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Birmingham Mail (Page 1 & 7 - 10th December 2005)

On December 10th Birmingham Mail featured a story talking about my book launch.

LAUNCH: IT worker writes book after restoring van made famous by TV’s Del Boy.

Three is my magic number!

By Jim Guthrie

Reliant fanatic Elvis Payne has written a book about the £300 Midland built car he turned into a £3,000 treasure.

Restoring his three-wheel Reliant Regal was a 17 month labour of love for the 40 year old IT worker, and it took him 20 months to write the book.

The gleaming bright blue vehicle will be on show at Tamworth Information Centre, Market Street on December 17th for the launch of Elvis’s book, How to Restore a Reliant Regal.

A convoy of vehicles belonging to members of the Reliant Owners Club will drive into the car’s birthplace town to mark the event.

The Reliant Regal shot to fame when Dodgy-dealing Del Boy Trotter drove one in TV’s Only Fools and Horses.  But Elvis’s prized model is a far cry from the Cockney market trader’s banger with its dirty yellow paintwork.

Elvis believes the Regal with its rust-free fiberglass body has become a national treasure.  He was a biker before he decided to move up to a car and chose a three-wheeler because he could drive it on his motorcycle licence. 

He has owned three Reliants over the years and bought the Regal intending to give it a paint respray. “What I thought would be a quick respray job become 17 months of hard work,” he said. “The hardest thing about writing the book was trying to cover everything. I wanted it to be comnplete. I hope my book will help other people who are thinking of taking on a similar project. Tamworth is the obvious location for the launch.”  The car is insured for 10 times the amount Elvis paid for it - but he would not dream of selling. “Far too much work has gone into it,” he said. Elvis’s book is on sale for £29.99.