Collectors can buy this tough 1963 rally Reliant, priced £30,000

Reliant was a newcomer to the world of sports car manufacture back in the early-1960s, and keenly aware of the benefits that rally success had brought to Mini, Triumph and Austin Healey.

After mixed results in 1962 - but impressive high finishing rates overall - Reliant devoted its energies in 1963 to the Sabre Six GT.

Three early chassis were taken off the production line and converted into rally cars; boasting an integral roll cage and Jaguar overdrive transmission among their features.

The 1963 Reliant Sabre Six GT

Powered by the sale 2.6 litre Ford Zodiac engine as road production model siblings, the Reliant achieved credible racetrack results among the better-funded teams.

"Why do Reliant take part in tough international rallies? Because we feel that if the car will stand up to the pounding and buffeting... a quality of inbred toughness will be built into the production models" - advertisement by the Reliant Engineering Co Ltd, 1963

The Sabre Six GT's toughness was certainly proven in the closing stages of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, when drivers Bobby Parkes and Arthur Senior were able to walk away following an 80-feet plummet.

Meanwhile, various Reliant enthusiasts have worked to maintain the toughness of this model, subsequently registered as WGV 287, over the years.

Changes made in accordance with the FIA's Appendix J regulations in 1964 made WGV 287 uncompetitive, but it is believed to have raced in various national and club events.

Today, the historic racer features its original chassis, frame and fibreglass bodywork.

The car's red upholstery (right); and its renovated 2.6 litre engine

It has also been treated to an intricate disassemble-and-rebuild £27,000 restoration, by the trusted expert W Beattie of Kilmartin Garage, Argyll, Scotland.

Renovations and parts added to the car included the addition of a new crankshaft, gas-flowed cylinder head, tubular exhaust manifold and fresh pistons to its 2.6 litre engine, helping it generate 170bhp; a not-quite-period five speed manual gearbox; and semi-competition clutch.

Painted powder blue with a red upholstery, this Sabre Six GT is described as being in "excellent condition" by its seller, and will auction with an estimate of £25,000-30,000.

The automobile will appear for sale at H&H Buxton Auction's forthcoming June 9 sale in Derbyshire, UK.

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