Hello Kitty! 1977 Reliant Kitten Van

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

If you’re like me, and let’s hope that you’re not for your family’s sake, you love anything unusual like this. Yes, even if it’s in a country other than the US. Barn Finds is read around the world and this 1977 Reliant Kitten Van comes from Sheffield, United Kingdom. It’s listed on eBay with a current bid price of £2,600 ($3,353) and a buy it now price of £3,995 ($5,152). There are 133 people currently watching this auction, that’s a pretty high number. There are only four hours left to get your bids in, you UK Barn Finds readers!

Reliant Motor Company is the same manufacturer that made the famous and infamous (due to one unsavoury bloke) three-wheeled Reliant Robin. They bought out Bond Cars in 1969 which meant that they added another cool three-wheeler to their lineup: the Bond Bug. The Reliant Kitten was introduced in 1975 and was available until 1982. It was basically a four-wheeled version of the Reliant Robin.

The van models were based on the wagon, or estate, but with blocked-out rear side windows. There were just over 4,000 models of any configuration made during its entire run. They also produced a small saloon. They were small vehicles with small engines and as such the company touted their combination of handling and fuel economy. The van has a decent amount of space in the back, this would be a fun vehicle to haul your minibikes to shows, if a person were into such things..

The condition of this Kitten Van is probably as nice as you’ll ever find. The interior appears to be in as incredible condition as the exterior is. The dash layout is as basic as it gets, and the seller says that it’s in “highly original condition”, which is even more amazing.

This is what I call a spoon-and-fork engine compartment, as in it’s clean enough to eat off of. That’s one fantastic looking sight. The power spun off by this 850CC inline-four with 40 hp isn’t super fantastic, but for an 1,100-pound vehicle, it’s probably adequate. This goes without saying, but it always comes up when showing small vehicles: these weren’t meant for high-speed freeway drives, they were meant for in-town or for use on country roads. Have you ever seen a Reliant Kitten before? If this were in the US it’d be hard to resist.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I like this mostly because it’s British. I’m sure there are Asian counterparts, that probably do the job better, but for me, they just don’t have the British charm.( I’m surprised it’s not dripping with charm) For a small town like I live in, where some folks use ATV’s to get around ( perfectly legal) this would fit right in. Big city, not so much. I’d love to have it, but that right hand drive thing might throw me for a loop. Too many miles driving on the other side.

    1+
    • Jeffro

      Dripping with charm…I’m assuming you meant marking it’s spot with a oil mark? Or a British STD? LOL.

      4+
  2. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    Talk about sublime to the ridiculous, what other site could have a plastic pig (more commonly refers to the regal model, before the robin) & a winged warrior with in 2 posts.

    0
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      It all depends on how a person defines sublime and/or ridiculous, Sheffieldcortinacentre. I would take the Reliant Kitten over the “winged warrior” any day of the week.

      2+
  3. boxdin

    Looks like its got a large heater. Nice little panel truck, er sedan delivery.

    1+
  4. Adam

    A friend in the Salford University Motor club had a Relient Kitten, I recall he was nearly impossible to beat at gymkhana events.

    0
  5. Mark P

    Yesterday’s version of today’s Ford Transit Connect.

    3+
  6. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Scotty, if this were in the US I’d be fighting you for it!

    Come to think of it, we’ve been down that road once before. 😀

    3+
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! Then I’d store it in your garage, Jamie, and.. (crickets)..

      I haven’t seen a Reliant Kitten van before, I didn’t know that they made such a thing – I love it!

      1+
  7. ROAR

    Recall that in the 50-60’s lots of imports had around 40 Hp, Morris minor, Ford Prefect, Renault, Fiats, Metropolitan etc. they were driven everywhere despite their 73MPH top, they could be driven that way, I used to race Vw’s nightly going home from San Jose to San Francisco, the Morris Minor 1000 would do 73, the Vw’s 72 so it was a race! As a student, I couldn’t afford the sprite carb setup

    1+
  8. Mark-A

    We crazy Brits love to Modify these, how about a Widebody Honda S2000 engined one (see below) http://www.kittenkitcar.co.uk/page/6 or maybe even ESPECIALLY for you guys in the US the only Engine suitable a V8? Got one for you too https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gyeGvLqmzPo Enjoy!

    0
  9. Nevis Beeman

    Google ‘Reliant Rebel’, which preceded the Kitten, in saloon, estate and I believe panel van forms !

    0

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