With the insurance from my Robin and a big chunk of my student loan I bought a Reliant Rialto from Webster’s in Stoke-on-Trent for £875 which was an absolute fortune given my finances at the time. and
everyone thought I was quite mad with 4-wheelers available for half the cost. Alas, at this point I only had a motorcycle licence.
Compared with the Robin, the Rialto felt a newer car and its wedge shaped nose helped to push it along at up to 96 mph down a long straight. The Rialto (Or
Sandra as it was nicknamed) seemed well put together but somehow never had the cheeky charm of the Robin, as a result, it was left standard with the exception of the tiny steering wheel that was kept and installed
out of the Robin and the addition of two large spot lamps attached to the front grill.
Packing the Rialto proved to be quite a task as it had a daft little door that opened underneath the rear window. Presumably this was to get around the
leaking rear window problem on the Robin that whilst leaking, was superb for opening with the whole window lifting up. Also it was strange to get used to the single wiper that would fly across both sides of the
At the back of the Rialto sat a giant stuffed pig on a home made rear parcel shelf. The pig was something my mum had bought and insisted that it stayed in
the car, and it did. The home made rear parcel shelf had a habit of causing a few bruises for those who sat in the back as at speed, if you drove over a bump, the shelf would fly up and bash whoever was sitting in
the back seat.
The car saw me graduate from university and survived just past it until it was sold a couple of years later when I passed my driving test when suddenly it
became a lorry magnet when it was side swiped with the space of a few weeks by two lorries. Lots of fibreglass and superglue on the dashboard made for a fairly good repair before the Rialto was sold on when I
purchased my first 4-wheeler.
The Rialto did prove to be super reliable and cheap to run, it was my first ever Reliant to pass a MOT without any work needed to be done.