Tag Archives: Reliant Robin

Australia Vs England…the Reliant Robin. It’s Definitely NOT Cricket!

It’s a shame cricket commentator Richie Benaud isn’t around to do the commentary on what might have been the greatest moment in the history of sporting battles. I can just picture him from up in the commentary box with a haircut and suit only he could get away with with his usual mantra: “marvellous!”.

However, given that Richie Benaud was a man of few words, he’d probably tell me:

“My mantra is: put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up.”

 Richie Benaud

A crowd full of Richie Benauds think the play is "marvellous"!!

A crowd full of Richie Benauds think the play is “marvellous”!!

However, sometimes what’s on the screen demands considerable explanation.

Such as a soccer match involving two teams of Reliant Robins and an oversized,  inflatable soccer ball.

Please explain!

Last year, the BBC’s motoring show, Top Gear, came out to Australia. While this event might not have been the official highlight of their tour, it was certainly the most outlandish.

There was a soccer game played between two teams driving a three-wheeled English car, the Reliant Robin. The aim was to knock the ball into the nets to score a goal and naturally, to also keep all three wheels on the ground so you didn’t fall over.

In the United Kingdom, the Robin is often the butt of jokes and is sometimes affectionately nicknamed the “Plastic Pig” due to its distinctive shape and fibreglass body shell. The Robin was first manufactured in October 1973 featuring a 750cc engine. In 1975, it gained a number of improvements including an engine boost to 850cc. The Reliant Robin was well received in the 1970s because of good design executed by Ogle Design, (who had previously designed the Bond Bug, and Reliant Scimitar) and affordable price[considering 70mpg and 85 mph is possible, and orders increased with the 1970s fuel crisis. You could also drive it with a motorbike licence at certain stages.

So, you could just imagine Australia versus England in these crazy, madcap contraptions..the laughing stock of the Commonwealth!

What you might not know is that there is quite a bit of rivalry between Australia and England. Some of it good natured but it also can get brutal. While we might have fought a few World Wars with England on the battlefield, there’s definitely no such allegiance on the sporting field…especially when it comes to cricket’s Ashes Series or the rugby. This is all out war and an absolute national disgrace if your team is thrashed!

Boys and their toys Top Gear's James May and Australian Top Gear Host, Shane Jacobsen.

Boys and their toys Top Gear’s James May and Australian Top Gear Host, Shane Jacobsen.

While I only found out about this epic race the other night, my husband Geoff and our son were actually there and saw the thing live. Not that they actually took many photos because they were too busy photographing big engines and Top Gear personalities instead.

The Red Bull Car as driven by Daniel Ricardo.

The Red Bull Car as driven by Daniel Ricardo. What a contrast to the Robin!

Anyway, in addition to my role as Australia’s self-appointed Cultural Ambassador, I thought we could all do with a laugh. This has to be the wackiest thing I’ve seen in awhile and that’s quite an endorsement!

Before I give you the link, it does warn of possible offensive language. I don’t have sound on my computer so I apologise if it’s too extreme. Surely, English gentlemen wouldn’t be too obscene?!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nORCM9rMvBo

I hope that gave you a laugh, especially if you’re in the throws of trying to get through the Nano challenge this month.

xx Rowena