Anyone remember this ? The Stevens Cipher was shown at the 1980 Birmingham motor show, based on Reliant running gear. The Cipher got rave reviews from all the press, and dealers committed themselves from all over the country and abroad. However despite all the interest no backing could be found, and only 7 were ultimately made.
This car is the only prototype for a Russian sports car in conjunction with LADA and various other Russian, Lithuanian and British interests, and is a late 1980’s update on the Cipher concept.
The project was very secret and the only press cover, which describes the interaction of the parties involved and the plans for the model, was in AUTOCAR & MOTOR 24thJanuary 1990 (copy included in history file).
A Lada Samara 1300 with a 5 speed gearbox was yanked off the Lada press fleet, disassembled and built into this prototype at the cost of approximately £150,000. The Samara had 3,572 miles on the clock. With the changing political climate and the usual lack of funding the project collapsed, and the prototype was driven 100 yards for the photo shoot before being put into dry storage until I purchased it direct from Professor Tony Stevens last year.
The car has since been renovated to driving condition. It runs and drives fine although will need an MOT for road use. The tyres are original (unused but old obviously) and it has no roof, and could do with some further suspension development for full road use. But apart from that it is a nice drive and surprisingly well put-together for a prototype (please bear in mind it is in effect a brand new car but is a 30 year old hand built one-off with some age related scratches, storage wear etc).
The V5C is in my name, with myself as the first registered owner.
A unique piece of UK motor history, which you can actually use, and you will never see another at a car show ! May be interested in p/ex + cash with an interesting classic.
Happy to supply more information or pictures if required, Simon
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