Middlebridge No. 60

May 2022

This car is number 60 from a production run of only 79 cars manufactured by Middlebridge Scimitar Ltd. after they purchased the manufacturing rights and tooling for the GTE (and for the GTC) from the Reliant Motor Company in 1987.

Whilst the classic lines of the GTE were retained, Middlebridge added new alloy wheels, redesigned rear light clusters and halogen headlamps. Paint finishes were offered which included pearlescent and dual tone colour schemes. The interior of the car was improved with higher quality trim, four head restraints and a quad speaker Alpine radio/ cassette. The fascias were also upgraded with glare free instruments, electric windows and remotely controlled door mirrors were also added. The car is fitted with a twenty gallon fuel tank which can give a range of up to 600 miles. The sale price for a new Middlebridge was £24, 000. 00 + extras in 1987. According to the Middlebridge sales brochure - over 450 modifications were made to the Scimitar GTE 6b in order to arrive at the first production Middlebridge GTE - no one has yet been able to catalogue them all!

MB60 was first run by Dennis Nursey (CEO of Middlebridge Scimitar Ltd.) and remained a management car for about six months before being sold to Graham Walker who were the main Middlebridge dealer at the time. In addition to entering the Beaujolais run several times, over the years MB60 has attended the Le Mans Classic on three occasions and been exhibited on club stands and local meets at various shows particularly in the north of the country and attracted much admiration. She regularly attended the Curborough National Sporting Weekend for several years whilst the then owner was club registrar. MB60 also attended the marque's 25th Anniversary event at Gatcombe Park, at the invitation of HRH the Princess Royal and the 30th Anniversary at Silverstone where she took part in a parade lap with many other members of the Middlebridge owners club. More recently in 2019 she won the Members Choice award at my local RSSOC club noggin meet in the West Country - before Covid put a stop to meetings and shows until this year.

This car was resprayed in Volkswagen Helios blue in 2003 and the paintwork is still very presentable with only small areas of microblistering and stone chips appropriate to nearly 20 years of road use. There are a few stress cracks evident in front and rear bumpers but these are not disfiguring. The previous owner explained that the car was dry sanded from start to finish during preparation for the respray thus minimising any entrapped moisture. Retained moisture in the fibreglass is apparently commonly the cause of microblistering which affects many fibreglass shells badly.

In 2013 a part leather retrim with blue leather was carried out. The car had Recaro front seats fitted from new by the factory and is believed to be one of only three cars to have this feature. At the same time good quality replacement carpets in blue, piped in grey, brought the interior to a high standard. Original instruments were by VDO and once again were specified to a slightly different design to most other Middlebridges.

Mechanical work done in the past includes a radiator upgrade with 14 inch Pacet fan and adjustable electronic temp control. A front suspension rebuild with new springs and adjustable Avo shocks with adjustable spring seats. New Konis were added to the rear suspension. Stainless steel fuel tank. Remote electric rear hatch release. Laserline immobiliser. Uprated ventilation fans fitted.

Thick file of receipts and history included with the car together with several original Middlebridge sales brochures, original service record book, reprinted owners manual, parts catalogue, electrical circuit diagrams etc.

When I purchased the car in 2018 the Cologne 2. 9 injection V6 was losing some coolant and the problem was traced to leaking core plugs. The engine was removed and all the core plugs replaced. At the same time the engine waterways and radiator were all flushed and a new water pump and heater valve fitted. New antifreeze, ATF and power steering fluids.

Metal brake pipes were all replaced with copper and new brake discs and pads and wheel bearings fitted at the front. New rear brake shoes were fitted. At the same time the front and rear suspensions were largely stripped, wire brushed, painted with Corroless paint and reassembled (the chassis itself is of course galvanized). Four new Goodyear Vector All Weather tyres were fitted in 2019 and have done less than 1000 miles so far. The car has also had a new ignition switch fitted and as a result will be supplied with a new spare column lock with two keys. Sony Bluetooth stereo with hands free phone facility. New stereo speakers x4 fitted.

A new stainless exhaust was hand made to include the swept back tail pipes and fitted in 2021 at a cost of £850.

All service items have been dealt with as needed and the oil and filters were last changed in 2021 - oil pressure is excellent. Gearbox is the Ford AL4D four speed automatic and has no known defects.

There's probably more that I have forgotten!

I have enjoyed 'scratching the Scimitar itch' which I had for 40 years before buying the car but I'm ready for a change now.

I've spent over £ 4000 on this car in my four years of ownership and her agreed value for insurance is £18500. I've thoroughly enjoyed it and now I am only looking to get back what I paid for it originally. I have enjoyed caring for this interesting piece of motoring history and will be happy to pass her on to another owner in better condition than I bought her in.

Price: £18,000

Check out the Middlebridge website - details above and link below for more information on this car and a fascinating insight into the history of the marque.

Please email: Djangozzz1@gmail.com

Middlebridge Scimitar (middlebridge-scimitar.co.uk)