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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Top Gear: My Dad Had One of Those
Publication date: Thursday 17th May
ISBN: 0563539194, RRP: £9.99, Hardback
By Giles Chapman & Richard Porter



Don't you just love your dad? He collected you from school discos, delivered you to Sunday morning hockey matches and gave you a lift when you were late for school. And, of course, he drove a dad's car – a dependable, trustworthy, reliable machine that added to your sense of security. You went everywhere in your dad's car and (if you're honest) remember it (or them) as affectionately as he does.

Now is your chance to show your gratitude to your dad. Authors, Giles Chapman and Richard Porter from Top Gear magazine, have brought together all the best (and some of the worst) dads' cars in My Dad Had One of Those. It's the perfect nostalgic present for your dad. Over a pipe full of Old Scotch ready rubbed, a bag of Werther's Originals and wearing his Clarks tartan slippers, he can reminisce about the Mini, simper over the Hillman Imp, chunter about the Hillman Hunter and dream of a Vauxhall Viva revival.

Usefully, the authors group the cars according to the type of dad who was attracted to them. Sensible dads went for a Datsun Sunny or an Austin Maxi. Demob Dad chose a Standard Vanguard or maybe a Rover P4. Robin Reliant appealed to Frugal Dad, while for Cortina Dad it was a MkI, a MkII, a MkIII and then a MkIV.

Thanks to the use of brilliantly evocative period promotional illustrations of period promotional illustrations, the book celebrates the very essence of a dads' car. There's Mr and Mrs Wannabe Middle Class with their Vauxhall Victor, the Fun Family in the Ford Anglia and the Vauxhall Cavalier-owning Suburbanites.
Nearly 60 cars make it into the dads' car category ranging from the Austin 1100 to the Robin Reliant and including the Opel Manta (for the Sporty Dad prepared to pay £1327 in 1970) and the Ford 'Pop' (£560 in 1955).
There's a pithy commentary for each car featured and an information panel that will have your dad going on and on about the current price of petrol – yes, you really could buy a Hillman Avenger for just £850 in 1970.
Of course, you don't have to buy this book for your father. Get it yourself – it will rekindle those cheery days of childhood memories when life (and a car) was uncomplicated.

The authors Giles Chapman is an experienced motoring writer who was voted Jeep Consumer Journalist of the Year 2005. He writes for Top Gear magazine and is the author of nine books including TV Cars (2006). Richard Porter is the script editor on BBC2's Top Gear show, a contributing editor to Top Gear magazine, and author of Crap Cars (2004)'
SOURCE: Top Gear Magazine - BBC Books
 

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That might just be an interesting read.

I do wish folks would get their nomenclature correct: Robin Reliant for chrysakes ... wos-sat-den?

The Reliant being a three wheeler was popular choice for those many 1950-60s families which until the Reliant Robin came along, relied on a Motor Cycle and Sidecar as their means of family transport. They were a common sight when I was at school and well into the 1960s. That Motor Cycle licence meant they could 'drive' the three wheeled car without the need to take a four wheeler test. Very convenient.

However, their popularity dwindled once folks took to the MiniMinor, its close relative the Austin-7 and soon after the marvellous little Austin and Morris 1100/1300s and their variants. However, driving one of those meant taking another driving test.
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Unfortunately it sounds unlikely to contain many of the cars my Dad had...Jaguar Mk VII, Mk VIII, Mk IX, Daimler Sovereign, Rover P6 3500S, BMW 3.0S, 3.0Si, 2002 Touring, Vanden Plas Princess 4.0R, Ford Granada 3.0 Ghia...he liked his cars my Father did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We had half a dozen Rover SD1's in all flavours, and also a few Chrysler & Talbot Horizons.

I'm still a big fan of the Horizon.
 

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Reliant Robin? Wrong - most of the memories are of the older reliant Regals such as Dell Boys (although most people think that is also a Robin. It isn't. This is a Robin:-


This is a Regal:-
 

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That might just be an interesting read.

I do wish folks would get their nomenclature correct: Robin Reliant for chrysakes ... wos-sat-den?

The Reliant being a three wheeler was popular choice for those many 1950-60s families which until the Reliant Robin came along, relied on a Motor Cycle and Sidecar as their means of family transport. They were a common sight when I was at school and well into the 1960s. That Motor Cycle licence meant they could 'drive' the three wheeled car without the need to take a four wheeler test. Very convenient.

However, their popularity dwindled once folks took to the MiniMinor, its close relative the Austin-7 and soon after the marvellous little Austin and Morris 1100/1300s and their variants. However, driving one of those meant taking another driving test.
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Very True John...

Owned both Regal and Robin back in my 'Yoof' when I only had a Bike licence and could not afford a 'Proper' car (Proper being the term people used when they would say to me "When are you going to get a proper car?")

Both gave good service and got me/mine undercover as it were at a time when funds would not stretch to a fancy '4-Wheeled jobbie'.

Strangly the radical 'for it's day' All aluminium 750/850cc engine was prone to HGF (now where have I heard that before?), but due to the engines location I could sit in the drivers seat and do a full top-end rebuild without ever leaving the seat!..

Oh Happy days!.:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nope.... thats a Rialto, the model that came after the Robin!.
No, that is a Reliant Robin.

The original Robin was available from 1973 until 1981, and was replaced by the Rialto. In 1989, the Rialto was replaced with the model shown above, the Robin, and it seemed like they were trying to hark back to the past with the same name.
 

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My dad didnt drive , but i have driven the majority of all above mentioned vehicles!! Including the Del boy Reliant Regal Supervan 3.
 

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I'm going to sound really stupid here , but what does 'demob' mean?:O

It looks a great book (anything by nosegas-Richard is going to be a giggle!) I shall certainly be getting a copy! :)
 

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Usefully, the authors group the cars according to the type of dad who was attracted to them. Sensible dads went for a Datsun Sunny or an Austin Maxi. Demob Dad chose a Standard Vanguard or maybe a Rover P4. Robin Reliant appealed to Frugal Dad, while for Cortina Dad it was a MkI, a MkII, a MkIII and then a MkIV.
What about mad electrical engineer dad? Mine never went for any of those.

He went for Sptifire after Spitfire... Always rewiring the ignition... At one point with four Lucas sport coils. Just for fun.

I'm going to sound really stupid here , but what does 'demob' mean
When your dad has done national service, afterwards he was 'demobbed', (unless he was killed in Malaya or Aden.) Hence Demob dad. This is unlikely to apply to anyone's dad under the age of about 40 these days, as compulsory national service ended in the late 1950's.
 

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No, that is a Reliant Robin.

The original Robin was available from 1973 until 1981, and was replaced by the Rialto. In 1989, the Rialto was replaced with the model shown above, the Robin, and it seemed like they were trying to hark back to the past with the same name.
Your right Ian.........apologies to SLARTIBARFAST

I had the 'original' Robin which was replaced by the Rialto, didn't know they went back to using the Robin name in later years.

Interesting that Reliant were a small British Car manufacturer that went back to using old Model names in an effort to revive poor sales, before in the end calling in the receivers.........Sounds sort of familier?.

Now where's a Chinese car company when you need one??..:rolleyes:
 

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The new Robin and the Rialto were produced alongside each other for a number of years too, until about 1997 IIRC. The Robin then got facelifted in 2000 for essentially the Mk 3 Robin, which lasted until 2002 under B&N Plastics.
 

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Did they ever make it to the US? And if they did - what on earth must the US citizens thought had hit them?

No need to apologise, I wouldn't want people to think I am an authority on Reliants! (I'n not - but I would like to be on the Scimitar GTE!)
 

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There was a company in the mid 80s that was going to import the Rialto. I think they were the ones that worked on the hybrid and all electric versions. Perhaps a dozen or so were built, and I don't think any of them made it to the US.

Selling Reliants here would have been tricky business, they could never be sold as cars as there's no way they could pass any of the safety tests; while many states wouldn't consider them motorcycles either, so its kind of a grey area. A handful of pre-1982 examples have been brought in privately as classic cars, but that's about it.
 

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Selling Reliants here would have been tricky business, they could never be sold as cars as there's no way they could pass any of the safety tests; while many states wouldn't consider them motorcycles either, so its kind of a grey area. A handful of pre-1982 examples have been brought in privately as classic cars, but that's about it.
Reliants were very abundant in early 80's Britain. So much so that I thought it was normal for cars to have three wheels... Then I came to the States.

No three wheelers here. These never would have made it. Ever.
 
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