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Shows & Events.

Tamworth Anniversary Weekend, Tamworth, Staffs. UK. 23rd - 25th May 2009.

To celebrate Tamworth's Anniversary (though I have to confess, I’m not actually sure as to the anniversary of what) I was asked if I could arrange a display of Reliants in the town. Over the past couple of years, I have been doing this for the Tamworth Heritage weekend though all that was need for this display was just a handful of vehicles rather than the 54 Reliants we had turn up at the Heritage weekend last September.

The same weekend was the 51st Reliant Owners Club National Rally and so a lot of Reliants were heading over there, myself included though I said I could perhaps leave the rally on the Sunday for a display on Bank Holiday Monday (25th May) - and so that was the plan.

On the Monday I decided to get there for about 10:30am to greet people as they arrived and fetching Lucie out of the garage at 10:15am, I got down town to find three Reliants already on site and parked up: Keith’s 1984 Reliant Fox, Terry’s 2000 Reliant Robin LX and Derek’s 1970 Bond Bug. Shortly after I parked up Lucie, “Waterboost” arrived in a 1973 Reliant Rebel. A number of folks were making there way from the National rally and soon “Madblokey” turned up with his 1983 Reliant Rialto. At this point we had six Reliants and I was asked if the display could be moved to the Castle grounds as that is where all the action was. The only snag was that I didn’t know how many Reliants would turn up. As we pondered what to do Geoff, Pete and Dee arrived with a 1990 Reliant Robin LX and a 1981 Reliant Rialto. Geoff had phone numbers for others who were set to arrive and phoned them. It seemed as though we would have about 15 cars and a caravan being towed by Dave Poole.

I phoned the chap at the council and told him we would have about 15 Reliants, a caravan and a van though that was more than they were expecting and so the display was to stay in the church square. Following Geoff, Dave turned up his 1969 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE3 along with Mark in a 1994 Reliant Sabre. Up until this point people had been asking us where the Scimitars were so it was great to have some.

Sue was next in a 1999 Reliant Robin followed by BigDaddy and Micromamma along with Not the Stig in a 1982 Reliant Rialto and a 1974 Reliant Kitten. We now had 13 Reliants of all shapes and sizes that was causing great interest amongst those walking by. 

Teenagers loved the 4-wheelers, especially the sports cars and the seemed surprised that Reliant made them as they only associate Reliant with 3-wheelers. Lots of ex-Reliant workers were also about with stories of when they used to work at Reliant. One chap was a test driver for 3-wheelers and apparently once broke his back in one when it rolled over. Apparently above his hospital bed was a Reliant poster with the words. “It’s amazing what you can do in a Reliant”.

One chap I met also mentioned that he used to work on Mk VI’s like Lucie and that he used to rivet the bodies together. Both he and his wife stared at Lucie with fond memories saying that they used to have a Mk VI and traveled down to the coast quite often in it. The journey one way though would take them a whole day.

Click on the title to see that group of pictures.



Another chap in a wheelchair was looking at Lucie and commented that she was a bit rough and certainly looked as though she had a hard life, that was until he read the information board next to her and realised that all the dirt was actually paint. Another chap even wanted to know if I would sell her, alas, she isn’t for sale.

It seemed that a few folks who have had Mk VIs said that they died of a corroded chassis and that was when the car was less than 10 years old. Apparently the chassis on them corroded badly so it is something I shall have to be extra protective about.

The best thing about Reliant displays is that every Reliant has its own character and people looking at them all had their different favourites. The best thing with Tamworth is that nearly everyone knows someone who has had a Reliant or who has worked at Reliant and so every car seems to bring different memories for different people. This is why it is so great having a display of them in Tamworth,

Although the sun was not as blazing as he had been at the National rally, the rain held off and it was a great day. My thanks go to all those who came along.

Elvis Payne.

May 2009.