On this day in auto history - July 12th

Mon 12th Jul 2021

It was on this day in 2001 that the infamous Reliant Robin made an unlikely and ultimately ill-fated comeback, having gone out of production the previous year.

In a surprise move, little known Suffolk-based plastics company, B&N, purchased the rights from Reliant to re-make the cult three-wheeler.

They officially launched both a Robin BN-1 and Robin BN-2 on the same day, with the better-specced latter - which cost around £10,000 - becoming the first Robin to feature electric windows and a CD player as standard.

The revamped Robin had an 850cc engine capable of delivering 0-60 in 14 seconds with a top-speed of 85mph but production problems meant that less than 50 models were produced before BN Plastics ran into grave financial difficulties and abruptly abandoned the project.

Because of its place in British popular culture, primarily through the BBC Comedy Only Fools And Horses, the Robin - which was first produced in 1973 - retains a cult following and models still regularly change hands for four-figure sums on selling websites.