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Reliant Motor Club Founders & President

The Reliant Motor Club.

“The Club for Owners and Enthusiasts of Britain’s finest specialist car manufacturer.”

From left to right, Club President Barrie Wills, with Mark Cropper and Elvis Payne

Formed in April 2016 by Elvis Payne and Mark Cropper, the Reliant Motor Club is a new club for owners and enthusiast of Reliant vehicles.  Both Elvis and Mark are long term Reliant enthusiast with Mark buying his first Reliant in 1982 and Elvis his first Reliant in 1990. 

Whilst being members of other Reliant related clubs, no club seems to celebrate Reliant as a whole and instead, concentrates on certain models. Elvis and Mark therefore decided to set up a new club that not only covers all the models Reliant manufactured but also details Reliant itself, hence our slogan, “The Club for Owners and Enthusiasts of Britain’s finest specialist car manufacturer”.  Furthermore they believed  the club should also  take full advantage of the Internet and not keep its archive material kept hidden away in a locked cupboard.. The aim of  the Reliant Motor Club is to share its whole archive on-line and not only provide information to its members but act as an educational resource for the media and those researching Reliant whilst also banishing numerous myths that have started to appear due to the lack of evidence against them.

This means that the Reliant Motor Club is the first Reliant club to create an online catalog of every Reliant Brochure and indeed present every edition of the Reliant Review newspaper from 1963 to 1977.  Many of these are now getting harder to find with one edition costing anywhere from 5 to 20.  This is just the start because as more and more items are sorted from the archives and are scanned, members will have access to a wealth of information, previously unimaginable, at their finger tips. If you would like to join us then please click here.

Our Honorary Member - HRH The Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness is involved with over 300 charities, organisations and military regiments in the UK and overseas, and she devotes a large part of her working life to official engagements and visits.  The Princess is a patron for many charities and organisations and we feel honored that Her Royal Highness also accepted our invitation to be an honorary member of the Reliant Motor Club.  As such the RMC is listed on the official Royal Family website as being one of the organisations that the Princess is part of.

Her Royal Highness has long had a fascination for the Reliant Scimitar GTE sports car after receiving one from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for a joint 20th birthday / Christmas present in 1970.  In July 1975 she visited the Reliant factory at Tamworth driving there in her second Scimitar GTE.  To date Her Royal Highness has owned a total of 8 Scimitars and still owns a 1989 Middlebridge Scimitar GTE.  In addition to Scimitars the Princess has also owned a Reliant Kitten and a Reliant Robin. 

Our President - Barrie Wills

Her Royal Highness The Proncess Royal

After ten years with Jaguar, the first five as an indentured commercial apprentice, and a subsequent two years with British Leyland as supplies manager of its bus division, in January 1972 Barrie joined Reliant Motor Company as supplies manager and was appointed to the board in February 1974. He led the development of purchasing, material control and parts departments, and the sourcing of the Robin; Otosan Anadol estate (Turkey); Scimitar GTE SE5a, SE6 and SE6a models; Kitten car, estate and van range; TW9 pick-up; and Helicak taxi for Indonesia. He was appointed director of product development and supply in 1976, then deputy managing director a year later, and headed product strategy from 1976-8, which included a replacement for Anadol designed by Bertone (FW11). Barrie worked with sales director, Roger Musgrave and former Jaguar chairman, FRW ‘Lofty’ England, to develop a pan-European sales network for Scimitar and Kitten ranges. He resigned in February 1978, following the rejected management buyout attempt led by managing director Ray Wiggin, linked to high-profile auto industry businessmen, Johannes Eerdmans (ex-Jaguar USA), John Barber (former MD of BL), Donald Healey MBE and Tony Good (former director of Jensen); and the subsequent JF Nash takeover of 1977.

In October 1978, he became director of supplies of DeLorean in Northern Ireland, before being appointed chief executive during the 1982 receivership. He then led Sir Clive Sinclair's electric vehicle venture, before assisting Proton of Malaysia; Yulon Motors of Taiwan; the Iranian national car company Iran Khodro; the Ministry of Industry of Indonesia; the Department of Trade & Industry of UK; the European Union; SMMT; and many other automotive projects across Europe, Asia and North America. He led the manufacturing launch co-ordination of the Lotus Elan (M100) from 1986-88; the negotiation of an EEC grant for Rover Group in 1992; and a cost reduction programme for the Lamborghini Diablo through 1993. When MG Rover entered administration in 2005, Barrie developed the Project Kimber business plan and led an all-British bid to acquire the MG-related assets from the administrators, having negotiated the transfer of the rights to the discontinued smart roadster from DaimlerChrysler. Following the administrators' acceptance of the competitive offer from China’s Nanjing Automotive, having then secured the rights to the AC brand, he developed a new business plan focussing on the smart roadster. This collapsed in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007/8. In his subsequent retirement, Barrie has written his first book, John Z, the DeLorean & Me - tales of an insider, published in 2015.

The Reliant Motor Club

“The Club for Owners and Enthusiasts of Britain’s finest specialist car manufacturer”

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