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Stevens-Cipher Enthusiasts Group - The Cars

Stevens Cipher SC001

1980, Red, prototype (Originally Silver) Built by Stevens Cars Limited

The first built Cipher, was the prototype which underwent 'factory testing' and limited Type-Approval checks. Used for road and endurance testing appraisal (from which details like the spoiler were redesigned, as it was too low), fuel consumption testing and legislation (radio suppression tests, etc), and for the press. Originally Silver for press black/white reproduction purposes, the car was later repainted red. This car was used for the majority of press testing and thus features in many publications, including, Car magazine Oct 1980 and AutoCar magazine Dec 1980, as well as Motor magazine Apr 1981.

Condition: On the road

Owner: Tony Stevens (UK)
Stevens Cipher SC002

1980, Blue 2nd prototype (Originally silver) Built by Stevens Cars Limited

This car was originally painted silver for the.Motor Show debut. Although a non-runner at the time (and with the paint still a little soft!) the colour linked this - the show car, to Car magazine's test report. The interior reflected detail changes to the trim and dashboard layout. Soon after, the car was resprayed metallic blue to add colour to the press reports ('Motor' magazine and also the kit-car press). It was used on trade plates before itself being registered and sold to David Greenwood of Deddington High St. Garage. This car was borrowed back from David for press purposes and features on the front cover of Motor magazine Apr 1981.

Condition: On the road

Owner: Simon Fitch (UK)
Stevens Cipher SC003

Registered 1984, Green Built by Stevens Cars Limited Circa 1981

Peter Bird originally started the build of this in car in 1981 while Tony concentrated on further project funding, and investigated LPG conversions for Grundy. However the build was interrupted when Peter was made redundant when negotiations ended due to the Delorean scandal and the failure of Hesketh Motorcycles. Tony subsequently finished the car, with further interior changes over the previous Ciphers, and sold it on. This car is now back on the road after being recommissioned by David Speed, after having been traded to him by Thomas Touw for restoration work on the white/black Cipher (SC004).

Condition: On the road

Owner: Unknown (UK)

Stevens Cipher SC004

1981, White/black Built by Reliant Motor Company

The Second (and last) Reliant built car was painted in the White over Black colour scheme to reflect Tony's passion for Ferraris. Like the first Reliant built car, this car was used at Reliant for assessment of manufacturing procedures. The car has a further twist in its life when it was acquired by TVR for evaluation during 1983, and was featured in their main showroom to assess public reaction to the car. This car has currently returned to Holland after chassis and body restoration in England carried out by David Speed in 2012/13.

Condition: Under restoration

Owner: T. Touw (Holland)

Stevens Cipher SC005

1981, Red Built by Reliant Motor Company

This, the first of two Reliant built cars, was made to assess the manufacturing procedures required to put the Cipher into production. After assessing the car, the Reliant management came to the conclusion that it was too costly to engineer a production car. This decision was highly strange as the Cipher used existing Reliant parts and Reliant already had the expertise to produce the GRP bodies. Many think this conclusion was probably reached because the Reliant management had already decided on the Michelotti designed SS1. The fourth built Red Cipher is interesting in the fact that although built after the Blue Cipher (No.2) it was in fact registered with the DVLA before it. Pictured when the car was part of Thomas Touw’s collection, this car was one of three that Thomas owned for over a decade.

Condition: Under restoration

Owner: Paul Johnson (UK)

Stevens Cipher SC006

Kit car built by Falcon Automotive (Peter Bird)

This Cipher was built and exhibited by Peter Bird / Falcon Automotive c.1981 with kind permission of Tony Stevens (and using his moulds and jigs). The car uses second hand Reliant Kitten mechanicals, and was built to explore the marketing possibilities of selling the Cipher as an all-new kit set, in the same way as Colin Chapman first sold his Lotus Elite and Elan models. ln recent years this incomplete car was bought in an e-bay auction by Philip and Samuel Andrews of Berkshire. On 2"“ July 2011 Peter Bird visited them and confirmed its origin. It was subsequently sold to Joe Mason of Reliant Spares, who later sold it on in 2013 to its present custodian Peter Gordon.

Condition: Under restoration

Owner: Peter Gordon (UK)

Stevens Cipher SC007

Built by Falcon Automotive (Peter Bird)

This Cipher was built by Falcon Automotive c.1981 using some of the Stevens moulds and jigs. It was an attempt to introduce the Cipher as a kit-car, in the hope that it would generate the financial resources to then switch over to all new-components. Designed to allow the use Ford Escort 1300 Mk1 mechanicals. This was built as an incomplete kit, with just a running chassis and body panels provided. Although aimed at ease of replacement (& therefore lowest insurance premium) the numerous panels were difficult to align. So this car's forward body panels (around the bonnet aperture) were bonded together. Likewise the rear body panels around the boot aperture. And again internal panels were bonded together to lessen water leaks experienced with the prototype's multiple-panel assemblies. Body work was done to straighten the swage line along the doors & body side, and to correct the geometrical shape of the wheel arches. Further information on this Cipher is limited due to it being “off the radar” for some time. However, recently established contact with owner has confirmed that this Cipher has modified wheel arches, which does not follow the standard pattern of the Stevens vehicles. It is thought that this modification was made to allow the use of Ford rather than Reliant parts. Hopefully we will have more information regarding this Cipher soon.

Condition: unbuilt kit with modified wheel arches

Owner: T. Bastiaanse (Holland)

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Site last updated 1 January 2021