Thursday, 4 June 2015

1973 RELIANT SUPERVAN III 21E - Brightwells Auction 10-06-15

For our pick today we have chosen an icon vehicle that has almost disappeared from our roads  but thanks to the TV comedy "Only Fools & Horses" has become collectable.


Reliant Supervan III 21E

Reliant Supervan III 21E
Reliant Supervan III 21E
Reliant Supervan III 21E
Reliant Supervan III 21E
Reliant Supervan III 21E
Reliant Supervan III 21E
Reliant Supervan III 21E
Lot number 7
Estimate No Reserve
Description Reliant Supervan III 21E
Registration HOM 779L
Year 1973
Colour Yellow
Engine size 700 cc
Chassis No. 733422
Engine No. 173662
Never has a vehicle been so inextricably associated with a popular television show than the scruffy yellow Reliant three-wheeler driven by Del Boy and Rodney Trotter in the long-running BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses.
The van is frequently and incorrectly referred to as a Reliant Robin, but is actually a Reliant Regal Supervan. This most unlikely of motoring icons now enjoys something of a special place in British culture as a symbol of lovable wide boy eccentricity.
The original Regal car was launched in 1953 along with a light-commercial version with a side-hinged rear door which was marketed as the Regal Supervan. These early Regals had aluminium bodies and 747cc side-valve engines but in 1956 a MkIII version was launched with glass-fibre body panels replacing the aluminium, still mounted on a wooden frame. In 1962 a MkVII version came out with a new OHV engine, a new steel chassis and unitary body construction featuring a bonded shell which no longer required the wooden frame. The Regal also had a facelift with updated styling and a variety of specifications.
Such was the success of these small vehicles that in April 1968, a year before BMC celebrated their two-millionth Mini, Reliant sales director TH Scott personally drove the 50,000th Regal off the assembly line at Reliant's Tamworth plant.
In August 1968, the Regal was fitted with the 700cc version of the Reliant engine which produced 30bhp. The 21E versions were fitted with 21 extras, which were otherwise available as optional extras to the standard car. These extras included a spot light, a fog light, chrome plated bumper over-riders, sun visors, an oil gauge, outer wheel trims and metallic paint.
In 1973, after a production run of 20 years, the Regal and the Supervan were replaced by the Reliant Robin. The Trotters' original van from the TV series is now on display in the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, but such is the attraction of the show that many other surviving yellow Supervans have received the 'Trotters Independent Traders' treatment.
Originally painted blue (like the vast majority of Reliant three-wheelers), it was given a repaint in 'Trotter yellow' some time ago and comes with no paperwork other than a current V5C and was last taxed for the road in 1988.
With so many of these vans having been exported to the US and Japan, you’d be a right plonker to miss out on this one!

The Stondon Museum Collection

Wednesday 10th June, commencing at 12 noon

Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE

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