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Topless Three-Wheeler: 1976 Reliant Robin

'76 Robin right side

We featured a 1980 Reliant Robin at the end of November here. That one was complete and not customized. Parked in Northampton, Pennsylvania and listed here on eBay is a 1976 Reliant Robin with a bid of $830 at the time of writing. As you can see though, it isn’t exactly original.

'76 Robin engine bay

In the last two years the seller has replaced the brakes, wheels cylinders, radiator, fan, and the engine mounts. There is a new starter, that isn’t installed as of yet, included with the purchase. Is it just us or does the engine look rather difficult to access?

'76 Robin int.

As you can see, this is a RHD three-wheeler that has been customized more than just a little. The seller says the car was professionally done: the roof was cut off, windshield was reinforced, the door handles were filled and any “thin” spots were fixed.

'76 Robin rear

The turn signals and tail lights were replaced with LEDs. There is no roof and/or frame for a soft top, but it maybe possible to have a frame and bimini top fitted if you wish. If you add a “top” you may wish to get the wipers in order also.

'76 Robin front

The seller is including literature and some Reliant toys with the purchase. The seller reports there are 60,000 miles on this trike, which seems reasonable (who puts more than 60k miles on one of these?). There is a clue provided to the reserve amount in the ad: “A red Reliant was just on ebay for $9,500, and I want less then half that!” Here, it appears, you would have another one-of-a-kind for the next Cars and Coffee. Maybe Mr. Seinfeld would like to use this Reliant for his next coffee run?



  1. Avatar photo Gary I

    With the topless treatment and custom paint job you could really get yourself into some trouble in this thing! Does it qualify as a golf cart? Maybe you could take it golfing.

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  2. Avatar photo Brooklands

    Sad to see these modifications…I would have no interest in this fun little car with the customization.

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  3. Avatar photo Danno

    I dunno. I think I’d *want* the roof.


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    • Avatar photo Scotty G

      Ugh, this video ruined this car. Not that it was a spectacular thing to begin with, but to intentionally load it down with weights so it would roll over for “comic effect”.. whew. Now it’s all that most people talk about with three-wheel vehicles, they might have well have shown a guy in a bigfoot suit, that would have been just as false. It was just a stunt for the show but it has given these cars a black eye forever, just because of a modified-to-fail car for that pompous windbag to show in-between beating on his staff members.. (sorry, can you tell that I’m not a fan of that bloke?)
      (I know, “lighten up, Scotty G”, etc.. )..

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      • Avatar photo Muz

        ….and you know all this how?

        These things were a death trap with a roof, without one I can only image how easy it would be to join the illustrious group of Darwin Award winners…..

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      • Avatar photo Mark E

        Whether true or not, it’s thanks to Top Gear that when I see this car I think “Oho, they rolled it and rather than repair they just cut off the roof” True or not, I’d want to put in a roll bar!

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  4. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Homer Simpson test drove a similar vehicle at “Crazy Vaklav’s Place of Autombiles” ( actually, it was a Harper Invacar) http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/f/f0/Crazyv.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100717053527

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  5. Avatar photo MountainMan

    I like the Robin…with or without the roof. Then again, I’m also a fan of Clarkson so what do I know

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  6. Avatar photo Doyler

    What a cute little death trap

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  7. Avatar photo Muz

    The Robin was an as evil handling “car” you could envisage. You only have to look at it to know its going to keel over at the front the first corner you go around. If you must have three wheels do as Morgan did (still does) put the single at the back! :-)

    There is a body of opinion (to which I subscribe) that Top Gear performed a valuable public service…..

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  8. Avatar photo Keith IH

    I honestly can’t think of anything more dangerous than a roof-less Robin. Suitable automotive comparisons elude me . . .

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  9. Avatar photo julian

    There’s quite a few still driving in East Anglia. It used to be possible to drive them on a motorcycle license, so it was an easy and cheap way to weather protection.
    Yes you can roll them, especially with a big fat bloke on on side who is trying to do just that. It is easier to roll an old style Fiat 500 which needs to be driven like a sidecar outfit. If you don’t have a passenger, lean into the corner. They used to be common in italy with the scrape on the drivers side. Mind you, you could drift them in bends on the drivers side, one up.
    Am I going on too much?

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  10. Avatar photo PRA4SNW

    Regarding Top Gear – Straight out of Clarkson’s mouth:

    They doctored the differential to roll the vehicle every time he turned the steering wheel.

    It was never intended to be the safest thing on wheels, just affordable transportation.

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  11. Avatar photo Ed Williams

    These could be neat little cars if they had four wheels. I wonder if it would be possible to modify one and change the front end to four wheels? It might be an interesting project for you engineering types out there in Barn Finds land. Perhaps install spring loaded outrigger wheels at each front corner and retain the center driving wheel.
    Just a thought!

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  12. Avatar photo Rich

    I’m only a few miles from Northampton. Fortunately it’s Northampton in the UK so I’m safe from this horror. Nothing against Reliants (I’d quite like a Regal) but this one is nasty. If nothing else, why is the rear number plate on the front?

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  13. Avatar photo Mark-A

    There’s a 4 wheel version available as well & even a Link with a Guy building a Carbon Wide Body version that I really like http://www.kittenkitcar.co.uk/page/6 looks absolutely amazing & I know that they were able to add the same 2.1ltr Ford 4cyl Pinto engine from a Mk2 Ford Escort Rally Car! So just imagine how fast a S2000 engined one will go! Glad its someone who has some Engineering background that is doing it as well! Mad(e) in the U.K!!

    Like 0

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