Reliant Owners Club

Robin

Variations:

Reliant Robin Mk1 (750cc)

Reliant Robin Mk1 (850cc)

Reliant Robin Mk2 LX, SLX

Reliant Robin Mk3

Reliant Robin BN1 / BN2

1973 - 1975

1975 - 1981

1989 - 1999

1999 - 2001

2001 - 2002

Special Editions:

Reliant Robin Jubilee

Reliant Robin Diamond

Reliant Robin 65

1977

1985

200 - 2001

Data:

The Reliant Robin was launched in November 1973 and followed the Reliant Regal that had been one of the most successful 3-wheelers world wide. The Robin had quite an tough act to follow but it was introduced in a blaze of publicity that boasted at the Robins load capacity of 30 cubic feet (with rear seats down) and yet at the same time it was a luxury 4 seater 3-wheeler. Designed by Ogle Design Limited for Reliant the Robin was the first car to not have a rain strip running above the doors, in addition it also featured a real opening window - features that were soon to appear on many cars to follow by other manufacturers.

The original 1973 Robin was powered by a 750cc engine that yielded 32 bhp and came in three body styles, Saloon, Estate and Van. The Saloon and Estate were available as standard models or as “Super” models that included extras like additional dash clocks and uprated radio. In 1975 the engine was uprated to a larger 40 bhp 850cc engine giving a top speed of 85 mph and a 0 - 60 mph time of 16.1 seconds. Despite the success of its predecessor, the Reliant Regal, the Robin became one of the most famous 3-wheelers in the UK and nearly all 3-wheelers were thought of as being a Reliant Robin. By 1981 however sales were starting to dwindle and so the Robin was replaced by the Reliant Rialto. The Rialto helped boost Reliant’s sales and also became successful but people in general quite often referred to it as a Robin. By 1989 the Robin (Mk 2) was back in a new shaped “hatch back”. The mark 2 was available in either a LX or SLX version. In 1999 Reliant announced a new Reliant Robin that was going to bring the 3-wheeler into the new millennium. This was the Mk 3. This Robin featured tear drop shaped headlights and a smoother finish though it retained many specifications of the original.

Almost a year later in September 2000 Reliant announced to the World that no more 3-wheelers would be made after February 2001. Reliant then manufactured 65 Special Edition Robins (Robin 65) as a tribute to 65 years of 3-wheeler production. Finished in gold paint and with leather trim and walnut dash the Robin 65 was of very high specification. On February 14th 2001 the last Robin rolled out of Reliant’s doors and it was assumed that the Reliant Robin would be no more. This was until B&N Plastics stepped in. After negotiations with Reliant to build the Robin under license to Reliant the Reliant Robin BN-1 started production on April 30th 2001 using the Robin 65 as a standard for the new vehicles. This was closely followed by an enhanced BN-2 model that features electric windows and an electric sunroof as standard specification. These models were discontinued in October 2002.

 

1973 Reliant Robin Mk1 (750cc)

Photograph courtesy of Elvis Payne

1979 Reliant Robin Mk1 (850cc)

Photograph courtesy of Sam Houghton

1990 Reliant Robin Mk2

Photograph courtesy of Geoffrey Payne

1999 Reliant Robin Mk3

Photograph courtesy of Malcolm Norris

2000 Reliant Robin 65

Photograph copyright of Reliant Cars Ltd

2001 Reliant Robin BN-1

Photograph courtesy of Elvis Payne

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