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Homepage. This page: Original colour photos of a now-rare British-built three-wheeler car.

Reliant Regal Mark 2.

Variety is the spice of life we're told, and the mix of old car photos that make it into this section of the site continues to uphold this belief. Prior to the following four photographs of a compact Reliant Regal Mk2 of 1956 being included, recently-added period photographs include shots of two vintage Delages, various photos of a garage in the 1950s, a Mk1 Austin A40 in France, Mk3 Ford Zephyrs, and a Ford-based milkfloat.
My thanks for the following great colour shots in 1970 goes to Andrew Willoughby, the mid-1950s Reliant was his first car. The 1950s was a rosy time for three-wheeler enthusiasts in the UK, with examples from the likes of Reliant, Bond, Isetta, Trojan and many others, often to be found puttering along. For many people it would be their first car, often an upgrade from a previous life spent on two wheels. Handily, a three-wheeled car could be driven on a motorcycle licence, which, combined with excellent fuel economy, goes a long way in explaining their popularity for so many years. Levels of performance, reliability, safety, and "image" usually lagged well behind those enjoyed by owners of four-wheeled cars, but there was always going to be a place for budget-conscious motoring in the lean post-war years, and there are still quite a few drivers to be found behind the wheel of ageing Reliant Rialtos and Robins dotted around the UK's roads that continue with this philosophy.

Behind the wheel of the Mk2 Regal.

First photo in this quartet sees Andrew at the wheel of his prized Reliant, its simple hood raised. There are few better feelings in a lifetime of motoring than getting behind the wheel of your own car for the first time. The aluminium-bodied Mk2 Regal was introduced in 1954 and continued in production until late 1956, when the fibreglass-bodied Mk3 was introduced, both of which were powered by Reliant's (Austin 7-based) four-cylinder 747cc engine.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Andrew in his Mk2 Reliant Regal
Amazingly, WUG 529 still exists although isn't currently roadworthy.

In the company of an Austin Loadstar breakdown wagon.

Next the Reliant is shown with the hood now folded, and an "L" (for Learner) plate displayed in the flat windscreen. Those with an eye for detail will spot that here the car only has a single rear-view wing mirror, whereas above the car has a matched pair. The rear wheel is also a different colour, perhaps the spare had been fitted in one of the shots? The hub cap is noticeably shinier also.
The magnificent Austin Loadstar breakdown wagon in the background is a beauty. It bears the livery of Nidd Vale Motors Ltd of Knaresborough, and proudly displays an (Austin) Flying A on its door, along with the legend "Austin Service". What a cracker. Note the RAC breakdown sign on the back panel, the crane in the back could well have been built by Harvey Frost Ltd.
Reliant Regal & Austin Loadstar breakdown lorry
The old Austin lorry also appears in this head-on view of the Reliant, as does a tantalising glimpse of a Ford 100E to the right.
Front view of the Regal Mk2
The final photo better shows the muddy-beige 100E, registration 3251 DT, parked in front of the garage building. It has been taken in on a part-exchange, and sat for over a year while a new owner was found for it.
Side-on view of the Regal
Thanks again for allowing me to share the photos on here Andrew, it's great to think that the Reliant lives on (see below) and will hopefully return to the road one day in the future.

WUG 529.

Apart from being partially dismantled, WUG doesn't look all that different in this photo, taken November 2017.
The Reliant as it is today in storage
Return to Page 20 in the motoring photographs archive, or visit the main index here.

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