reliant scimitar arrives for a respray
reliant scimitar ready for respray

This well known rally car had been repaired in many areas by Iain Daniels Motorsport but needed the repairs finishing off and then the whole car painting. The owner wanted to keep to as close to its current colour as possible even though this wasn’t the original blue. The closest match I could get was a slightly modified Lamborghini colour and it looked fabulous when finished. However before we could get to painting it there were several weeks ahead of filling, sanding and shaping the repairs and other parts of the bodywork.

reliant scimitar work starts on bodywork
lots of repairs to sort on scimitar before respray

In several areas of the car I found that the body was different from one side to the other. They were mostly small details but once noticed I couldn’t un-notice them! These were areas that had not been repaired and so not actually part of the brief to fix however I couldn’t help myself and make them the same! This did add quite a bit of time to the project but my perfectionism got the better of me!

engine bay of scimitar

The engine bay needed to be painted in body colour as well as the boot floor and this also added quite a bit of time although at least the engine bay was extremely clean and free from any wires, pipes and of course the engine.

reliant scimitar respray
front of scimitar lots of repairs needed
rear of scimitar with filler primer

I used filler primer from an aerosol to cover each small repair as I went along as it’s thick and easy to sand. However on a GRP car such as this you can’t use etch primer.

front of scimitar with filler primer

This vent, which is situated just ahead of the windscreen, caused me a headache as it was a blind box and when I painted over it all the dust and crap inside the box, which being blind you cannot access other than through the very narrow vents, flew out all over my paint. I ended up creating a thin attachment to my Hoover using a thin tube and some Duck Tape to suck out as much of the dust as possible and then stuffing damp rags in through the vents to line the base of the box. They covered the base of the box and did a great job of preventing the air from the paint gun reaching and disturbing any remaining dust particles.

scimitar vents

I painted the engine bay first and then covered it up to do the rest of the car. I always started with a coat of mustard coloured isolator before going on to several coats of grey primer.

engine bay of scimitar being painted
scimitar engine bay painted
reliant scimitar in isolator paint
reliant scimitar in primer paint

The primer was wet sanded down with 600 grit to make sure everything was even and any imperfections were sorted prior to going on to add the colour. Then it was finally time to add the colour and the clear coat.

reliant scimitar painted

You can see how fabulous it looked once finished but it wasn’t easy! The metallic base paint required a different method of painting so all the metallic flakes sat in the same orientation and to avoid stripes. It’s also quite a large car and there are no seams where you’d normally find them on a steel car. This means that any mistakes could require repainting the whole car and not just a single panel!

reliant scimitar painted
reliant scimitar engine bay painted
reliant scimitar boot floor painted
reliant scimitar doors and bonnet painted
reliant scimitar boot lid painted
reliant scimitar painted

It had been a mammoth project but thankfully we got there in the end and the car really did look amazing.