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matchle55
Coventry
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61 of 67  Sat 28th Dec 2019 3:59pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:232

Whilst the Riley fraternity have long accepted that the original Percy Riley first car has long gone we can console ourselves we now have a replica (above). A Riley historian has come across an article from 50+ years ago and as there is a slight link with Coventry I make the connection here. The historian found a reference to a Mr T Warner of Rugby who recalled seeing the first Riley. In 1958 Mr Warner wrote to the Rugby Advertiser and this article was later printed in the Midland Daily Telegraph. He spoke of his days as a professional photographer using glass plate cameras and was proud to recall that he took pictures of the very first Riley (this would have been in 1898) ever made when it emerged from the Riley Co cycle workshop in King St, Coventry (this was near Cook St gate). At that time he was working for the British Photographic Engraving co in Vicar Lane. He recalled the wall had to be demolished to get the car out. We are hoping that there is an archive somewhere where Mr Warner’s photos have been stored but where do we look? The replica at present has no engine fitted because we have no idea what sort it was, but is thought to have been designed and made by Percy himself - remember he was just 18 at the time. Blurry images that we do have show the engine looking like a Bolinder engine which was similar to those fitted in canal boats at that time but this is just speculation. So, where do we begin?? Thumbs up

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Motoring - Riley Cars
argon
New Milton
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62 of 67  Fri 17th Jan 2020 10:07pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:369

A video of a 1937 Riley Monza on YouTube - a beautiful Monza.
Motoring - Riley Cars
matchle55
Coventry
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63 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 9:15am  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:232

Beautiful as it is, and I would not say no, it is a special. As the commentator said it owes its design to the Alfa Romeo 8C or Monza. Riley never produced a car with this name. This chassis number - 27A - tells that the car started out life as a 2.5 litre Adelphi, a large saloon. Thumbs up Edited by member, 18th Jan 2020 9:16 am
Motoring - Riley Cars
argon
New Milton
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64 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 11:16am  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:369

Interesting, matchle55. Does it owe any of its design to Riley. The commentator seems to give Riley credit.
Motoring - Riley Cars
Midland Red
Cherwell
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65 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 11:47am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5668

Here’s an Adelphi Saloon 1937 Riley Adelphi 12/4 6-Light Saloon and one rebodied as a Lynx Tourer 1936 Riley Adelphi 12/4 Saloon, rebodied in the style of a Lynx Tourer
Motoring - Riley Cars
matchle55
Coventry
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66 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 8:34pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:232

On 18th Jan 2020 11:16am, argon said: Interesting, matchle55. Does it owe any of its design to Riley. The commentator seems to give Riley credit.
Riley cars lend themselves easily for conversion to specials, the engines were way ahead of their time. Even my saloon has a 1500cc twin cam engine (not overhead). When, in the 50s, cars with ash framed bodies were past their sell by date, it was common to see specials like this. The engine in this car is a 2.5 litre, referred to as a big four. When announced to the public in the late 30s a car with this engine achieved speeds of over 100mph at Brooklands. My own car which was in a parlous condition when acquired would no doubt have ended up as such had I not bought it. The Riley Register DVLA liaison officer repeatedly rejects dubious applications from special builders in an attempt to preserve the dwindling numbers of saloons on the road. At a rough guess I would estimate at least 10% are specials Roll eyes
Motoring - Riley Cars
matchle55
Coventry
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67 of 67  Thu 20th Feb 2020 8:37pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:232

For those of you who are past pupils of KH VIII, and have an interest, the replica of Percy Riley's first car is now on show at the school. Remember he designed and built the car whilst still a pupil there. At the moment, unless things change in the near future, Victor Riley is hoping to persuade either of the local universities to design and fund and manufacture a suitable engine. If, or when, this happens the car will be removed to enable the work to be carried out. Smile
Motoring - Riley Cars

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