I’m still adding to my Cars/Cars 2 characters collection ,even though the films are quite old now. Every once in a while I’ll find a variant that interests me.
The character named Tomber has a connection to my heritage, as my parents are both British (I was born in Canada). Britain is where this type of car was manufactured, as well as in France.
Tomber is a dubious little French car with an unusual, and very unstable, three-wheeled design that befits the meaning of his name: ‘to fall’. By trade he deals car parts from a stall in a Parisian market—though his questionable merchandise sources have led to his reluctant acquaintance with British secret agent Finn McMissile.
Tomber largely resembles the English Reliant Regal three-wheeler, but also bears similarities to a French Citroën AMI, most notably in his double-headlight structure. The Citroën DS also seems to have been an inspiration, mainly for the position of his rear turning indicators, which are situated in the upper corners of his rear window.
Tomber’s license plate is PCS NO1R, an abbreviation for the French “pièces noires,” a reference to the black market parts which he deals.
Let’s look more closely at this cars inspiration, the English Reliant Regal:
The Reliant Regal was a small three-wheeled car manufactured from 1953 until 1973 by the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth, England, replacing the earlier Reliant Regent cyclecar van. As a three-wheeled vehicle having a lightweight construction, under UK law it is considered a “tricycle” and can be driven on a full (class A) motorcycle licence. A light-commercial version with a side-hinged rear door was marketed as the Reliant Supervan. This version you may remember is the one Mr. Bean kept running off the road in his hit comedy series.
Watch an informative and hilarious documentary on driving, and rolling, a three-wheeled Reliant automobile:
The most common view of any Reliant Regal/Robin
Yes sir, I have got to get me one of these for real!