Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
Reliant Robin
[[File:Reliant Robin Green.jpg
1999–2001 Robin|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Production 1973–81 (UK)
1974–78 (Greece, under license)
1989–2001 (UK revamped)
2001–02 (B&N Plastics)
Predecessor Reliant Regal
Successor Reliant Rialto
Body style(s) 2½-door 3 wheel saloon with large opening rear window[1]
Engine(s) 748 cc and 848 cc OHV light alloy Straight-4[1]
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual all-synchromesh[1]
Wheelbase 85 in (2,159 mm)[1]
Length 131 in (3,327 mm) (saloon) [1]
Width 56 in (1,422 mm)[1]
Height 54 in (1,372 mm) [1]
Related Reliant Kitten[1]

1994 Reliant Robin Mk2 SLX

Reliant Robins are also raced by enthusiasts

1975 Greek advertisement for Mebea Robin (Reliant Robin produced under license)

The Reliant Robin is a small three wheeled car formerly manufactured by the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth, England. Despite its size, by being a three-wheeler with an official mass below 450 kg (992 lb), the Robin can be driven by holders of a B1 category driving licence[2] in the United Kingdom, and registered and taxed at motorcycle rates, which gives a saving of 55 GBP per year over a conventional car. The single wheel in the front steers, while the engine (also in the front) drives the rear axle.


The Robin was first manufactured in October 1973,[3]a direct replacement for the Reliant Regal. The final original version of the Robin rolled off the production line in 1981, when the model was replaced by the restyled Reliant Rialto. The vehicle was also produced under license in Greece by MEBEA between 1974 and 1978. It was also manufactured in India by Sunrise Automotive Industries Limited as the Badal.

In 1989, Reliant revived the Robin name, producing a new and totally revamped Robin featuring a new fiberglass body, and increased engine power. The Rialto continued in production alongside the new Robin until 1998. This Robin was face lifted again in 1999 when the final version was launched that had its biggest change since originally launched with completely new panels, and Opel Corsa front lamps. Designed as a hatchback-only model lasted until February 2001 when Reliant announced the end of production. The final sixty-five Robins designed in 1999 manufactured by Reliant formed a Special Edition known as the Robin 65, featuring leather trim, walnut interior, and a numbered plaque, and sold for approximately £10,000. Manufacturing of the Robin resumed under license by a company called B&N Plastics in July 2001, but stopped in October 2002.

In popular culture

Reliant three-wheelers enjoy a special place in British culture, often as the butt of jokes, such as when Patsy Stone dismissively refers to Edina Monsoon's isolation chamber as resembling one in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous. In the United Kingdom, the Robin is sometimes affectionately nicknamed the "Plastic Pig" because of its distinctive shape and fibreglass body shell.

The Reliant Robin is staple material for comedian Jasper Carrott. However, perhaps two of the best known Reliants in British comedy are actually Reliant Regal Supervans — the dirty yellow van owned by the Trotter brothers in Only Fools and Horses, and the light blue van that always ends up getting tipped over, crashed into, bumped out of its parking space etc. by a British Leyland Mini in Mr Bean.

The Robin has been featured in several British car shows. For example, in the 18 June 2007 episode of Fifth Gear, Tom Ford and Johnny Smith both modified a Reliant Robin, to compete against each other in a speed challenge and a destruction derby. In the 18 February 2007 episode of Top Gear (Series 9, Episode 4), a Reliant Robin was used by Richard Hammond and James May in an attempt to modify a normal K-reg Robin into a reusable space shuttle.[4]

Reliant Robins make semi-regular appearances on Scrapheap Challenge, often stripped down to a light three-wheeled chassis. One team converted the car into a wheelie-racer.[5]

The 2011 Disney film Cars 2 features a French character named Tomber who is patterned on a Reliant Regal saloon car, though he also has been compared to a Robin. His name means "to fall" in French, referencing the reputed instability of three-wheel vehicles.[6]


List known examples below;

  • RHY 969S+ - Seen at Wollaton Park Steam Rally

Template:PML Reliant


Add your photos below;

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "The Regal is dead...long live the Robin", Motor 3708: pages 18–19. date 3 November 1973. 
  2. The B1 category covers motor tricycles/quadricycles up to 550 kg (1,200 lb) unladen (see Driving licence in the UK).
  3. [1]
  4. "BBC - Top Gear - Episode Archive - Series 9 - Episode 4". Retrieved on 2007-02-21.
  5. "". Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  6. "Tomber". Retrieved on 2 June 2011.

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Reliant Robin. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia