Three-Wheeled Hauler: 1973 Reliant Regal Supervan

UPDATE 10/26/2020 – This 1973 Reliant Regal Supervan that we featured back in December of 2018 has reappeared on the market. Barn Finder Jim C spotted it for us, so thank you for that, Jim. The details on it appear to be unchanged, although it has undergone a significant price drop. It can now be yours for $11,990. If that sounds tempting, then you will find it listed for sale here on Craigslist.

FROM 12/23/2018 – While the owner of this Reliant initially refers to it as a Robin, he later corrects himself by stating that it is not a Robin, but is actually a Reliant Regal Supervan. While the Robin has been the butt of many jokes leveled at it by the UK TV series Top Gear, the Regal didn’t escape a similar fate, with a light blue Supervan often being tipped over, crashed into, or bumped by the erratic driving of Rowan Atkinson’s character, Mr. Bean. Barn Finder Roger spotted this little Reliant, so thank you for that Roger. This Reliant is located in Geneva, Ohio, and if you would like to get your hands on a little British classic, you will find the Reliant for sale here on Craigslist.

Featuring an all fiberglass body, visible rust was never an issue for the Reliant. The floors and frame also tend to be quite robust, and the photos provided by the owner don’t indicate any problems in this area. The paint and panels look really good, and if you didn’t already stand out in a crowd by driving a car with only three wheels, then that bright yellow paint will certainly seal the deal.

Squirreled away inside the engine bay is a 701cc 4-cylinder engine, which sends its power to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. This Reliant is said to run and drive well, although the brakes may require some attention. The exploits of both Top Gear and Mr. Bean did do the Reliant image a certain amount of harm, but with both TV series, there was a fair degree of poetic license in their approach. In spite of the image that they portray, the 3-wheeled Reliant is quite a stable vehicle, and they are not that easy to tip over. It is possible to get one rear wheel off the ground with exuberant cornering, but rolling them tends to be another matter entirely.

The interior of the Supervan is not what you would call luxurious, but it does appear to be quite neat and tidy. This particular Reliant is fitted with a folding rear seat, which allows the vehicle to be a 4-seater. Having said that, with no side windows, I tend to think that it could be quite claustrophobic for those sitting in the rear seat. One of the interesting and quirky little features of the Regal interior is the switch for the turning signals. Instead of it being located on the steering column, it is actually that long switch that you can see poking out of the dash to the right of the wheel.

The owner of this Reliant says that it is easy and fun to drive, and he is right on that score. Contrary to popular belief, these are a great little car, and they don’t fall over at the drop of a hat. The problem with this particular car is trying to decide what a fair price is for it. With its relative rarity in the USA, it comes down to a question of determining what is the price of exclusivity. The owner has set the price for the Reliant at $15,500, and I won’t be at all surprised if he gets that.


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  1. Max

    This is same 3 wheel van that was in the British Tv comedy series ” Only Fools & Horses ” starring David Jason & Nicholas Lyndhurst !

    Like 6
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Perhaps back then it would less likely tip over if it was designed with a taper at the front like the 1964 GM runabout. However, I would think there are electronics today that could prevent even the non tapered design from tipping over.

  3. sir mike

    Watch the Top Gear show on these…This is a cute van.

    Like 1
    • Andre

      That was the first top gear I’d had watched when it came out. Got me hooked. I was practically rolling on the ground laughing. What a great episode.

      Like 5
  4. LAB3

    It’s a Christmas miracle, car that’s even more useless than the Ferves Ranger!

    Like 5
  5. That AMC guy

    In one of their most amazing stunts, Top Gear even tried to make a Reliant into a Space Shuttle!

    Like 3
  6. Chinga-Trailer

    I’ve owned a number of three wheelers from UK, including 1953 & 1956 Bond Minicars. Most are too slow to put one in any real danger . . . except for an errant pedestrian that might step on you!

    Like 1
  7. Chinga-Trailer

    $15,000 is pure Barrett Jackson inspired fantasy, and I suspect the selling dealer knows that, but as P.T. Barnum said – . . .

    Like 7
  8. Coventrycat

    Sorry, as much as I love Reliants, that’s just stupid money for a novelty car.

    Like 3
  9. Bill J.

    Reminds me of Mr. Bean….every encounter he had with one…it fell over!

    Like 1
    • Dennis

      I was waiting for someone to mention that hilarious episode.

      Like 1
  10. Alan

    entered a contest here in the U.K., first prize was a reliant van, 2nd prize was 2 of them, 15K! How many do you want?

    Like 4
  11. Dutchbyname

    I’m with Alan…. We will ship them out to the states quite happily for fifteen K

    Like 1
  12. Brian M Member

    We lived in England from ’77 to ’80 and encountered quite a few Reliants whilst there. Two vehicles that you never wanted to get behind on a hill on a narrow country road were one of these or an electric milk float (delivery truck). You were destined to remain in second place (and gear) for the duration if overtaking was not possible. Some of the locals referred to them as rolling roadblocks. If the posted speed limit was sufficiently low it was possible to get a speeding ticket in one of these, as I did in 1963 in a Renault Dauphine in the states. There is a green Robin outside of a mini museum in Lincoln, NH, next to a Crosley station wagon with lake pipe outside exhausts.

    Like 3
  13. Kevin

    Trotters Independant Traders

    Like 2
  14. Graham

    To answer the question that nobody asked,
    Reliant were resonably popular in the 1960’s due to the fact that they could be driven legally on a motorcycle license, due to them being 3 wheelers.

    Like 2
  15. angliagt angliagt Member

    There’s a great video on YouTube – “Radar Love”,
    by Golden Earring,featuring a Robin.

    Like 2
  16. BlisterEm Member

    Lovely little oddities and always a hit at the shows.

    Like 1
  17. Steve Bush Member

    Asking does seem high for a novelty car
    although it seems to be in nice shape. I’ve driven by, but have never eaten at, Eddie’s Grill in Geneva, OH where the pictures for this ad were taken. A bid odd the ad was on Columbus Craigslist when the selling dealer is just over 50 miles from Cleveland.

    Like 1
  18. Stan Marks

    When I first saw this clown car, I thought, what happened to the lower jaw? LOL!!

  19. Sam61

    Gotta love that dry British sense of humor naming something “Reliant”.

    Like 1
    • JoeNYWF64

      It sure is simple as pie! Like an old VW bug.
      Probably no worse than, & when was the last time you seen 1 of these? …
      The plymouth i saw was on the showroom floor & paint was flaking off the glove compartment door! lol

    • Milt

      Same logic applies to a Mercedes Benz $20K golf cart labeled “smart car”

      Like 1
  20. Phil Bryan

    I used to have a Robin in the exact same shade of yellow. I bought mine from a guy in New Jersey who imported 50 of them to be used as mobile advertising vehicles in NYC. Scheme failed as they were too small and yellow cabs were everywhere so they didn’t stand out.
    Regals are far more tippy than Robins and feel quite unstable when cornering at speed. My father owned one and I had to repair the rusty chassis without setting fire to the fiberglass body. It was nerve wracking! Despite all this I am a Reliant fan. Love the Scimitar GTE 5b.

  21. Pete Starkey

    I live in Nova Scotia Canada and could not drive it here , it would be impossible to dodge the holes we have in the roads

  22. Chris

    Just why a truly useless vechicle. But funny looking , could not actually use it to haul anything . Maybe cotton balls but not to many . LOL

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