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Tour or Reliant Works 1993

In 1993 I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Reliant factory in Fazeley, Tamworth by Barry Hughes. My visit took place on the 8th April 1993 and I was told during this week Reliant made approximately twenty five Robins (three of which were left hand vehicles bound for Austria) and three Scimitars. On the production line it took 15 man hours for a single vehicle to pass from one end to the other. Production of the Robin was all on one site at Tamworth though the Rialto was made elsewhere.

On my tour I took a number of photographs and made a few notes. These pictures can never be taken again as with Reliant moving to Burntwood in 1999 the whole of the Tamworth plant shown in these pictures has now been demolished and a new housing estate has been built there.  (Image opposite, old moulds for the Reliant Rialto outside the main factory)


One of the first stages of the Reliant Robin DX is the making of the body. Reliant Robin bodies are made from re-enforced fibreglass and made as an inner and outer shell which are then bonded together. These images show the bodies being created in large moulds. In the left picture the mould on the right hand side of the picture is the front of the car upside down.


Whist the bodies are being made the chassis is also made in the chassis workshop. All modern chassis were galvanised for a longer life where as previously they were dipped twice in paint. Whilst not part of the tour the image on the right gives a clearer picture of how the chassis and running gear all fit together.



Once the body shell has been formed and combined into a single shell it is then sent to the paint shop to be sprayed. Each vehicle receives three coats of paint from either seven basic colours or seven optional colours.


Once the shell has been painted the shell then goes onto the assembly line where it receives all its components like running gear, lights, seats etc. etc. Reliant were one of very few companies to make cars this way by hand. As Reliants are restricted to a certain weight to qualify as a motorcycle extra equipment (ie: fog lamps etc.) can result in a modification elsewhere to balance the weight. Later Reliants only have one central windscreen wiper where as the older ones used to have two.



Once the Reliant has been assembled it receives a final coat of polish and if necessary any blemishes in the paint work are cured.



The finished product minus decal’s and badges. The vehicle colour shown was the newest edition in 1993 and was exhibited at the 1993 Motor Show.


Once the vehicle is completely finished it is taken on a twenty miles road test to ensure everything is OK. The vehicles are then stored ready to be shipped abroad or to local dealers.

Reliant Remembered

The housing estate built on the former Reliant factory shown in these photos now have a reminder of the former buildings. The entrance to the estate (Scimitar Park) is called after Reliant’s founder; Tom Williams Way whilst to date two other roads have been called after Reliant cars. They are; Robin Close, Regal Close and Fox Close. (See aerial view)


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