A very brief history of the Middlebridge GTE

Many thanks to Dennis for the great pictures below. We're hoping that you will help us fill in the blanks to give us a much more comprehensive history area. Please look and advise us about the individually numbered pictures via our contact page on this site. Each image is clickable for a full size version. Thank you, Mick

Photo numberDescription
83 - 85Dennis Nursey Middlebridge CEO embarking on yet another Beaujolais run in a Middlebridge Scimitar.

More photo descriptions to follow!

Middlebridge were fully aware of some of the shortcomings of the new car ie; huge turning circle, front suspension, seat runner positions to name a few, They also knew how to rectify the problems but expensive impact testing and Type-Approval costs were the limiting factors, Bizarrely enough the seat runners etc could be altered by the Scimitar Dealers prior to customer collection without requiring any Type Approval, other modifications carried out at point of sale include Air-Con and LPG.

As soon as the Reliant Tooling had been installed at the now spotless Lilac Grove Site, Dennis Nursey pushed ahead Full Steam with production of the new car, With a crew of 47 employees, production started and a stand at The Earls Court Motorfair was booked for 19-29/10/89 'Stand One, Level One' a Guards Red Middlebridge was chosen to Debut the new Middlebridge Scimitar GTE and it was worked on until its arrival at the Show, (This included Week-end and Night Work.) Press releases refer to; Scimitar GTE comes of age as the 21st birthday of the Scimitar GTE was being celebrated at the show, and it's 21years since the appearance of the Worlds first High Performance Estate at Earls Court October 1968.

Many thanks to Kevin Gladwin for these rare pictures of the Motorfair Car, firstly outside Lilac Grove, loaded on the trailer to head off to Earls Court and on display at the Earls Court Motorfair 19-29/10/89

Early independent road rest figures ranged from sub 7 seconds to 8+ seconds for the 0 to 60 dash and top speed ranging from 136mph to 147mph!! Various different independent testers and car magazines recorded top speeds in excess of 140mph; The Middlebridge Chief Engineer & Pre-delivery tester (Kevin Gladwin) also attained 144 mph on several occasions.

Early into production Middlebridge received orders for Left Hand Drive cars and these were assembled and distributed to Italy and Holland for their new owners. Middlebridge were also supplied with a Left Hand Drive GTC (cabriolet) shell by Reliant, they duly chopped out the foot wells to convert to RHD opened up the rear light apertures and altered the shell to accommodate a new style and more user friendly hood, sadly however this car was never completed and the shell and chassis have now gone in different directions. ;o