Atlantic ChipShop
129 Atlantic Ave. Clinton & Henry

718.855.7775  888FRYCHIP
Park Slope ChipShop
383 Fifth Ave. at 6th St.

718.832.7701  718CHIPSHOP


The Reliant Robin Owners Club of North America

By Club President (and CHIPSHOP owner) Chris Sell

We bought the CHIPSHOP’s current Reliant Robin as a fun, working publicity vehicle and it’s been a blast. When I first started driving it in New York City I couldn’t believe how many people showed an interest and took photographs. Of course there was always the odd English guy who quite rightly shouted “wanker!”  Strangely, it’s impossible to drive this unreliable car and remain in a bad mood – it generates so many smiles and good natured shouts and so when the World smiles at you, you have to respond in kind.  Below you’ll find more information about the Robin, some interesting Robin-related videos and how to get your grubby mitts on one if smitten.


Reliant Robin History and Stats

•    The Robin was first introduced in 1973 and with only a few gaps was produced until 2001. It weighs under 1000 lbs. and can carry 4 people.

•    After 1975 it is powered by a 40BHP, 850cc engine fitted with a 4 speed box.

•    As far as we can tell there are a maximum of 12 Reliant Robin’s on the road in America right now making it one of the rarest cars in America.

•    The current CHIPSHOP Robin is the second one we’ve had and it’s a 1999 body and engine mounted onto a 1985 chassis.


The Reliant Robin Owners Club

The club’s purpose is to introduce Reliant Robins into America and be an information and networking tool. The only requirement to membership is to have a Reliant Robin on the road in the states. It’s free to join and, with proof of ownership, you will receive a free owners club tee shirt (subject to availability but they’re not going fast).

Some of the services we can provide range from:

•    Putting you in contact with the garages in the UK that sell Reliants and the shipping firms that can ship them.
•    Supplying parts dealers’ information and forums where you can get free technical advice.
•    Hooking you up with our own mechanic in New York City who has a good working knowledge of these classics and
•    We are a enthusiasts club, not really a money making venture but if you want us to source and ship parts, we can do that for a fee or we’ll simply give you the sources for the parts for free
•    If you really want a Robin but don’t want to be bothered with the hunt, we can provide you with a modernized,  ungraded version with a choice of color and a full range of optional extras (including performance upgrade kits, high end sound systems and upgraded suspension). 

If contemplating a Robin purchase, you should remember a few important points:

•    Yes, they do roll easily but only if you drive like an idiot.
•    No, they couldn’t have taken less care on the build quality if they tried; they constantly go wrong. It is a labor of love.
•    No, they are not fast. Upgrades include 4 branch exhaust manifold and custom air intake that with an upgraded fuel pump makes it go a little faster.
•    Yes, they are economical, between 60-79MPG.  The CHIPSHOP’s Robin gets about 40MPG because of my lead foot.
•    No, it’s not a car. In New York State it is actually classified as a motorcycle.

If you fancy a plastic pig (yes, that’s their nickname) and you do all the work yourself, it will cost you between $5,000- $8,000 for a decent one. For a very low mileage, tricked out, custom painted, rebuilt upgraded engine with a custom installed 2,500W sound system,  you’re looking at about $20-$25K depending on where you are. In bitter experience, it’s really worth replacing all the engine ancillary parts in the UK before shipping as they are just going to break anyway.