Okay, so some of Classic Car Weekly’s regular readers will know I have a thing for Reliant Scimitars – I have a GTE SE6a tucked up in the garage at home – but this isn’t just any old GTE. This is the very first Middlebridge Scimitar, and the car in which Princess Anne got a speeding ticket.
Chassis 001, the original car displayed at the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show and subsequently used as a press test car, is currently being sold by online classic auction house The Marketwith an estimate of £29-34k. That’s a lot for a Scimitar GTE, but this is the final version from when Middlebridge took over production from Reliant, and which utilises Ford’s fuel-injected Cologne V6 rather than the earlier Essex engine in my own GTE at home. After being lent to Princess Anne, while her own car Chassis 005, was being built, in went on to appear at the motor show a second time in 1992, when it was included in a display of cars once owned by members of the Royal Family.
In its description, The Market says: ‘It has a number of expired MOT certificates, a sheaf of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it over the years, the pre-production prototype brochure, and the service record book. It also has, of course, lots of paperwork confirming the Princess Anne connec-tion as well as a few other bits and bobs from what appears to be a series of uncommonly conscientious owners.
‘[It is] a hefty chunk of money but then you are buying the Ground Zero of the Middlebridge cars, the original and probably the best of the bunch, and a car with an impeccable pedigree thanks to THAT connection.’
If you fancy an Eighties classic with an illustrious history and Royal provenance, then be quick – the auction ends next Wednesday. I can’t wait to see what it goes for.