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Our most faithful readers might remember that I used to own a Scimitar. Two, actually. Which I sold five years ago upon realizing I’d never get them restored. Recently I had a phone call from a man who told me that now he was the lucky owner. Both cars were still unrestored!

I am a huge admirer of the Reliant Scimitar GTE, and both my cars where in quite good shape as far as colour, condition and specs goes. Along the way however, they needed more work than met the eye, and we (the first one was a shared project with a friend) never got around to getting anything done with the the first one, and I never got it done with the second one either. As we did not lose any money on the sale of the first car I thought better luck next time and immediately after the sale I bought another one. The latter was sold with a huge loss, so no progress there!

My second Scimitar: 1970, manual SE5 with overdrive and a diminutive front spoiler, which I haven’t seen on many cars. But then again, they where all hand built.

A funny thing is that the buyer of my second Scimitar was the same person who also bought the first one. A thriving man with a prehistory of successfully restoring motorcycles, boats as well as cars. As I talked to him a few of months after he picked up the second Scimitar I was under the impression that the restoration was well in progress, although it (of course…) had expanded extensively, including rebuilding one of the engines. However I pictured how he would at least manage to get one decent car out of my two easy projects and then selling the remainging one off , which I understood was the plan.  After that I lost his telephone number and his e-mail adress and I did not hear from him nor about the cars again.

Until a person called me up on the phone, wanting to talk Scimitar. He had just bought one – and after a bit of researching its previous whereabouts he had become convinced that it used to belong to me. Albeit being a tad confused during our conversation hence several things did not add up I finally realized that he did not buy only one, but two cars, and yes, it was my two cars. So far so good. It took me a bit more conversation to understand that none of them where roadworthy as of yet.

To cut a long story short: He had not bought the cars from the man that I sold them to back in 2009 but from a second (or third/fourth owner, mind you). Exactly whom had done what in order to restore the cars was lost in oblivion. Surely enough (or supposedly so) an engine had been rebuilt, but on the other hand one of the cars was now completely disassembled. Whether or not that can be seen as progress is not for me to say – but the cold fact shows that five years down the road the two cars still stand unrestored after passing through my hands and even through the hands of another three owners. And those cars were supposed to be easy projects. I actually drove both of them back til Denmark after buying them in England!

Proof: It really did drive, and from the ferry in Esbjerg everything went just fine. Note the revs and speed: A manual Scimitar with overdrive is unbelieveably highly geared, and barely revs at 1500 RPM at 80 km/t.

Now and then I’ve been mocked for my suspicious approach to projects, however easy they may seem at first glance: I just know that projects aren’t the thing for me. Secondly projects always tend to expand. Thirdly my projects sometimes end up unfinished. This is usually where the more thriving mechanics among my friends laugh out loud and tell me that this only applies to me. But this story goes to show that there are others for whom this also apply. For the two car’s sake I hope that the fourth Danish owner finally gets them restored and back on the road.

So exactly why I had to get back up on that horse again baffles even myself. To recap:

  1.  I have once again bought a not roadworthy car
  2.  it is once again a Reliant Scimitar GTE
  3.  well, it’s actually two Reliant Scimitar GTE’s!

One of the two new Scimitars – the worst one!

It is slightly difficult to explain, I admit to that – but I just am a nutter for the ingenious concept of the Reliant GTE. One of the two cars really isn’t that bad either. The previous owner said that the carburettor (reciding in the trunk) just needed to be remounted to the intake and along with remounting the spark plug wires (flung inside the car) it should be ready for inspection. However, the choke-plates where missing from the carburettor and the internals from the distributor were missing as well. A shock absorber is leaking and all four tires are basically rotted away. So it’s still not running and it’s most certainly not going in for inspection.

Nonetheless I happily presented the Scimitar (number one, the green one) in pomp and cicumstance at an evening with friends of ViaRETRO and although I myself was the most enthused I did sense a certain sympathy from the other participants: This time MUST be third time lucky.

Translation: Tor Sørdal Brink

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