Modified Motors

A page for modified or customised Scimitars or Sabres!  Enjoy!!!!


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Above: Probably the best modified Coupe I have ever seen!!   Duncan Walker's awesome 5.0 litre V8 with Supercharger!!!

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Above: John Nutting's Scimitar Coupe
Scimitar: 0 - Wall: 1

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Above: New SE5a (GTE) front end fitted by the late Chris Lloyd.

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Above:  John Nutting's Scimitar GT.  It started life as a standard Scimitar GT and has had an interesting history.  At one time this coupe actually belonged to Don Pither.  John purchased the GT about 10 years ago and during his early ownership it was involved in an accident which left the front damaged.  He drove the car to a Scimitar Specialist (the late Chris Lloyd of Scimitar Services).  John was inspired by a Reliant press car ARF 109D which had gone through some styling exercises while in the hands of the development team at Reliant and had ended up with a front end being fitted from an SE5 and rear lights from an SE5 among some of the changes.  John decided that's how he wanted the front end of his Coupe to look like.  Chris Lloyd set about grafting on a new nose cone from the later GTE (SE5A) and slightly flaring the rear arches to suit.  John has since fitted the car with 14" x 7" Wolfrace wheels, chunky tyres and retro go-faster stripes.



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Above: Tony Dix's 1973 Scimitar GTE SE5 rolling restoration. Tony has made improvements to the chassis, fitted a stage 1 engine with fast road cam, roller rockers etc, side vents/grilles from a Nissan Micra, alluminium dashboard, 15" minilight wheels and individual rear lights and more!



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Above: Photo's I took of this lovely Coupe at Brooklands on NYD.  Other than the wheels, the owner had tried to keep his Coupe looking like standard, but when that engine starts you soon realise that there's no longer a 3L Ford V6, but a 5 litre V8!!  The engine fits very well, but has had to forfeit the heater to make room!!

Here's a quick video clip I took:


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Above: Roy McKnight's 1968 Scimitar GT is fitted with a 5 Litre V8 Ford 302 engine with added internal goodies, good for 325bhp!!  

Other modifications include:

  • 302 Windsor V8 with 4 barrel holly, crane cam, miloden timing gear, custom headers

  • 3 speed C4 autobox

  • Sunbeam Tiger rear axle.... Im told its good for up to 500bhp

  • AVO shocks all round

  • Full alloy 4 row radiator and 16" fan

  • Full custom stainless steel exhausts

  • Compomotive split rims


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Above: Pete Stock's magnificent 1974 twin turbo Scimitar GTE!!

photos by Dave Poole


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Above: John Emery's 1972 Scimitar GTE, looks standard.....

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Above: ..... but under the bonnet it hides a 24v Cosworth engine :o)  John says " when you spin the tacho round and it goes like stink!" 

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Above: John has done a wonderful job with the interior.  He has fitted additional/delayed interior lights with switch on the tailgate, intermittent wipers, puddle/marker lights on the doors and heated leather front seats!


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Above:  Ian Palmer's 1980 Scimitar GTE 3 litre Turbo

photos by Dave Poole



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Above:  Stewart Bramham's modified 1993 Mk2 Scimitar Sabre with 361 BHP!!!!. (originally came with a Rover K-series 1.4 engine)

photos by Dave Poole



  • Nissan CA18DET Twin Cam 16v Turbo MPI

  • Wiseco +1mm Forged Pistons

  • Pauter CNC Billet Con Rods & ARP Bolts 

  • HKS 1.6mm MLS Headgasket

  • Autosprint reprofiled "fast road" cams (Hyd followers)

  • Stage 1 / 2 head porting & manifold matching 

  • ARP Head Stud & Nut Kit 

  • Toga HP bearings 

  • ARP Flywheel Bolts 

  • New Oil, water pumps & consumables (belts, tensioners etc)

  • Lightened flywheel 

  • Dynamically balanced bottom end

  • Skyline GTR 444cc/min Injectors

  • XS Power Exhaust Manifold (flipped flange)

  • Garrett GT2835 BB turbo & HKS actuator

  • BIG chargecooler setup

  • BIG engine cooling rad & Rover 600 cooling fan

  • 16 Row air/oil cooler, remote filter head 

  • Aeroquip turbo oil feed 

  • Emerald M3D ECU & associated sensors 



  • Exedy 4 Puck Paddle & HD Cover

  • S14a 5 Speed Gearbox (with S13 front housing to suit CA)

  • Modified B&M Short Shifter 

  • Shortend & rebalanced Ti Propshaft

  • Sierra XR4x4 3.62:1 Viscous LSD

  • Volvo 240 4 Pot calipers
  • Merc 285x25 vented discs
  • Standard rear drums (disc conversion TBA) 
  • Braided hoses throughout
Wheels & Tyres
  • Wolfrace "PRO RACE" 7x17 ET15 Alloys
  • Toyo Proxes Tyres (205/45VR17 Front & 215/40VR17 Rear)


  • Front: Polybushed inner mountings, ARB droplinks & ARB to chassis brackets. Reinforced & triangulated upper wishbones.
  • AVO 60mm coilovers with adjustable damping & spring seats (no springs at present). Standard SS1 CVH coilspings. 
  • Rear: New standard "Metalastic" bushes. Reinforced (strapped & seem welded) around hub mounting. Polybushed ARB to Chassis mounts.
  • AVO 2 1/4 Coilovers with adjustable damping & spring seats. 250lbs/in 10" springs. 


  • Mountney Flat bottomed steering wheel & MotaLita Hub
  • Cut down S13 Gear knob
  • Lotus Elsie S1 "Stack" clockset
  • Stack Boost, Oil Pressure & Oil Temp Gauges
  • Hydraulic Clutch Conversion
  • Toothed disc & sensor for speedo on rear drive flange
  • Separator / catch tank for breather system 
  • Pipercross Cone filter
  • Custom 36-1 cam based trigger setup & K series sensor for ECU


Still To Do
  • Fabricated Fuel tank with Anti Surge
  • Bosch 044 motorsport fuel pump
  • Bigger (550cc/min+) Injectors
  • Billet Rack mounts & Nylatron isolators 
  • Switchable Maps 
  • Launch Control 
  • Rear Disc conversion
  • Roll Cage 



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Above:  Peter Silcock's modified Mk1 Scimitar Sabre.

photos by Dave Poole



  • 1860 DET from Nissan 200SX

  • Forged Pistons

  • Stand alone management

  • Variable Nozzle turbo 

  • Balanced and lightened flywheel 

  • Volvo intercooler



  • Sierra type viscous limited slip

  • Crown wheel and pinion from Sierra Diesel for higher ratio 3.24


  • Phil Howard Chevette uprights
  • Front coilover - springs
  • Original bumpstops removed
  • AVO dampers all round


  • Vauxhall Carlton discs and Volvo calipers
  • Modified Mk 2 front Sabre nosecone
  • Modified bonnet with flare at the rear to keep under bonnet temp down
  • One off digital dash with data logging 
  • Toyo 888s tyres to attempt to keep car on the road


  • Silly and difficult to do...
  • The Sabre that Reliant would have produced if they stayed in business 
    rather quick road car - much easier to produce a track only car



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Above:  Simon Glazebrook's Scimitar GTE SE5 soft top conversion.

photos by Dave Poole


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Above:  Geoff Thompson's 3.5 Litre V8 Scimitar GT

photos by Dave Poole


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Above:  Vic Thomas's 1972 Scimitar GTE with Chrysler V8 engine.  Vic has owned the car since new and converted the car to V8 over 20 years ago. He has now rebored the engine to approx 5 litres!!!  It was interesting to see that Vic still uses the standard GTE radiator setup.  Most other Scimitars I have seen with V8 engines opt for a larger radiator and have to remove the spare wheel well, but Vic said he has never had a problem with any overheating and regularly uses the Scimitar for towing his other cars. Vic's car sounded superb with it's straight through exhaust system!!

photos by Dave Poole


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Above:  Richard Mountains 1979 Scimitar SE6a was converted to the 2.9 EFI engine and was fitted with a 5 speed manual gearbox by ex-Scimitar specialist Robin Rew back in 1991.  Richard has owned the car for the last 12 months and has already made extra changes.  They include 15" Middlebridge alloys, front seats from a late Jaguar XJS, Webasto cowling from a 1979 Saab 900, and a private registration number (previous number was DKO 258T).

photos by Dave Poole


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Above:  The superb ex-Val Walker 1967 Scimitar GT Roadster. (recently sold on Ebay)

Ex-Scimitar specialist "Val Walker" of Scimitar International Ltd carried out this wonderful roof chop conversion on his Scimitar in 1988.  He carried out some extensive work on the Scimitars chassis and body work along with many other improvements to the brakes, suspension and engine.  The engine bay was completely rebuilt to hide all the wires and ancillaries.

Reliant never produced a Scimitar GT convertible, however there have been a few conversions done:

CoupeConvert.jpg (128312 bytes) CoupeConvert1.jpg (459539 bytes) The late Don Pither did a fine conversion on a Scimitar GT.

CoupeConvert2.jpg (342692 bytes) I photographed this Scimitar GT convertible at "Denpart" a number of years ago.  It was rumoured to be a Reliant prototype, however I later found out that it was done privately by the previous owner 



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Above: Dave Stephens Scimitar SE6a.  Fitted with a mk1 Sierra front bumper, the rear lights have been changed to L.E.D. clusters and the interior came from a later Scimitar SE6b.  Super job Dave :o)


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Above: Willem Wempe from Holland sent in these photos of his 3.8 litre Scimitar SE6a

Willem bought the car in 1987, the LPG is installed in 1995, 5-speed gearbox (LT77) in 1997, 3.8 engine in 2002, complete respray in 2003.


  • Ford 3.8L 90 degrees V6 (donor car Mercury Sable with a broken gearbox), called Essex in the USA. Sequenced Electronic Fuel Injection. 

  • IMPCO LPG system (enough flow for 250 Hp.), 55 litre lpg tank below the floor, 22 litre petrol tank with electric fuel pump inside. 

  • Flywheel Ford Probe, clutch Mitsubishi Pajero 2.5 diesel. 

  • Gearbox 5-speed LT77 from a rover SD1, gearlever mechanism same as in the MGB V8. 

  • Bigger radiator with 2-speed cooling fan + shroud at the rear (from donor car), controlled by the EC VI computer. 
    LSD 2.88 rear axle. 

  • Wolfrace 14 x 7J, Avon tyres 225-60-14. 

  • Electric rear hatch. 

  • Recaro seats from a Mercedes 450SL, with scimitar headrests. 

  • Heater matrix from a Saab, so a good working heating system. 

  • 71/2 inch H4 headlights. 

  • Rear lights with chrome reflectors inside.

  • Polybushes. 

  • Kenwood sound system 

  • Lots of other mods, 

    Next project is installation of a supercharged thunderbird engine and uprating the brakes.


Modified Scimitar GTC 1  Modified Scimitar GTC 2  Modified Scimitar GTC 3  Modified Scimitar GTC 4  Modified Scimitar GTC 5  Modified Scimitar GTC 6

Modified Scimitar GTC 7  Modified Scimitar GTC 8  Modified Scimitar GTC 9  Modified Scimitar GTC 10  Modified Scimitar GTC 11

Modified Scimitar GTC 12  Modified Scimitar GTC 13  Modified Scimitar GTC 14

Above: Les Clarke's Modified Scimitar GTC with 2.8 injection

photos by Dave Poole


Awesome Scimitar GTC with 3.7 Litre engine   ShaneHughes2.JPG (148609 bytes)   ShaneHughes3.JPG (156561 bytes)   ShaneHughes5.JPG (190686 bytes)   ShaneHughes6.jpg (136510 bytes)   ShaneHughes4.JPG (85589 bytes)

Above: Shane Hughes stunningly modified/uprated Scimitar GTC.


Brakes & Suspension

  • Wilwood Four Pot Callipers' & Vented Discs

  • Ceramic Disc Pads

  • Uprated Front Springs

  • 200Lb Special Rear Springs

  • Adjustable AVO Shocks All Round


  • Electric Boot Release

  • Cobra Cat 1 Alarm/Immobiliser

  • Remote Central Locking

  • 90 Amp Alternator

  • Xenon Headlights

  • Led's To Rear Lights

  • Uprated Heater Blower

  • More Relays Than I can Shake a Stick at


  • Uxbridge Engineering 3.7 litre Long Stroke Cologne

  • Metal Timing Gears

  • Edlebrock Air Box

  • Edlebrock Performa 1404 500Cfm Carb

  • Stainless Steel Exhaust & Manifolds

  • Vulcan Engineering Max I Heads

  • Red Top Electric Fuel Pump

  • Mallory Promaster Coil

  • Offehauser Inlet Manifold

  • Piper Special Cam


  • SVA (Bodi) Wind Deflector

  • Clarion DXZ577R Usb Mp3 Head Unit


  • Smiths Magnolia Face Dials

  • Piped Full Cream Leather Interior Refit

  • Chapman & Cliff Burr Veneer Finish To Existing Dashboard

  • Motolita Steering Wheel

  • Various Chrome/Stainless Steel Interior Components

Running Gear

  • 3.06 LSD Axle

  • Standard 4 Speed Overdrive Gearbox

Wheels & Tyres

Image 17" Spun Aluminium Split Rim Billet Wheels
225/45/17 Goodyear F1's
Stainless Steel Wheel Nuts



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Above: Dave's added a few more finishes to his Scimitar Pickup (23/12/08)

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Above: Dave Waterfield has almost finished the conversion, Its just waiting for a spray job now. 

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Above: Dave Waterfield is currently converting his Scimitar GTE into a pickup.



4.6 Litre Reliant Scimitar GTE  GaryJones2.jpg (161888 bytes)  GaryJones1.jpg (170973 bytes)  GaryJones3.jpg (165071 bytes)  GaryJones5.jpg (136251 bytes)

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Above: Duncan Matheson now owns the ex-John Hughes modified 1970 Scimitar GTE 'SE5'.  Classic fun with modern sports-car performance and reliability!


  • 4.6 TVR spec V8 built by V8 Developments (cross-bolted block, top-hat liners, etc).

  • Electronic fuel injection (TVR/Jaguar).

  • Custom-made tubular exhaust manifolds & stainless steel system. 

  • TVR Borg-Warner T5 manual gearbox. 

  • High ratio rear axle (approx 3000rpm @ 90mph). 

  • Wilwood ventilated front discs & alloy 4-pot calipers and rear disc brake conversion.

  • Wilwood pedal box with adjustable front/rear brake bias.

  • AVO coilovers (adjustable damping and ride height). 

  • Polybushes throughout.

  • TVR front seats. 

  • Full bodywork restoration with subtle upgrades. .Built for fast road use and the occasional track day, this Scimitar is fitted with a 4.6 fuel injection V8 engine (TVR-spec), 5-speed box, big brakes including rear disc conversion.  John plans to add a mappable ECU, custom made extractor manifolds, LSD axle and bias adjustable brakes.


5.7 Litre Reliant Scimitar GTE  GrahamAther7.JPG (109555 bytes)  GrahamAther4.JPG (130232 bytes)  GrahamAther1.JPG (124888 bytes)  GrahamAther5.JPG (99208 bytes)  GrahamAther6.JPG (97976 bytes)  GrahamAther3.JPG (131045 bytes)

Above: Graham Ather's sent these pictures of his mighty 1972 Scimitar GTE.  This 400 bhp Scimitar is road legal and was recently for sale on eBay!

Modifications include Engine is a 1990 V8 5.7 Chevy with Hyperutechtic pistons running 10.5 : 1 compression, rebored +30 thou, full reciprocal balance, gm heavy duty con rods, roller cam, edelbrock ali heads, Edelbrock 750cfm carb, Chevy bow tie high rise inlet manifold.  The gearbox is a TH350 with shift kit fitted.  The Volvo rear axle has been narrowed to take the 15 x 295 rear wheels.  The back of the car has also been tubbed out to take the rear wheels.  The chassis has had a full body off restoration and the suspension has been lowered.  Brake discs fitted all round and all 4 wheels are American Ford 5 stud.



Reliant Scimitar fitted with Rover V8   MalcolmParis12.jpg (130643 bytes)  MalcolmParis11.jpg (119270 bytes)  MalcolmParis1.jpg (121918 bytes)  MalcolmParis5.jpg (129123 bytes)  MalcolmParis10.jpg (126845 bytes)

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Above: Malcolm Paris's 1973 modified Scimitar GTE SE5a fitted with a Rover 3.5 litre V8 engine.



Reliant Scimitar GTE converted into Pickup   AndyNicolson2.jpg (38593 bytes)

Above: Andy Nicolson's new project.  Andy recently bought this 1972 Scimitar GTE pickup conversion and hopes to tackle to body work soon.  Plans in the future include a 200hp engine and possibly a supercharger!



Reliant Scimitar SS1 fitted with 2.3 V6  ashleylynch8.jpg (632064 bytes)  ashleylynch2.jpg (516579 bytes)

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Above: Ashley Lynch's Modified Scimitar SS1 project was spotted on Ebay a while ago.  This SS1 started life with a 1600cc CVH engine, but now has a Ford 2.3 litre V6 engine, a Cosworth gearbox, twin exhaust boxes, 16'' Renault alloys and Renault high back seats. 



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 Above: Ever fancied a diesel Scimitar?  Tony Shakeshaft has replaced his old 3 litre lump with a 2.5 litre straight six engine from a Vauxhall Omega!  Tony says:

 "it has been chipped and power is thought to be 160-170 (4000rpm) and the torque 235lbs.ft at around 1800rpm. The rack has been kept in its original position, the front pulley misses it by about an inch, the bulk head has had to be jig sawed and the cabin heater dispensed with to make it fit.  A heater unit has since been made and fits in the depths of the passenger foot well."



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Above: In 1991 business men Martin Hall and Brian Turner gave SE5/SE5a owners the chance to have their GTE's made into a soft top conversion.  The above article is from 1991 "Your Classic" magazine advertising their conversions for 1995.

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Above: Marks SE5 Scimitar GTE/soft top conversion is currently being restored and is fitting a Rover 3.5 litre engine.  Follow his progress on his website:



Scimitar GTE SE5a with V8 Rover engine  DaveClarkson3.jpg (457143 bytes)  DaveClarkson1.jpg (451835 bytes) 0DaveClarkson4.jpg (458730 bytes)  DaveClarkson5.jpg (535451 bytes)

Above: Dave Clarkson's project: a 1972 SE5a fitted with a Rover V8 3.5 Litre engine. 



Scimitar SS1 with 2 Litre ZVH engine  NickHollister2.jpg (579706 bytes)  NickHollister4.jpg (426073 bytes)  NickHollister5.jpg (410072 bytes)  NickHollister3.jpg (435794 bytes)

Above: Nick Hollister's modified Scimitar SS1.  

Nick has fitted a 2 litre ZVH engine with a fast Piper road cam, a limited slip diff from a 4x4 Sierra, a big bore straight through exhaust system and green stuff brake pads.



Scimitar with 5.2 Litre engine   RussRam2.jpg (93325 bytes)   RussRam4.jpg (99211 bytes)   RussRam5.jpg (109644 bytes)   RussRam6.jpg (78220 bytes)   RussRam.jpg (69222 bytes)   RussRam1.jpg (70258 bytes)

RussRam7.jpg (130674 bytes)   RussRam9.jpg (125272 bytes)  RussRam8.jpg (118659 bytes)

Above: Russell Ram's full on, Pro Street spec Scimitar GTE in the making.  It is going to be stripped, fully caged, alloy paneled interior.  Narrowed, rose jointed four bar rear axle with 18 inches of tyre each side.  A one piece flip front will be covering the the massive 5.2 litre Wildcat Rover engine fitted with quad Dellorto downdrafts and port injected nitrous.  Russell is aiming to achieve 0-160mph in 9 seconds!!!



Scimitar GTC with Rover V8 3.5  DaveClarke3.jpg (520842 bytes)  DaveClarke1.jpg (103468 bytes)  DaveClarke4.jpg (452038 bytes)  DaveClarke5.jpg (541446 bytes)

Above: Dave Clarke's Scimitar GTC fitted with 3.5 litre V8 engine (a ex-Robin Rew conversion)



Scimitar GT with 2.9 EFI engine  Darkstar21.jpg (277157 bytes)  Darkstar22.jpg (209219 bytes)  Darkstar23.jpg (236207 bytes)  Darkstar24.jpg (248559 bytes)  Darkstar25.jpg (210415 bytes)  Darkstar26.jpg (229075 bytes)

Darkstar29.jpg (283799 bytes)  Darkstar30.jpg (321734 bytes)  Darkstar27.jpg (206258 bytes)  Darkstar28.jpg (278670 bytes)  Darkstar31.jpg (190929 bytes)

Above:  Chris & Louiza Johnson's magnificent Scimitar Coupe named "Darkstar" is fitted with a Ford 2.9 litre SEi engine. 

 More  pictures of Darkstar can be seen in the "Motorsport Gallery" under the hillclimb section and the "Overseas Gallery".  



Scimitar with 5.8 litre engine  Kate2.jpg (58630 bytes)  Kate3.jpg (63458 bytes)  Kate4.jpg (75985 bytes)  Kate5.jpg (83604 bytes)  Kate6.jpg (66721 bytes)  Kate7.jpg (56171 bytes)

Kate10.jpg (68885 bytes)  Kate11.jpg (61606 bytes)Kate8.jpg (66548 bytes)Kate9.jpg (70401 bytes)

Above:  This beast spotted recently for sale on Ebay ( Item Number 4613673889 ) started life as a SE6a GTE and was converted to a GTC, then fitted with and awesome 5.7 litre Chevrolet V8 Engine which has been bored out to 5.8 litre which gives it approx 380bhp!!   



Cosworth _Scimitar.JPG (198749 bytes)  ScimitarCosworth.jpg (165484 bytes)

Above:  Scimitar GTE SE6a with 24 valve Ford Cosworth engine conversion carried out by Queensbury Road Garage (anyone know or got contact with owner or have any more pictures?)

photos by Dave Poole


Scimitar SS1 with 2 litre Zetec engine   PaulHunt8.jpg (279902 bytes)   PaulHunt.jpg (147443 bytes)   PaulHunt13.jpg (328767 bytes)   PaulHunt3.jpg (145022 bytes)   PaulHunt14.jpg (371766 bytes)   PaulHunt4.jpg (141370 bytes)

PaulHunt6.jpg (109713 bytes)   PaulHunt2.jpg (279085 bytes)   PaulHunt10.jpg (264413 bytes)   PaulHunt5.jpg (311678 bytes)   PaulHunt12.jpg (204956 bytes)   PaulHunt11.jpg (438079 bytes)

Above:  Paul Hunt's incredible modified Scimitar SS1 with 2.0 Litre Zetec engine.

Click here to see his vast list of Modifications!  



Scimitar with TVR 4.0 Litre engine  JMees2.JPG (327037 bytes)  DSCN4805.jpg (610256 bytes)  JMees3.jpg (79395 bytes)  DSCN4803.jpg (577620 bytes)  DSCN4802.jpg (547905 bytes)  DSCN4807.jpg (485757 bytes)

DSCN4809.jpg (406165 bytes)  DSCN4811.jpg (424437 bytes)  DSCN4810.jpg (538262 bytes)  DSCN4797.jpg (564932 bytes)

Above: John Mees's Scimitar GTE Convertible is fitted with a TVR 4.0 litre V8 engine.  (Top centre picture is of Tom Karen from Ogle Design trying out John's car!!)

photos by Dave Poole


Scimitar GT with Rover V8 engine  Colin Watson.jpg (67327 bytes)  colin watson2.jpg (128734 bytes)  P1010030.JPG (378037 bytes)  P1010063.JPG (330930 bytes)  

Above: Colin (wide-wheel arch) Watson's Customised V8 Scimitar Coupe.

photos by Dave Poole


Ex- Don Pither Scimitar Pickup   pickup.jpg (340719 bytes) 

Above: The ex-Don Pither SE5 Scimitar GTE converted into cool looking pickup.

photos by Dave Poole




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