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Media Articles.

AUTONET DRIVE - How not to make a mess (August 2006).

In August 2006 the AUTONET DRIVE web site reviewed my “How to restore Reliant Regal” book.

Review taken from

How not to make a mess.  By: Norm Mort.

As an owner of a British Reliant Regal three-wheeler, I was delighted to hear a fellow club member was publishing a restoration guide on this model. Elvis has a Regal 3/25 van, whereas I have the two-door sedan, but they are virtually the same and his book includes the information required on the various series of Regal models built from 1963 to August 1973.

Whereas most people have heard of the Messerschmitt and Isetta microcar, few are aware of Reliant, who were in the business of building diminutive cars, trucks and sports cars for nearly seven decades. Reliant production ended as the new millennium began, but the company continues in a very different form under new ownership.

The first Regal model was unveiled at the Earl's Court Motor Show in London in 1952. This model evolved over the next decade, but remained virtually the same concept. In 1963, the Regal 3/25 (three wheels and 25 hp) was announced and by the time production ceased, just over 105,000 Regals had been built.


Reliants were never imported into North America, thus there are only a handful of Regals in North America -- only three in Ontario I know of, with mine being the only one in driving condition.

That might not bode well for volume book sales, but all Reliant owners, as well as those who own examples of the many of dozens of microcars based on similar concepts, will find that the solutions and restoration procedures are very similar.

Elvis Payne is not a professional writer, but he is a hands-on enthusiast and this book is refreshing reading as he notes that without the help of friends and family "this book would have been entitled How to Take Apart a Regal and Make a Mess in your Girlfriend's Garden!" He's also not embarrassed to talk about some of the errors he made along the way, such as "my recent crash course in never sand a fibreglass car with a sanding disk on a drill."

Liberally filled with excellent full colour, detailed, step-by-step photographs, this volume takes you through every aspect of restoring a Regal from interior to body to mechanical.

Before you start, Payne also provides information on choosing a Regal model, what to look for when buying and establishing a restoration plan.

Payne restored his van outside and in a garden tent in just 15 months, working mostly on weekends. Therefore it should take me much less time in my "Dream Garage." Yeah, right!


By Elvis Payne

Published by Veloce Publishing / Distributed by MBI Publishing Co.

Softcover, 8" x 11" 208 pages

About 840 colour photos

$59.95 U.S.

Ordering Info. ISBN-1-84584-004-6

MBI Publishing Co. 1 800-826-6600 or

Rating ***** out of five (for enthusiasts) *** (for general readers)