My Best Upgrades
Scimitars aren’t known for their reliability, so Kevin Osborne has spent 20 years honing his SE5A to make it safer and more dependable
Reliant Scimitar GTE
KEVIN OSBORNE ‘My car has been built for reliability more than anything else. I did use it every day before I restored it in 2006, even towing a caravan with it, which is why it has a towbar – which you’ll see a lot of Scimitar GTEs have.
‘I bought the car with a five-speed gearbox already fitted, though the fifth gear is pretty much the same ratio as fourth gear with overdrive engaged on a standard car. As such, the main benefit is that you do away with the overdrive, which, being operated by 1970s electrics on a glassfibre car, can be troublesome to say the least.
‘Possibly the single best mod I have done myself is fit a new fuse box. The original is extremely prone to melting, which leaves them with poor connections. Many Scimitar owners describe their car’s electrical system as a lottery, but this modification solved about 99 per cent of the electrical problems I’d been having in one go.
‘I’ve also fitted Lumenition electronic ignition – I’ve had to check the timing just twice in 24 years – and have swapped out the original mechanical fuel pump for an electric one – this can ease starting and fuel vapourisation problems.
‘The stainless steel exhaust isn’t particularly sportier than the original, but I’ve just added a pair of stainless steel exhaust manifolds, which supposedly let it breathe better – and they look nicer!’
’A new fuse box solved 99 per cent of the electrical problems I’ve had’