Reliant Scimitar GT
Code Name (SE4a/b)
In late 1966 Ford dropped the 2.6 litre engine and replaced it with the new 3 litre Essex engine (as used in the latest MK IV Ford Zodiac). This meant that Reliant had to do a good deal of development work to existing the Scimitar GT to enable the new more powerful engine to fit and obtain best performance and handling. As the Essex engine was shorter, it was mounted further back in the bulkhead to help improve weight distribution. The lower wishbones were re-positioned, the tower structures and cross members were re-inforced and an anti roll bar was fitted. Other modifications included replacing the wire wheels with wider steel wheels as standard, fitting a higher ratio rear axle (3.58 :1 replaced the 3.875).
Above: Scimitar GT Chassis
The interior was updated to move with the times. There was now an all anti-dazzle black interior (including black instrument dial bezels instead of the previous chrome versions). The padded facia board had crash pads at the top and bottom and improvements were made with the ventilation by fitting directional variable ventilator jets, as used by Ford.
Above: The new Scimitar GT
Above: Scimitar GT has a makeover. Black Vinyl.
Later on Reliant did some more work to try and improve the interior, mainly the centre console and switch layout and this was known as the SE4b.
Above: Scimitar GT SE4b with new centre console and switch layout
This is what Autocar said about the new 3 litre Scimitar GT on 12th January 1967:
"At a Glance - High performance 2+2 coupe. Lusty, low revving engine in conjunction with high gearing gives effortless cruising at three-figure speeds. Good gear change, but rather wide ratios. Smooth, light clutch. Ride and handling very good, and much improved over the earlier car. Light, accurate steering and first class brakes with powerful servo. Ventilation improved but still not ideal. Fuel and range very good".
Above: Geoff Richards 1967 Scimitar GT