There is no such a vehicle as a ‘Robin Reliant’ and nor did any form of Robin appear on Only Fools and Horses. The sitcom in fact used Reliant Regal Supervans. The website 3-wheelers.com wisely points out that buying a Robin Van and writing ‘Trotters Independent Trading Co.’ on the sides is akin to “buying a VW Passat and painting it like Herbie”.
Meanwhile, Chris Gunby finds the two standard responses to his 1977 Silver Jubilee are either “you don’t see many of them any more” or, from those passers-by aged under thirty, “it’s only got three wheels!”.
When the Robin was introduced in October 1973, the Reliant brand was equally associated in the public mind with suave medallion wearing types in Scimitars and Regal 3/25s driven by flat-hatted gentlemen en route to their local whippet club meeting.
Tom Karen of Ogle Design had been working on the Robin since 1963 and the new model as intended to appeal to female drivers as much as former motorcycle and sidecar owners.
The styling looked as up to the minute as any Mini Clubman, and the bodywork incorporated a hatchback rear window. Car owners were further tempted to their local Reliant dealer with claims of 70mpg fuel economy and road tax of £16, as opposed to £40, per annum.