Vol. II: The Unquiet Survivor
Rebel Without Applause covers Reliant only up to the mid-1970s when the company was effectively at the peak of its powers. The decision was made to split the Reliant story in two partly because if it had been done in the same detail all in one book, the book would have been over 500 pages and £50 or £60, which would not have been acceptable. Another reason was that it was felt this was a convenient place to break - all the "classic" Reliants were included, all the models that could be tax exempt (pre-1973). Partly it was also due to my being slightly fatigued with the project and wanting to see it published before spending many more years finishing the history and then having to slim it down because no-one would publish it. Now that Vol I has been published I am starting Vol II but it will take a few more years.
I have already done much of the research for Vol II but there are still some areas which will need further investigation - including the following:
Sapphire Motor Company of Barbados - any details of Reliant's deals with this company (1983-4)
The meter-reading vehicle based on the Rialto, by Reliant for a US company (1980s)
Who were TM Trading?
Good photos of Sipani Dolphin/Montana in context (i.e. in a Bangalore street).
What were the problems that led the London taxi drivers to protest outside Kettlebrook in 1989?
What happened to the Jet Tiger (Reliant Marine) after Beans Industries bought Reliant? Was the project sold on to anyone else? (Reliant Marine was renamed Tnailer Marine before being dissolved)
What were Jetwave/Reliant Marine's other products? (Motorised surfboards with Reliant engines? Is this rumour true?)
Why did the Panther outboard motor not achieve full production?
Why was the Fox never properly promoted? (Internal Reliant documents reveal that the company had entirely written it off, i.e. none at all were forecast to be sold every year after 1987)
Did Autokam ever put the Fox into production in Russia?
Why did the Hyundai deal fail?
What happened to the "far Eastern businessman" who purchased the rights to produce Reliant models overseas in 1996? Was it President Suharto's son?
What were the real reasons behind Jonathan Heynes' departure from Reliant?
Why was Lord Stokes appointed? Was it purely window-dressing?
Is it true that IAD of Worthing styled the Rialto? Are any alternative design proposals from IAD available? Why did relations sour with Ogle?
Was the Rialto body based on 'a mould taken from a Metro'?
Was the Rialto Hatch / Robin LX rear end based on a mould taken from a Bedford Astra Van?
Were the SS1/SST windscreen surround and quarterlights copied from a TR7?
Did William Towns ever sell any SS2s privately? (Towns Target)
What happened to the deal to sell Reliant engines to power the Lada Oka?
There are plenty more questions to ask...
Dan Lockton firstname.lastname@example.org