Various Stevens Cipher cars
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Stevens-Cipher - News Archive

July 2016 - The Peter Andrews Memorial Sprint

July 17 saw the 4th running of the Peter Andrews memorial sprint at Woodbridge run by the Fressingfield Oily Rag Club and Javelin Track Days. Last year saw the green Cipher dip it's metaphorical toe into the world of sprinting. The 2015 effort was better than expected with no major drama for the green Cipher, so for this year expectations were raised. The day started dry and cloudy with some sunshine forecast so already better than last years slippery and rainy start. The usual wide variety of cars had gathered in the paddock area ranging from a McLaren MP4-12C to a couple of historic formula Fords and a 1934 Lagonda Rapier driven by it's equally aging owner with great verve. Then in between were the slightly more normal mix of various old and new saloon and sports cars to complete the line up.

After completing scrutineering and a couple of sighting laps the green Cipher was ready to go. Since last year the car has had another gearbox fitted to cure the occasional jumping out of second gear problem. The shock absorbers have been replaced with GAZ adjustables all round ( the fronts being supplied by the excellent Reliant Kitten Register parts scheme) and I now have matching rear wheels and tyres after the disc brake conversion last year meant initially just upgrading the front wheels to 13". So first run of the day and I have over 5 seconds improvement over last years best time. After a few more runs the day is over too soon, but the car is working very well and I've now shaved over 7 seconds off last years best time, but mainly the days about having fun and we've all have a brilliant day out.

Cipher 2016

Cipher 2016

Cipher 2016

Cipher 2016

Above photos by Ken Carrington from

July 2016 - A 1:43 model of the Cipher is now available.

I'm advised by David Roots that he has made a
standard collectors' scale 1/43 model of the Mk1 Cipher. The master model was hand made and the model is made from a set of solid resin castings. Models are available from priced at £48 incl. postage, find it under the GT and Sports section. The models can be finished in most colours in line with the buyer's choice.

Cipher model

June 2016 - Green Cipher regains its reversing lights with a new gearbox - here

May 2016 - New Reliant book now available

A new book about the history of Reliant Motor company is finally out. Written by Elvis Payne it covers Reliants complete history in a single volume, including many prototype cars and projects that Reliant were involved with. I haven't seen the final version yet but I'm told the Cipher is included.

Reliant Motor company book

Further details here.

May 2016 - Sienna update part 6

Grant provides part 6 of his Stevens Sienna project

April 2016 - Some new pictures of the original Stevens factory circa 1980/81
have been added the the photo gallery page - here

April 2016 - Blue Cipher project update and Sienna update

Simon provides a project update and Grant provides part 5 of his Stevens Sienna project

March 2016 - Join the Crowd, The 'Cipher' Crowd, ‘Make it Happen’ …… 'Spread the word'.

Tony Stevens is now actively seeking funding for his new Cipher project. This is initially being targeted at sports car enthusiasts, 'made in Britain' supporters and straight investors looking for something interesting with excellent profit potential. Further details can be found on the new Stevens Cipher website or by contacting Tony direct at

Proposed new Cipher March 16

November 2015 - A couple of articles profiling Tony Stevens appeared on site.

Motoring journalist Grant Ford has profiled Tony Stevens career and cars, part 1 appears here, while part 2 can be found here. Grant is also restoring Tony Stevens original prototype Sienna car which is being covered in the same magazine the first part can be found here.

November 2015 - Telegraph article about past and future Ciphers

The Telegraph ran an article on 15th November about the original Cipher, the MX5 and a little about the proposed new Cipher model.
Link here

October 2015   -  A possible new Cipher

News just in that designer Tony Stevens is looking at producing a new version of the Cipher. Two versions are being considered, a base model to compete against the Mazda MX5 and next years new Fiat 124 Spider sports car and a hotter GhostBird version. Both versions are likely to be FWD with the base model offering manual or automatic gearboxes. Latest pictures below.

Above the proposed new base model Cipher

Proposed Cipher specification, approx/planned :-
Seats 2
Drive FWD
Engine 1,100cc petrol
Power 125bhp
Transmission 5 speed manual or automatic
Top speed 120mph
Accel 0-62mph 8 seconds
Fuel cons 70mpg
Wheelbase 2050mm
Overall length 3680mm
Width 1600mm
Height 1185mm
Kerb weight 900Kg

2015 Proposed Ghostbird Cipher
Above the proposed new GhostBird model

Proposed GhostBird specification, approx/planned :-
Seats 2
Drive FWD
Engine 1,600cc petrol
Power 200bhp
Transmission 5 speed manual
Top speed 150mph
Accel 0-62mph 6 seconds
Fuel cons N/A
Wheelbase 2050mm
Overall length 3680mm
Width 1600mm
Height 1135mm
Kerb weight 850Kg

July 2015 - Peter Andrews Sprint at Woodbridge

On Sunday 12 July the Fressingfield Oily Rag Club held the annual Peter Andrews memorial sprint event at Woodbridge in Suffolk. Organised in conjunction with Javelin Track days a wide range of cars gathered to take part in the event. Joining them was the green Cipher. In the paddock the 40bhp Cipher was sandwiched between an Audi R8 GT producing a somewhat intimidating 520bhp and a Mazda RX8 at 232bhp so no challenge there then. However the day was about having fun and the Cipher managed that with ease. 8 runs completed on the day with the final 9th run resulting in being towed back to the paddock due to a failed throttle cable. Overall 46th out of 50 but a brilliant day out and being fastest was never the prime aim of the day, though perhaps more power might be good for next year!

Green Cipher car at Woodbridge
Above and below photo by Ken Carrington from

Green Cipher car at Woodbridge Sprint

May 2015 - Stratford festival of motoring

Almost 500 classic cars and high performance motors participated in Stratford Festival of Motoring this May bank holiday weekend. People flocked into town to see the cars and soak up the sunshine. Simon Fitch owner of the blue Cipher was among those displaying their cars.

Blue Cipher car at Stratford Show

April 2015 - Rally plaques

As it is 35 years since the release of the cipher, we have had a set of Cipher 35 rally plaques made up for our Ciphers to wear at any event it goes to this year - or alternatively for a birthday snapshot if its not on the road, as it would be great to have some

Cipher cars 35 year rally plate.jpg

May 2014 - New windscreens and a visit to Stevens Research

On the 10thof May 2014, all of the UK cipher owners gathered in Kent to meet Tony Stevens and take delivery of the first new batch of cipher windscreens to be made. Perhaps it is best to give a little background first…..

Originally cipher windscreens were made by cutting 10mm off each side of a 1976 Toyota Celica windscreen, however given the present cost/availability these screens and the failure rate experienced in cutting them, making a batch this way was not an option. Fortunately Tony when planning for the future had anticipated this problem and had made a “male” cipher mould that could be fitted into a “female” Toyota Celica mould to make bespoke screen – this had been stored for many years waiting the day it was need. Back last year with almost all the ciphers needing new windscreens, it was apparent that a new set of windscreens was required to stop the cipher disappearing completely from the roads.

The cipher owners through the RKR therefore contacted Tony for help. Fortunately Tony had retained the mould and with his kind assistance, and contacts at Pilkington’s, was able to arrange a trial to see if the windscreen mould was still good after all these years. Thankfully Pilkington’s approved the mould – thus the cipher owners clubbed together and ordered a sufficiently large batch for the price to be a very reasonable £250 per screen. Indeed, given that a lack of windscreens has affected all of the ciphers at one time or another, most cipher owners took the chance to order a spare as well – thus giving a good batch size and allowing a price saving !

On the day of the 10th, we all travelled to Tony’s home, where we met Tony and his wife Jean and were provided with a wonderful lunch (once again many thanks to Jean). During lunch many interesting topics were discussed, including the fact that Tony always intended the cipher to have front disk brakes fitted to the kitten chassis - so Joe Mason's disk brakes are very timely and according to Tony, fitting them is entirely in keeping with the car. It's good to know we can fit them and not feel guilty about completely changing the originality of the car. Another thing that popped up in conversation was the BRM reliant engine, which although Tony hadn't been offered for the Cipher, he felt its characteristics and power would have been ideal for the cipher. It would have been very interesting if a Cipher had gone into production at Reliant with these additions, who knows the SS1 may not have been built!

One thing that everyone realised was that it was a very historic day - in all (and including Tony and myself) there were 5 cipher owners in one room - which must be a record!  And certainly every cipher owner in the UK was there (one day we’ll have to arrange a meeting with our Dutch compatriots!). Tony had realised this and had produced a beautiful scaled copy of the original cipher ½ scale drawing for each of the owners – a very kind present and one I know all the cipher owners are extremely grateful for.

We then proceeded on to Tony's workshop and picked up the windscreens. We also got to see No.1 (which was fitted with the first of the new screens) and the forerunner to the cipher, the Stevens Sienna. The Sienna, built on an unmodified Kitten Chassis, looks similar to a Tempest – although built many years before (1977).

Whilst we were there, the discussion of hard tops arose. Several cipher owners are cipher owners are having trouble with their soft tops, due to age and other issues, and as a hard top was an option at the time having a batch made is a good idea. As mine is fully vinyl covered (and fitted with glazing), a suitable donor to make a new mould was needed. Fortunately Tony had retained a raw fibreglass hard top in excellent condition, and so will be taking a mould from it to make some more new ones. So it looks like as soon as the windscreen project has finished, we now have a new one! Before leaving, Tony gave us each a stainless steel owl logo from his recent range of electric cars, and very kindly donated to the RKR the original Stevens parts manual for the Cipher. This wonderful addition means that the cipher owners now have access to a full and complete parts manual, which should be very helpful to all the current restorations that are going on at the moment!

Once again many thanks to everyone and especially to Tony and his wife for hosting us and to Tony for his help in getting the new windscreens made. Fingers crossed we should be seeing a record number of ciphers back on the road by next year. Perhaps just in time, as it was also realised that next year (2015) – will be the 35thanniversary of the unveiling of the Cipher at the 1980 Motor Show (and of the construction of No’s 1 & 2) – so all of us have our thinking cap on as to how to celebrate the auspicious date – we’ll let you all know when something is confirmed!


From Left to Right – Gay and Paul Johnson (Red Cipher), Dave Corby (Green Cipher), Peter Gordon (Kit Cipher), Helen and Simon Fitch (Blue Cipher), Tony Stevens (No.1 Cipher)

stevens_research_visit new windscreen

Cipher No.1 fitted with the first of the new batch of windscreens from Pilkingtons – an excellent fit! 


Page last updated 7 August 2017