Tag Archives: Reliant

Three is the Magic Number

Britain has a long tradition of making crap cars. This is widely considered to be one of them.

The Reliant Robin has been the butt of jokes in TLCB’s home nation for years. Cheap, slow, and missing something that is taken for granted with almost every other car (a fourth wheel), it was derided for decades.

However, the humble Robin (and its Rialto and Regal forbears) was actually phenomenally successful. The second most mass-produced fibreglass car in history, the Robin’s success came from its ability to exploit loopholes, as with Germany and France’s microcar classes and Japan’s kei cars.

Three wheels meant the Robin could be driven on a motorcycle license, drivers paid less tax, and the oil crisis of the 1970s caused sales to rocket. It was this success that led to the derision, as there were actually loads of British three-wheeled microcars but no-ones heard of any of the others.

This brilliant Technic recreation of everyone’s (least)favourite British car comes from previous bloggee Danifill, who has not only replicated the Robin’s inline 4-cylinder engine, the steered and suspended centre wheel, and the live rear axle, he’s also equipped his Robin with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery and three (appropriately) Power Functions motors.

An XL Motor drives the rear wheels, a Servo powers the steering (which also turns the steering wheel), whilst a Medium motor controls a two-speed gearbox. There are also opening doors with functioning locks, an opening hood and tailgate, plus working head and taillights too.

It’s a great build of a crap but somewhat unfairly derided car and there’s more to see of Danifill’s ’90s Reliant Robin at the Eurobricks forum, where there’s also a video in which you can watch all three wheels in action.

Why Do Only Fools and Horses Work?

Britain has many famous TV cars. Ford Capris, Jaguar MkIIs, Volvo P1800s, and, er… the Reliant Regal Supervan. Yes, they really called it that, meaning it held the most ironic name in vehicular history until it was finally surpassed by the Mitsubishi Carisma in the late ’90s.

Flickr’s de-marco has captured the classic three-wheeled delivery van to perfection, and only the addition of ‘Trotters Independent Traders’ to the sides could make it any more cushty.

Click the link above to head to Peckham sometime in the 1980s. Lovely jubbly.

(If you have absolutely no idea what we’re on about, click here…)

Numbers Game

Lego Reliant Robin

We hand over TLCB keyboard to a Guest Blogger today; Chris Elliott has appeared here with a few of his own excellent Lego vehicles. Today he sits on the other side of the desk to do some blogging of his own…

Today we have two small European gems – one which is a gem for its beautiful styling and grace, the other which is a gem for its lack thereof.

Starting in England first, we have this lovely three-wheeled classic: the Reliant Robin. Perhaps one of the most unfortunate cars ever made, this charming little dud has garnered a great following among cultists for its unusual construction, specifically its singular front wheel, made most infamous by a particularly hilarious episode of the UK show ‘Top Gear.’

Moving south to Italy, we have this beautiful Fiat 500, remarkable not only for its level of detail, but for the small size at which those details are achieved. The 500 is a reincarnation of what is perhaps Italy’s most prolific car, the vintage Fiat 500. Today, its revival has a worldwide following for its stylish looks and fun performance.

Both of these wonderful vehicles were created by 1saac W. on Flickr, and you can show your love for them there via the links.

Many thanks to Chris for joining us today. If you think you might like to get involved in writing for TLCB then you can get in touch with us in usual ways.

Lego Fiat 500

Supervan! Apparently…

Lego Reliant Supervan

After yesterday’s silliness normal service has been resumed, with perhaps the most ironically named vehicle ever produced, the Reliant ‘Supervan’. Brave marketing from Reliant there… Lego Guy is  the builder and you can see more of his three-wheeled courier on Flickr via the link above.

No Income Tax, No VAT…

Lego Only Fools and HorsesBritish readers of The Lego Car Blog will already be singing the next line. ‘Only Fools and Horses’ was a long running British sit-com set in Peckham, London, between 1981 and 1991, in which two dodgy dealers tried to earn a living outside normal retail boundaries. Easily one of the greatest comedies ever made ‘Only Fools and Horses’ featured hundreds of classic moments and one pretty ropey van.

Optimistically named the ‘supervan’, Reliant’s commercial Regal in various shades of yellow became one of the most famous vehicles on television. Rumour has it that boxer Ricky Hatton owns the real Reliant now, so if you want it you’ll have to build one yourself. Which is what TLCB regular and Brothers Brick writer Ralph Savelsberg did. See more on Flickr.