Monday 3rd June 1935
The first Reliant car was delivered. Powered by a single cylinder air cooled 600cc J.A.P. engine, the driver sat centrally in the three-wheeled vehicle astride the engine, much like a motorcyclist. The vehicle however was underpowered and as a result was up rated in March 1936 to a twin cylinder water-cooled J.A.P. engine with an 8 cwt vehicle. In this Reliant seating had also been changed to a more conventional side by side seating in the front. The first twin cylinder model was delivered on March 16th 1936. In 1938 Reliant started to use the four-cylinder 7 hp Austin Engine with the first Austin engined Reliant being delivered on March 12th 1938. Shortly afterwards Austin announced that they planned to stop the production of this engine. Austin were happy for Reliant to copy their engine and so it was decided that Reliant would manufacture their own engine, which was completed in September 1939. The engine was Reliant’s first engine and was a 747cc side-valve unit producing 14 bhp at 3,500 rpm. With the onset of the Second World War Reliant turned to machining parts for the war effort and continued to build 3-wheelers afterwards with a slightly modified van called the Reliant Regent, the first one being completed on March 13th 1946. By the 1950s the capacity of the Regent had increased to 10 cwt and was equipped with a few more luxuries that included sliding windows in the doors rather than canvas side screens. A larger 12 cwt Regent and Prince Regent was also produced. Production of the Regent continued alongside Reliant’s first 3-wheeled car the Reliant Regal, that was introduced in 1953. The Regent was eventually replaced by the Reliant Regal Mk II 5cwt van in 1956.