I should start by declaring an interest - having privately owned six different Rileys and enjoyed driving quite a few others which I have been involved with over the years I have concluded that Riley simply did not know how to make a bad car!
In the late 1920s they supplemented their well-regarded range of side valve engined cars with a totally new 9 h.p. model powered by Percy Riley’s revolutionary twin camshaft 1087cc engine set in Stanley Riley’s specially designed chassis which resulted in a car with good performance, firm but supple springing, wander free steering and positive braking, all of which gave even their family cars a distinct sporting feel.
During the 1930s the 9 h.p. became of the British motor industry’s most successful light sporting cars and I believe that during its 12 year lifespan Riley (who did not believe in standing still) introduced eleven variants of the chassis/engine combination and at least 20 different styles of their own bodywork ranging from four door-four seat saloons to out and out circuit racing cars. If somehow they didn’t offer a body style which suited you, you could have your own coach built version specially made so you could always get what you wanted!
This car, on chassis number 6019355, carries Gamecock two seat sports bodywork and an engine with magneto ignition, twin SU carburettor and a four branch exhaust manifold. It has Riley’s Silent Third gearbox though it is fair to say that the gearbox is much quieter in all gears than you find in many other cars of this era, in fact the whole car is very quiet and rattle free which is surely down to the excellent quality of its chassis up restoration which was carried out by its current owner.
During the restoration, which started in 1987 with the arrival of a chassis plus 24 tea chests full of parts and took five years to complete, just about everything was dismantled, checked and refurbished or replaced as necessary. This included the engine, carburettors, front and back axles, springs, steering box, radiator core, magneto and wiring. The road wheels were stripped, checked, repainted and fitted with new tubes and tyres, the body was rebuilt using as much of the original wood frame and body panels as possible. New carpets, upholstery, hood and tonneau cover were made by a local trimming company and although the tonneau covers have faded a bit over time the cotton duck hood has never been used and still looks brand new! N.B. the original sidescreen frames come with the car though they are as yet unglazed. The car was repainted to a very high standard as can be judged by the splendid finish you will see if you inspect it.
Its owner has been fastidious about maintaining his car and has kept a detailed record of every journey he has made in it since it went back on the road some 26 years ago. These include tours in Germany, Holland, France, France, Belgium, Scotland and Wales and the car has also been driven round the Nurburgring and Le Mans motor racing circuits so it is not just a show queen but a real useable motor car!
In summary we have here a really lovely very useable and enjoyable to drive sports-touring Riley in as good a condition as you are likely to see anywhere – may I recommend that you come and see it for yourself but be prepared to find that you want to own it!
Listed for 2 months
The price has changed by £38,847 since it was listed on the site
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