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Shows &  Events.

Dosthill Boys Club - Fun Day.

14th July 2007 (Tamworth, Staffs. UK)

Every year the Dosthill Boys Club in Tamworth has an fun day and I was asked if I could get a few Reliants together for a small display. Dosthill is less than a mile away from where Reliant vehicles used to be manufactured and so such a display would show the younger generation just a small part of Tamworth’s automotive history. I had been working in Dubai for a few weeks and so purposely came back to the UK for this event.  Having enjoyed temperatures that reached 47 degrees Celsius in Dubai, I had heard about al the rain and floods in the UK but on Saturday 14th I must have smuggled some sunshine over with me as on the day, the rain stopped and the sun was beaming down.

My brother (Geoff) was borrowing the 1949 Reliant 8cwt van (Old Red) from the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) in Dudley and so a number of Reliant owners met up with him there to drive over to Tamworth in a convoy.  For those who were going to join the convoy in Tamworth, we had all decided to meet near my parents’ house in Belgrave as there was a large car park there that we could all maneuver on easily.  I thought that as I had organised for everyone to be there that I should get there a bit early. So I left the house at 11:30am, popped over to the garage and put half a gallon of fuel in Ole Blue (a 1972 Reliant Regal Supervan III) and took a pleasant drive over to my parents.

Imagine my surprise when I get there and I am suddenly greeted by a car park full of Reliant 3-wheelers that were parked every where.  There seemed to be a lot of activity around one particular Reliant Robin (Known as “Shrek”) and when I looked I noticed the windscreen had vanished and people were frantically clearing up broken shards of glass. Parking Ole Blue I went across, said my hellos, and joined in with the glass collection. It seemed that whilst Pete was driving over, something hit his windscreen completely shattering it and covering him and his daughter who was in the passenger seat.  Luckily both of them were fine – but there were bits of glass everywhere.

After a lot of the glass was cleaned up and after a tray of tea provided by my parents, we all lined up to convoy over to Dosthill.  At this point there were eight Reliant 3-wheelers ranging from a 1949 Reliant 8 cwt van to a 2000 Reliant Robin SLX. I led the convoy in Ole Blue and we slowly meandered out of Belgrave, along side Kettlebrook then over the cross roads at Two Gates into Dosthil.   It was amazing to look in my rear view mirror and see a snake of Reliant 3-wheelers behind me but the best thing was that other drivers seemed to give way to this convoy so that we could pretty much all stay together. A few years ago, you used to see dozens of Reliant 3-wheelers flying around Tamworth but it is becoming a very rare sight indeed now and so this convoy of Reliants really made people stop what they were doing and stare.

Upon reaching Dosthill we all parked lining the cars up in chronological order and so with a single line up with had 58 years of Reliant’s 65 year history.   As well as 3-wheelers, there were also 4-wheelers. When we arrived Dave Poole was already there with his 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE and shortly afterwards we were joined by three other 4-wheelers, a Reliant Sabre, a Reliant Scimitar SS1 and a Reliant Kitten.  We now had twelve vehicles on show and it was an impressive sight.

Click on the title to see that group of pictures.





The vehicles on show were:

  • 1949 Reliant 8cwt van. (Driven by Geoff and loaned from the BCLM)
  • 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE (Driven by Dave)
  • 1970 Reliant Regal Saloon 21E (Driven by Dan)
  • 1972 Reliant Regal Supervan III (Driven by Elvis)
  • 1977 Reliant Kitten DL (Driven by John)
  • 1982 Reliant Rialto Hatch SE (Driven by Dee)
  • 1987 Reliant Scimitar SS1 1600 (Driven by Mark & Sue)
  • 1988 Reliant Rialto Estate (Driven by JJ)
  • 1989 Reliant Robin Mk 2 (Driven by Keith)
  • 1994 Reliant Sabre (Driven by Colin)
  • 1996 Reliant Robin Mk 2 (Driven by Pete)
  • 2000 Reliant Robin SLX Mk 3 (Driven by Tom & Rose)

Once the event was in full swing a lot of interest was shown in the Reliants and people were amazed to see so many different models.  The biggest surprise to most people was Old Red - the 1949 Reliant 8 cwt van, as many people have never seen a Reliant like this and the 4-wheeled sports cars as a lot of people mainly associate Reliant as being a 3-wheeler manufacture and not a maker of sports cars.

The field in places was still quite boggy from all the recent rain and whilst Reliant 3-wheelers could go for an amble around the field treating folks to a drive in a Reliant, heavy 4-wheelers soon found out that if they followed in a Reliant’s tracks they soon began to sink in the mud and get stuck. Luckily there was a vintage tractor on display to tow any 4-wheelers out of the mud … though the tractor actually helped churn up the field even further.  On one occasion I got my brother to film inside Ole Blue as we drove around. As my girlfriend (Caroline) was in the passenger seat, my brother clambered into the back of Ole Blue and sat of the floor with the camera. When we hit the mud that all the 4-wheelers were getting stuck in. Ole Blue just slid to the side and glided over the mud though the actual video footage at this point was highly amusing as Geoff was obviously in the back rolling about every where.

At the end of the event the sun was still shining and most folks left in a convoy as they arrived. Poor Dan in his Regal (Christened “Vince”) was having problems though as Vince just wouldn’t start.  Me and Dave tried to help by suggesting various things but nothing seemed to work so realising it was electrical I called my brother who said he would come back. About 10 minutes later the Cavalry arrived as he returned with all the other Reliant drivers from the convoy and luckily his knowledge of auto-electrics soon got Vince up and running and so once more we left.

The event was a great day and I have heard that all those who attended had a wonderful time. The organisers of the event were also really impressed with the display of Reliants and have asked if we will go back next year and do it again.

In closing I would like to thank the Black Country Living Museum for loaning us the 1949 8 cwt van, Geoff, John, Tom & Rose, Pete & Dee (and the two little ones), JJ, Dan, Keith, Dave, Mark & Sue and Colin.  Without you and your Reliants, the event just would not have been the same. Thank you.

Elvis Payne

July 2007