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

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - WORDS Char­lie Calder­wood PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Lau­rens Par­sons

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’

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