’s close to doing.

Scimitar SE5a rear

Another new purchase, will this Reliant Scimitar GTE prove reliable?

The new car? A 1975 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5a in a bright shade of red. It seems to be a good one and I’m waiting for it to have a fresh MOT before collection – which hopefully leaves enough time for the Land Rover to sell and for the new owner to hand me a load of cash.

I felt I had to move quickly on this Scimitar. The owner may have just been pushing me into a sale, but it sounded like others had spotted what a good buy it could be – it’s had an enthusiastic club owner for the past 14 years, and isn’t wanting for very much at all. Even better – everything seems to work as it should! That’s not always the case with Scimitars. As values are traditionally low, neglect is sadly very much something Scimitars become used to.

I will be paying very slightly more than I paid for the Land Rover – and the Scimitar feels like much better value for money. Don’t forget that the Land Rover may have covered half the miles (78k v 153k for the Reliant) but it has no service history with it, and is a touch scruffy in places. It should still do well though – scruffiness is after all a look that suits the Land Rover rather well!

Scimitars continue to offer excellent value though. With every parts bin raided, the beauty is that you can still get a huge amount of parts – the drivetrain is Ford, the brakes Rover, the front suspension Triumph TR. The bodywork is rust-free glassfibre while the steel chassis is fairly easily repaired should rust strike – as long as you get on top of it before it eats everything.

Are they cheap for a reason though? I guess I’m going to find out…