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3-Wheelers on TV and at the Movies

Section 1: Television Series (Page 2)

Family Matters

In this series Steve Urkel was shown driving a BMW/Isetta in at least one episode.

My thanks to Steve Hauben for informing me of this picture from http://www.kellie.de


Fan Goch

The children’s program Fan Goch on Ceri Geru Welsh television features a decorator / artist who drives around in a 1973 Reliant Regal Supervan III (Reg: TRE 604L).  

Better still this van belongs to John Jenkinson who helped me with my “How to restore Reliant Regal” book and the vehicle was featured in the book when it was first found and covered in algae.  Quite a transformation to see it on TV so shiny and gleaming.

Image from the Ceri Geru web site.



Presented by Bill Oddie each episode had a feature item. One such item was on the subject of Bubble Cars. This item was filmed at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, UK (at the instigation of the article's  presenter, Jimmy Saville).Several Messerschmitts, were featured  along with various other microcars including; Bond, Peel Trident, Brutsch  Mopetta, Heinkel, Isetta (including Jimmy Saville's - pictured).

My thanks to Mark Snowden for sending in this picture.


First of the Summer Wine (BBC)

Through out the series a Raleigh Safety Seven is featured as a car belonging to Clegg; one of the characters in the series. Its registration number was BV3362



A Reliant Rialto is seen in this TV Series.

My thanks to Kerry Croxton for sending in this picture.


George & Mildred

In this 1970’s British Sitcom the main characters of the program; George and Mildred, owned a 1965 Reliant Regal 3/25. (Reg No: JNK 38C)


Hollyoaks (Channel 4)

A Bond Bug (Reg No: ABN 583L) was featured in many of the earlier episodes of Hollyoaks as a vehicle belonging to one of the characters in the series.  In a later series a Funtech 50 was also used.

My thanks to Kerry Croxton for sending in the Bond Bug picture and James Wood for the Funtec picture.


Heartbeat (Yorkshire TV)

In the Yorkshire TV series “Heartbeat” an Isetta (Reg No: XAM 115) was featured throughout the series as a vehicle owned by one of the members of the cast. The vehicle was originally owned by Jim Jameson who rented it to Yorkshire TV in the first series.  He then sold it to Wendy (pictured/left with “Gina”/right) and she rented it for a further Series. About a year after Yorkshire TV finished with it, it was sold to Jim Hacking though Yorkshire TV later hired another car to to finish the series until Gina got a VW beetle in the series.

My thanks to Jim Hacking for sending in this picture.


Inside Out (BBC-East / BBC-Midlands)

In this programme (BBC-East) that contains three local stories, one of the stories was about  Plastic Pigs (3-wheeled cars). The episode featured three 3-wheelers; the AC Invacar, the Reliant Robin and the Triking.  It also featured this web site with me talking about 3-wheelers. To see more about the show click here

In 2012, Inside Out (BBC-Midlands) were in Tamworth filming a story about obesity and being the home of the Reliant, on queue, a  2001 Reliant Robin LX owned by Terry O’Keeffe is spotted driving in the background.



Last of the summer wine (BBC)

In a 1989 episode of Last of the Summer Wine entiltled “Oh shut up and eat your choc ice” a Reliant Robin (reg FWU 168T) features heavily through out the episode and at one point has almost the whole cast in it with three of the male characters in the front and three females in the back.


Lenny Henry Show

In one episode of this show, Lenny Henry does a spoof on Michael Jackson’s Thriller - “I’m getting thinner”. At the start of the video Lenny is seen driving a yellow Reliant Robin Mk 1.


Magnum PI

In one of the episodes of "Magnum",  Magnum (Tom Selleck) and his boss, Mr. Higgins, are making a journey to England. In England Mr. Higgins rents the cheapest possible vehicle. A Reliant Rialto (or Robin) Estate.


Monty Pythons Flying Circus

In this 1970’s comedy show, one of the animated sketches features numerous Invalid carriages.

My thanks to Kerry Croxton for sending in this picture.


Mr Bean

In many early episodes of Mr Bean a Reliant Regal 3/25 Super (Reg No: GRA 26K) appears and always ends up suffering on its side after being nudged by Mr Bean’s Mini. Various vehicles are used throughout the series though they always appear to be a Reliant Regal 3/25. I had an email from  “Sidecar Jon” who wrote: in your 3 wheelers on telly page you mention the Mr Bean episode where the Reliant is forced to reverse and turns over. My mate Dan arranged that stunt!. He said they tried to get the thing to turn over by driving but found it surprisingly difficult. And they eventually resorted to a ram fitted under the car to shoot it over! The poor car ended up cut in four bits with an angle grinder and dumped in a skip!

My thanks to Kerry Croxton for sending in these pictures.


One Life: The Oldest Drivers in Britain (BBC)

In one 2006 episode the program look at Britain’s oldest drivers.  A number of drivers were featured with the oldest being 100 year old Bill Collett who still drives around in his Reliant Robin.  Funnier still, despite being the oldest driver on the program and the only one to drive a 3-wheeler, he was probably the safest driver and the only one where you wouldn’t need to think twice about getting in a car with him.

This photo is from the BBC web site.


Only Fools and Horses (BBC)


One of the most famous 3-Wheelers on British TV is the 1966 Reliant Regal Supervan III used during all the early series of the program.  In very early episodes the registration of the vehicle was APL 911H though this soon changed to DHV 938D which appears on every van shown since.  Around 11 Reliant vehicles were used throughout the different episodes.  Features of the original vehicle include a leaver on the dashboard to inject oil into the manifold to make the exhaust smoke.

This photo is from the BBC web site.


Panic Mechanics (BBC)

During the Panic Mechanics series two teams had to each turn a standard Reliant Rialto into a drag car - the winning team being whatever car went the fastest. The winning turbo charged Reliant completed a quarter mile drag strip in similar time to Ford Cosworth Sierra with a time of 16.397 seconds, 85.71mph.  This compares to the standard vehicle that would run at 27 seconds at approximately 50mph.  More details of this vehicle, the “Saline Warrior” can be seen in the Projects Gallery.

Photo from the Panic Mechanics web site.


Pulling Power (BBC)


In the BBC series “Pulling Power” one episode details “The Story of Morgan” and shows numerous Morgan 3-wheelers.


Red Dwarf (BBC)

In the episode “Better than Life” the crew land on a planet that makes wishes come true and as Rimmer (Chris Barrie) thinks of his dream car a Reliant Robin Estate appears before turning into a a Series 1 E-Type Jaguar ... and then a Morris Minor. It is quite amusing that the only other photo I have of Chris Barrie with a Reliant is when he had a go in my Reliant.(Click here).

My thanks to “Big Blake” for sending in this picture.


Reliant (BBC)


A 1967 BBC Documentary looked into the Export business of Reliant and showed a number of vehicles including the Regal and the Ant. It also showed paintings of future concept 3-wheelers that were later to be evolved into the Bond Bug.

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