The Reliant Scimitar name was used for a series of sports car models produced by British car manufacturer Reliant between 1964 and 1986. During its 22-year production it developed into a range of versions including a convertible launched in 1980. All have a fibreglass body mounted on a steel box-section chassis.
Scimitar GTE SE6 (1975-1976), SE6A (1976–1980) and SE6B (1980–1986)
More of a luxury model than the SE5, the SE6 series was promoted to the executive market. These models were two-door sports estates, again with the Ford V6 3.0 L engine as used in the SE5A with 135 bhp,: the wheelbase was increased by 4 inches (10 cm) and the track by 3 inches (8 cm) making the cars correspondingly longer and wider than their predecessors. The extra length was used to improve rear-seat legroom and access which enhanced the car’s credentials as a ‘genuine’ four-seater. Noticeable changes from the earlier models were the increase in the outer headlamp size from 5.3/4″ to 7″ and the replacement of the chrome plated bumpers with rubber ones. A Laycock overdrive on third and fourth gear was optional. The SE6 was replaced by the SE6A in late 1976. 543 SE6 models were produced.
The SE6A displayed a number of changes, including Lockheed brakes and suspension revisions. An easy way to spot a SE6A from a SE6 is the change to orange from red reflectors on the rear extractor vents, and the three vertical grooves in the front bumper (in front of the wheel arches) were removed. 3877 SE6As were made—making it the most popular version of all the SE6 shape.
Ford had stopped making the Essex engine for the Capri by 1981, and production stopped completely in 1988 so one of the major differences with the SE6B was the engine. The German-built Ford Cologne 2.8 L V6 was used instead (thus the chassis on the 6B differs from the 6/6A at the front) and provided similar power but rather less torque at low revs. The final drive ratio was lowered from 3.31:1 to 3.54:1 to compensate. All SE6Bs (and the SE8) were equipped with the quite troublesome Pierburg/Solex carburetted engines (many owners have changed to the Weber 38DGAS from the Essex engine) and although the battery was moved from the SE6/SE6A position to allow for injection equipment to be fitted, none ever left the factory so fitted. Some late versions (around 1983 on) came with the galvanised chassis as standard but the exact numbers and chassis details are vague.
Introduced at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show, only 437 SE6Bs were manufactured. Production ceased by 1986.