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Matt

Matt's 1990 Reliant Robin LX

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I was in scrap metal yard a while back and they had a Rialto saloon near the gate. One of the lads working there tried selling it to me and mentioned they had another tucked away. I didn't have the cash for the Rialto at the time but this month HMRC are paying me back a nice tax rebate so what better to do than splurge it on a car right?
 
I went back to the yard a few days ago and asked about the two cars. The Rialto at this point has had the engine sold from it, is in many pieces and the bodywork isn't in great condition with cracks all over. The other was this 1990 Robin LX. The owner of the yard, a former Reliant salesman, went to the Isle of Arran with a trailer for it. Technically it wasn't for sale but I think his son (that works in the yard) convinced him to let it go on the grounds that it had just been sitting. It had been sat untouched for 18 months looking like this.

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1990 Reliant Robin LX by Matt S, on Flickr

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19902 Reliant Robin LX (Rear) by Matt S, on Flickr
 
Misery spec, no rear wiper!
 
After some fettling and finding that the fuel tank was totally dry we managed to get it running, and running well! It wouldn't move under it's own power as it was on that rough ground with two flat tyres and seized brakes. The yard owner said he would free the brakes off and move it onto the more solid ground later that day.
 
I went back today and swapped one of back the wheels for one off of the Rialto saloon and remarkably managed to get the utterly ruined front tyre to hold air. A minor mishap occurred when taking the front wheel off because my jack isn't low enough to get under the centre of the chassis where the front suspension bolts on and as it turns out my axle stands are juuuuust tall enough to find the tipping point...
 
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A little mishap... by Matt S, on Flickr
 
It happened in total slow motion. The good thing however is that it's light to the point that I was able to push it back up with one hand and get my jack under with the other.
 
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Robin moved from it's resting place by Matt S, on Flickr
 
At this point I could just about push it by myself however one of the brakes was just grabbing enough at a certain point that I couldn't push and steer it at the same time. Happily the yard owner is allowing me to keep it on the property for a bit while I get it ready for an MOT but there was the small issue of the nearest solid ground being 200 meters (650+ feet) away... LDV to the rescue!
 
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LDV To The Rescue! by Matt S, on Flickr

And onto solid ground for the first time in a long time.

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Hard ground at last by Matt S, on Flickr
 
The wheels are a favorite of mine, tiny slot mags! I don't know who made them and I've only been able to find one photo of a Robin with these wheels. Check out the ancient (2003)145 x 10" Camac BN313 still holding air after 16 years! I can't wait to get these polished up with the slots painted body colour.
 
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My new car... by Matt S, on Flickr

That's where we stand now. My plan is to get it MOT'd and just drive it around and enter some shows.

The job list for MOT time looks like:
Replace all three tyres
Replace O/S headlight
Replace N/S seatbelt (the reel end has rusted and broken out of the floor!)
Replace brakes
Refit rear seat and belts (I haven't even seen belts back there so I don't know for a fact if it even has rear belts)

Other jobs:
Refit the engine covers
Sort the door hinges as both doors have sagged
Get the boot open as it's stuck partially latched

Any Reliant fanciers able to tell me anything about this dealer?
Edit: The car was registered new in Ayr so I'm not sure how this tag ended up on the keys. Anyone know who the dealer around Ayr would have been?

47435539402_de2fdabbc5_b.jpg
Oldham Reliants by Matt S, on Flickr

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Oldham Reliants, if I'm on the right one was at a disused petrol station close to the Royal Oldham Hospital.

The whole yard used to be packed with Reliants. Towards the end had Axiam as well.

Moved to smaller premises a few years back, but I don't know where.

Owner was getting on a bit though.

Edit, right one I have the phone number and it matches.

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Excellent!  I really need to get me one of these before the prices go completely daft.  Will have to wait until the Renault 6 is out of the garage though as I don't fancy leaving it parked outside - it's a quiet area here but teenagers are still teenagers.

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Oh yes! some hot reliant 3 wheeler action!

 

surprised there aint more hot 3 wheeler reliant action on here but they have mostly moved out of the sub £1K shite range at this point,

 

properly looking forward to how you get on with this :)

 

(Same Tyres as to whats fitted to TPA IIRC, but much newer of course! :) )

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 I don't fancy leaving it parked outside - it's a quiet area here but teenagers are still teenagers.

 

I was thinking that some kind of alarm with a movement sensor would be a good idea as I have no choice but to leave it on the street.

 

Don't paint the wheels body colour, they'll look rubbish, and it'll really take away from the wheels, otherwise they're a nice and fairly unique feature! Keep them silver. :)

 

No no, I'd only paint inside the slots. The face of the wheels is bare aluminum and will hopefully get polished to something approaching a mirror finish.

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I was thinking that some kind of alarm with a movement sensor would be a good idea as I have no choice but to leave it on the street.

 

 

ohhh now thats an idea!

 

Mercury tilt switch+ (latching?) relay, tying the horn to the battery, Job jobbed :)

 

so if the car gets tilted beyond a certain point the horn goes off, you could also tie it into a dash cam or such device :)

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Love the slot mags... Oddly enough I got offered a Robin yesterday at work for not much. Quite tempted but I don't really need any more cars

 

They are in demand, probably make a bit of cash on it.

I'll give you £50 for the propshaft alone.

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Love the slot mags... Oddly enough I got offered a Robin yesterday at work for not much. Quite tempted but I don't really need any more cars

17 and 44 please.

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With luck, it will be a straightforward project to get this one roadworthy again.  It is worth checking the chassis for corrosion, even if galvanised.  The front crossmember on to which the leading arm (often referred to as the A frame) attaches, and the arm itself are frequently weakened by rust and in severe cases can cause the front wheel to lean.  They are great fun to drive and, with due respect to the missing wheel handling, can be bustled along with surprising speed.  I've owned a Regal 3-25 in the 1970s, a Rialto 'letterbox boot' saloon in the early 2000s and have had a '61 Regal MKVI   since 1992.  The Rialto, mechanically almost identical to the later Robins, handled the best.

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With luck, it will be a straightforward project to get this one roadworthy again.  It is worth checking the chassis for corrosion, even if galvanised.  The front crossmember on to which the leading arm (often referred to as the A frame) attaches, and the arm itself are frequently weakened by rust and in severe cases can cause the front wheel to lean.

 

I don't see why not, there isn't exactly a whole lot to them! The chassis looked okay. The front cross member is a bit crusty but I couldn't stick a screw driver through it. If I keep the car long term the plan will be get the body off and give the chassis a good clean up, paint and protection and probably a big engine service too.

 

It passed it's last 7 MOT's first time with no advisories so I think that should play in my favour.

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(for some reason I can't post comments on your Flickr photos of the Robin).

 

I haven't done anything with the permissions but I did replace them with higher resolution images which seems to have broken the BBCode. Fixed them now so have another go if you want.

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yeah iv noticed 3 wheeled reliants often end up "done up" like that in some shape or form

 

maybe people do it because they find it amusing, doing up a a 3 wheeler like a big muscle car or something?

 

post-25614-0-13795900-1548062952_thumb.jpg

 

(I personally prefer them on the stock end of the spectrum :) )

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Wheels are cobra supa slots,I had a set on my kitten,and when I sold that kept two for my Rialto van and sold the other pair to a mate with a robin identical to yours. With some metal polish they come up like chrome,Colour is flamenco red.watch out on the headlamp,the adjusters are unique to reliant and unobtainable.

Oldham Reliants was run by Keith Thompson, had one of the largest stock of cars in the country but didn't sell as many as some other northern dealers.when he left his original premises most of the cars were hoovered up by Joe mason and cut up. Keith then worked from home for a bit and has been dead for a few years now.

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Wheels are cobra supa slots,I had a set on my kitten,and when I sold that kept two for my Rialto van and sold the other pair to a mate with a robin identical to yours. With some metal polish they come up like chrome,Colour is flamenco red.watch out on the headlamp,the adjusters are unique to reliant and unobtainable.

Oldham Reliants was run by Keith Thompson, had one of the largest stock of cars in the country but didn't sell as many as some other northern dealers.when he left his original premises most of the cars were hoovered up by Joe mason and cut up. Keith then worked from home for a bit and has been dead for a few years now.

 

Thanks for the info on the wheels! I think I'll need to find another pair, one for the front and a spare.

 

The car was registered in Ayr so I don't really know how the Oldham Reliants tag ended up on the keys. Do you know who the dealer around Ayr would have been?

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