1963 Ex-Works Reliant Sabre 6 GT Rally Car

Make: Ex-Works Reliant
Model: Sabre 6 GT Rally Car
Year: 1963
Registration Number: 648 GUE
Chassis Number: SS300110RY
Engine Number: S167752E
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Right Hand Drive
Sold For: £26950

In the early Sixties, Reliant began to actively participate in motor sport, most notably in rallying. The 1962 Sabre Six (powered by a Ford six cylinder 2553cc unit) certainly had potential to achieve success in rally events and three such examples were passed to the competition department: 648 GUE, 649 GUE and 650 GUE.

648 GUE has had an active rallying history: in 1963, the Sabre 6 took part in the Alpine and Spa-Sofia-Leige Rallies, and in 1964, the Welsh Rally. In the Alpine Rally, Reliant won their ‘over 2 ½ Litre’ class; at Spa-Sofia-Leige, Raymond Baxter  unfortunately crashed the motor car, and at the ’64 Welsh Rally, driven by Bobby Parkes 648 GUE achieved second in class. As Reliant was a relatively small company, funds were simply not available for further development, so their involvement in rallying was wound down and the works cars sold to private buyers.

We are told that 648 GUE participated in hills climbs and sprints in private hands up until the Eighties, when it was exported to Japan. We understand that the motor car took part in various competitions there until it was laid-up for a few years. We understand that the Reliant’s previous owners include Robin Rew in the 1970s and marque expert and enthusiast Don Pither.

The Sabre 6 was repatriated to England in the early 1990s and up until the end of that decade, it was the subject of an extensive refurbishment carried out by specialist David Womack. The four speed overdrive gearbox to ‘J Type’ specification was rebuilt with an uprated second gear; the differential unit is a limited slip which was also rebuilt, as was the engine, which had Corello con-rods and Volvo pistons fitted prior to being balanced. The Raymond Mays cylinder head has been converted to run on unleaded fuel. The body was ‘stripped down’ and repainted. The dashboard was removed, but not refitted, but a period Les Leston steering wheel is. The motor car is supplied with a reconditioned cylinder head and a set of triple Weber 42 DC0ES carburettors (which will require reconditioning), together with the reconditioned wiring loom, the headlining, front and rear windscreen glasses and the Perspex door and quarter windows.  At present, this Reliant will need further restoration and finishing work.

A good selection of relevant memorabilia will be offered with the motor car, including the original Alpine Rally route notes, an original name badge for Peter Roberts, a Reliant tie clip in its original box, a rare Coupe des Alpes 1963 car badge in unused condition, a rally DVD featuring 648 GUE as car number one, and two Reliant histories, again with chapters and images featuring 648 GUE. The history file also contains invoices, a large quantity of photographs of the restoration and others, period photographs of the car competing (including at the Alpine Rally as car number 1), a large number of invoices, facsimiles of old V5 documents, the previous V5 document and the V5C registration certificate.