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3-Wheeler Books

How to Restore Reliant Regal

By Elvis Payne

Published by Veloce Publishing.   ISBN: 1-84584-004-6

After years of yearning to write my own book here it is. Available  from Veloce Publishing and all good bookshops, the book details how to restore a Reliant Regal and is heavily based on my own restoration of a 1972 Reliant Supervan III along with numerous other Regals that are presented throughout the book.  People say that hind site is a wonderful thing.  They are right, it is.  I learnt many things the hard way and so the book also describes these pitfalls so that your restoration will run a lot smoother and more importantly avoid you spending more on it than you have to.

The official description for the book states:

... The book offers a guide in how to find a suitable Reliant Regal 3/25 or 3/30 for restoration. It then proceeds with a fully illustrated step-by-step guide on how to dismantle a Reliant Regal, and then fully restore the body, chassis, electrics and engine back into showroom condition.

The chapter on what to look for in a Regal when buying it is quite in depth. In photographs and with “rose tinted descriptions” a Regal for sale can hard a lot more problems than you think.  This book looks into all these issues.

With 208 pages and 850 photographs the book is a thick one and I have tried to cram as much into it as I can.  I know from working with workshop manuals myself that photos tell you a lot more than words do and so a lot of sequences are photographed in detail.  Of course this book isn’t a replacement for a workshop manual but supplements it nicely.  Whilst a workshop manual assumes your Regal is shiny and new and that all bolts will come undone with minimal effort, this book looks at the real picture, seized bolts, rotten components etc etc and so looks into how to deal / replace / repair these.  It also offers many facts from owners who have owned Regals for years, even small things like what tyres are best, crossply or radials and indeed can a Regal run on unleaded petrol?

At a glance

Softback 250mm x 207mm. 208 pages. 850 colour photos. Paperback

ISBN: 1-84584-004-6

Price:  29.99

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Independent Reviews:

Classic Van and pick-up. (November 2006)

For more details and to order the book click the banner above.

If the Reliant three-wheelers are an acquired taste then working on them is equally as specialised. For example, have you ever tried to change a head gasket? And, of course, you need a certain degree of skill to cope with repairs to the glass-fibre bodies. If you’re going in for a full restoration then by far the easiest way is to lift off the body for total and complete access to everything, especially the chassis. One of the latest books from Veloce Publishing is “How to Restore the Reliant Regal” and it is a most comprehensive guide to sorting out one of these little fellas. Without sounding like some sort of corny journalistic hack, we must say that it is packed with information and colour photographs and presents in words and pictures just about everything you need to know. Quite apart from anything else, the author has one of the coolest names around for somebody writing an automotive book. His name is Elvis Payne. He has been a Reliant enthusiast since owning his first threewheeler in 1990 and is now the webmaster for the Reliant Owners Club and also the creator of www. 3-wheelers.com, possibly the largest three-wheeler website in the world. His latest project is the restoration of a Reliant Regal Supervan and the vehicle features heavily in the book.
Veloce themselves say: “Del Boy could do with a copy of this book.” Can’t imagine Trotter getting his hands dirty, but he’d probably be able to flog plenty of copies at the market.  Anyhow, the book has 208 pages and costs a pretty hefty 29.99. Then again, it’s got a lot to offer.

AUTONET DRIVE. (August 2006)

Elvis Payne is not a professional writer, but he is a hands-on enthusiast and this book is refreshing reading as he notes that without the help of friends and family "this book would have been entitled How to Take Apart a Regal and Make a Mess in your Girlfriend's Garden!" He's also not embarrassed to talk about some of the errors he made along the way, such as "my recent crash course in never sand a fibreglass car with a sanding disk on a drill."   Liberally filled with excellent full colour, detailed, step-by-step photographs, this volume takes you through every aspect of restoring a Regal from interior to body to mechanical.  Before you start, Payne also provides information on choosing a Regal model, what to look for when buying and establishing a restoration plan.

Rating ***** out of five (for enthusiasts) *** (for general readers)

Practical Classics. (June 2006)

Sometimes it’s nice to stray from the norm when you take on a new project, and the Reliant Regal certainly isn’t your regular classic.  But despite the association with a certain Cockney TV plonker, the Regal has a charm that makes it an irremovable part of the British eccentricity.  Elvis Payne’s restoration manual will ensure your quirky workhorse is of the highest grade - from buying a base car to checking it’s wearing the right badge on the concours.

Classic Car Mart. (March 2006)

One Reliant Owners' Club member who deserves a special mention is Elvis Payne who not only designed and maintains the club's website, but has also just had a book published by Veloce: How to Restore the Reliant Regal. This 208 page softback publication is packed with photographs and step-by-step guides taking you through the whole procedure of bringing your Regal or Supervan back to life. Despite this being very much a niche title, a huge amount of work has gone into ensuring it is authoritative and incredibly detailed.

Classics Monthly. (March 2006)

Obviously this is a specialist book but, put simply, if you own a Reliant three wheeler, or plan to get one, you’ll need this book.  Very clear colour photography that literally guides you step by step through every job, in some cases bolt by bolt, mean this impressive publication is value for money.  Reliant fans will certainly enjoy the buying information and model guide. But owners of other fibreglass bodied cars may well find the chapters on bodywork restoration of interest.  Bond Bud owners should find some of the mechanical information applicable too. 

British Car Magazine. (January 2006)

Do not laugh! Between 1962 and 1973 more than 100,000 Regal saloons and vans have been built, and many have endured the cog of time because the body cannot rust.  Low prices, lower road tax and economical engines make these cars a good solution for the contemporary transport problems. This book forms a guiding principle at finding a suitable Reliant Regal for restoration. Also it is a perfect step by step guide at dismantling and restoring the body, electrics and engine. The car will leave your garage in showroom condition! The author, Elvis Payne, have been a Reliant owner since 1990, when he bought his first Reliant. Since then he has written a lot of Reliant related articles for illustrated magazines and he manages the Internet site www.3-wheelers.com

Classic Car Weekly. (December 15th 2005)

How to restore Reliant Regal shows exactly what its title suggest. Written by Elvis Payne, you’d think he’d be an interesting character with a name like that and he’s clearly a dedicated enthusiast, with a genuine passion for the marque judging by the amount of photographs portraying him working outdoors and really taking the bull by the horn, so to speak.

This book includes all the information you’ll ever need about stripping, rebuilding, trimming and painting your Reliant Regal in perfectly illustrated, step by step detail. It provides a complete guide to all the many aspects of restoration work, including engine, gearbox, and suspension rebuilds - all three corners - as well as paint and body renovation. If life with three wheels on your wagon gets your blood pumping and you enjoy working on the Regal, this book is a must have.

Customer Reviews from Amazon:

Excellent Book, 8 May 2006

By tomored (Isle-of-Wight)

Written in easy to understand language, it is excellent for the novice who would like to work on his Reliant. Brilliant pictures, and lots of them. From the quality of the book it is hard to imagine that it was produced in someones back garden without the backup of a large organisation.Best restoration book that I have ever bought.

A riveting read, 25 Mar 2006

By mrs t johns (PLYMOUTH, DEVON United Kingdom)

Although not an owner of a Regal 'How to restore a Reliant Regal' is an essential read for any enthusiast. This book is facinating well written and nicely presented. The photography is clear and along with the discriptions, easy to understand. It's not just a step by step guide, each chapter takes you through a full restoration from buying to being roadworthy. A book that should adorn any enthusiast or collectors bookshelf.

A unique work about a unique vehicle, 22 Mar 2006

By "bigwegg"

A well presented and easy to follow publication which is polluted with colour photographs not only of the restoration process but of good, bad and ugly examples to compare with.

Logical in progression, it begins with the history and evolution of the Regal series of cars and selecting a vehicle to restore, extensive coverage and recommendations for restoring chassis, engine and bodywork, through to rewiring, re upholstering and trim and includes glossaries of new equivalent parts and how to date a Regal by chassis number.

The book is written in a passionate way and not in a matter of fact way as other technical publications such as Haynes since it was written by an enthusiast.

Some of the content could be applied to other GRP bodied vehicles and most other Reliant models since they share similar or identical mechanicals.

Restoring your Reliant, 10 Mar 2006

By "str8lolly"

Restoring your Reliant could not be easier with this book. The photographs alone can be used to restore/repair almost any model produced by this car manufacturer. Also a good bedtime read! A cut above the normal restoration books and one for the collection.

Pre-reviews before the book was launched:

The few chapters I have had the pleasure of reading are most informative and a credit to the author, who in my opinion, has described and shown, to all who read the book, just how to fulfil an ambition to restore a “Regal” Regal car. Many of the pitfalls are described and solutions given where necessary are of great importance to the finding and rebuilding of a Regal. This makes reading the book an absolute must before even buying a Regal let alone starting the long haul of restoration.

John Copestake (June 2005)

It has been several years since the Reliant company ceased trading. Since then Reliant owners have been awaiting a book that will help them obtain the best results in restoring and maintaining their Reliant. The new book by Elvis Payne does just this in a way that owners can both understand and enjoy reading. To state that this book captures the essence of restoring the Regal model would be modest. The hints and tips alone are invaluable. So too are the new methods and materials now available and suggested in the book. Owners of any Reliant model will be happy to have this book in their library, as the instructions can be adapted and applied to almost all Reliant models. With the addition of the photographic material this book will make a good bedtime read in its own right.

Ray Whitehurst. (June 2005.)


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