A very brief history of the Middlebridge GTE

Malcolm Hughes the original owner of MB 55 has kindly agreed that we can include the attached pictures he took of the build of his car right through to collection from the Sales Manager in 1990. The car included lots of the owners special details such as leather trim, special wheels, a remarkable sound system, storage under the glove box, Middlebridge mud guards, special steering wheel, full length sun roof and she was sprayed in Jaguar Blue. The owner only covered 10,000 miles in 20 years but the car was much enjoyed as a rare truly British car.

Middlebridge Scimitar Stand, Motorfair, NEC 1988

Many thanks to Dave Allen for these great historical Middlebridge pictures.

North East Motor Show 1989

The pictures below were taken at the Hadrian Coachworks Stand at the North East Motor Show in 1989.

Middlebridge G280 SCU was the demonstration car at the event. The MESS have never managed to trace this car but can confirm that the reg No is currently registered to a Reliant Rialto. (It would be great to know which Middlebridge this car now is and it's number).

Pictures courtesy of Dave Allen

Thank you Dave

Middlebridge Scimitar Stand, Earls Court 1989

Straight 8 were one of the dealerships supplying the new Middlebridge version ofthe Scimitar.

Once again, many thanks to Dave Allen for the super pictures.

Middlebridge Scimitar Stand, Earls Court 1989

These two pictures were taken by a very young 15 year old Paul Turnball. Thanks for the pictures Paul

WTC expo Leeuwarden December 1989 (Middlebridge Continental Debut

Geert Van Hout (Scimitar & TVR Centre NL) was responsible for arranging the first European Middlebridge Scimitar Exhibition in the Netherlands. This formed part of Geert's press promotion campaign, the intention was to attract potential buyers, car enthusiasts and Dutch car magazines. A Middlebridge Promotional Car was driven by Terry Draught from the Beeston, Nottingham Factory to the exhibition site where Geert created and built the exhibition stand and then spent lots of time polishing the car prior to the show.

Geert's promotion was a real success with a number of Dutch articles being published about the cars from Nottingham and to top it, two of the three (LHD) Middlebridge Cars manufactured were sold due to this show and by Geert.

Geert collected the third Middlebridge from Italy some years later as the car did not gain Type Approval. This car was sold again in approx. 2022 and has since gone off the radar.

Thanks to Geert the two LHD Dutch Middlebridge Cars are in Great condition, The black car looks great and the now green one is surely a concours contender after a restoration by the Scimitar & TVR Centre NL.

May I take this opportunity to thank Geert for the attached pictures and details and also for all of his help prior to this.

Thank you, Mick.


Middlebridge Scimitar GTC

With the Middlebridge GTE now in production it was time to look to progress the (Convertible) GTC version, to get the ball rolling Middlebridge Scimitar Ltd purchased a LHD GTC body shell from Reliant in Tamworth with the intention to produce a prototype Middlebridge GTC. The attached pictures were taken at the Lilac Grove works in Beeston, Nottingham.

I can confirm the following as bullet pointed below.

  • The bodywork (footwells) were converted from LHD to RHD. Why a LHD, simple, it was the only GTC body shell that Reliant still had at the works.
  • The rear light area had been modified; we presume to suit the Middlebridge light units which are significantly larger and a much more modern deign.
  • Front wing repeater apertures were created. (Now a legal requirement).
  • The intention was to have an electric roof.
  • Unfortunately, it was never completed and was sadly auctioned off as a body and chassis.
  • Graham Walker Ltd, were the first owners but unfortunately decided not to complete the build and sometime later sold it to someone in the Derbyshire area.
  • 2003, Body and chassis sold to someone in Derbyshire.
  • 2011, The body and chassis were advertised on Ebay and very sadly were sold to two different people.

Should anyone have any more information or pictures please contact us via the contact page on the website.

Pictures courtesy of Dennis Nursey, (Middlebridge Scimitar CEO) thank you Dennis.

APL 248 (Mystery Clay fronted Car sold at the Middlebridge Auction)

Picture from Middlebridge Auction.

I have been searching for this car for many years without success. I now have enough detail to allow me to finally add it to the history area. Many thanks once again to Dennis Nursey and the Gentleman that actually purchased the car at the auction. This gentleman visited us on our club stand at the NEC Classic Car Show 2022 and told us exactly what we needed to know but didn't want to hear.

APL 248 was essentially a work in progress second generation Middlebridge! Middlebridge purchased a late Reliant SE6 car in Red colour and performed many alterations to it, Dennis distinctly remembers the car going down to the South West to Chris Field in Totnes to have the modifications done. On one trip Dennis managed to get banned for over 100mph in his Cossie. We all know Dennis can talk and he managed to get away with a two week ban!

The car is famous for having a Beaufighter style clay front end, it also had a large sunroof, possibly a webasto, modified front grille, modified front bumper and the sills were curved down at the wheel ends. Dennis recalls that modifications were also made to the rear end but cannot remember what they were at the time of writing. Post auction, we can now confirm that the car went to the Birmingham area where the clay front end was hammered off and jumped on until the original front end took shape. The car was then painted and sold to someone in the London area. The last log book change in February 1991 aligns with when the man said he sold the car after quick turn round.

The registration of the clay fronted car was checked via the DVLA and attached are the results. It looks like it is recorded by DVLA as still 'live' but assigned to a Reliant which is correct as above and with the last log book change in Feb 91 three months after the auction as the buyer stated. She was last taxed just a couple of years after. We are hoping to get a picture of the car post-paint from the Gentleman if he can dig one out, we will of course add it to the history area at that time.

Hurrah!! The Gentleman that I met at the NEC, November 2022 has emailed me. He, (Oz) had actually remembered our conversation and has forwarded me the three original photographs of APL 248 and has asked us to add them to our Middlebridge archive. Two of the pictures below are of the car post restoration work and one is of the car for sale at the CMA Auction House in London. May I take this opportunity to thank Oz for taking the time to dig out the pictures and post them to me, they will actually put to bed one element of the Middlebridge Scimitar history file. We will hopefully be meeting up with Oz on the Middlebridge stand at the NEC Classic Car Show in November 2023. This is just one instance that confirms the importance of this major annual event.