Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cars That Should 

Never Have Been Made 

11th Edition

1973-2001 Reliant Robin

Umm...28 years of production

Great Britain...seriously?

Now, before you rub your eyes and peer at these photos in dismay at this popular British car, I should state right up front there was a specific reason for this motorized monstrosity.

In 1953, Reliant introduced the Regal, aimed at the market of drivers that didn't have a regular driver's license. 

The Regal, like the Robin that replaced it 20 years later, could be driven legally with a motorcycle license. 

We aren't talking about a bunch of people that had lost their driver's license because of DUIs or such nonsense. 

No, there were a lot of miners and journeymen that had very poor educations, and simply couldn't pass the stringent examine. 

But they could get a B1 motorcycle license...but as we know, English weather makes owning a motorcycle a miserable affair. 

Enter Reliant to build a vehicle that satisfied that market.

Except they totally screwed it up.

It must be said that an idiotic vehicle like this would never fly here in the states. We banned Japanese three-wheelers in the late 80s because they were so dangerous, but apparently the Brits didn't get the memo.

As much as Jeremy Clarkson hates us Americans, at least we have the common sense to say no to stupid cars. 

Interestingly, it was Top Gear that introduced me to the Robin. 

First, they turned one into a space shuttle, which didn't go well...surprisingly. 

Then Jezza himself took a Robin for joy ride, only to roll over several times.

If you hunger to see this segment of Top Gear, and look it up, please remember that the Robin used was weighted for dramatic effect so it would roll easier. 

Anyhow, the Reliant Robin was powered by light alloy four banger of either 748 cc or 848 cc capacity. 

The Robin's body was fiberglass on a very simple conventional frame, the motor up front powering the rear axle through a four-speed transmission. 

Morgan has been making a three-wheeler for decades that features a single powered rear wheel with two motorcycle type front wheels for steering. 

The Morgan design is stable and works very well

The Robin, with it's single nose wheel, is extremely unstable and has been the butt of jokes in England for years.

A 1994 Mark 2 Robin

Ironically, Robin owners are statistically the safest on British roads. In a car that will roll over at 5mph. Go figure.

And now China is jumping on the bad choice bandwagon with an electric version of the Robin. 

You know, so when you roll over you get delicious battery juice all over you and the kids.

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