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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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1 of 42  Fri 25th Jan 2013 12:27pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1023

My step granddad and nan's 1.1/2 litre Riley, beautiful car, it was pale greeny blue, he loved it and he had it for a long time.
Riley Cars
Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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2 of 42  Tue 18th Jun 2013 4:07pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:24

It's one of the RM models but I'm not sure which. Riley made a few versions of the RM's after the 2nd World War at their Durbar Ave works and if it's an early post-war version that it would have had a proper pre-war Riley engine (which would class it as one of the last proper Rileys before BMC and all that). Nearing the end of the 40s Nuffield sacked Victor Riley (senior) as the Managing Director of the company and moved production to the MG plant at Abingdon where later RM and other models were produced. It's a lovely car there though. Bet they loved it. As a distant relation down one of the Riley brothers family lines my Dad met up with Victor Riley (Junior) not long ago and did a lot of research around the city. Found some interesting locations. Below is an aerial view of the Riley Durbar Ave works in the late 1920s. Unipart now occupy the same site.
Riley Cars
Midland Red
Cherwell
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3 of 42  Tue 18th Jun 2013 4:23pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4407

First registered in September 1954! So it will be an RME (52-55) Thumbs up
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Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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4 of 42  Tue 18th Jun 2013 4:25pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:24

Cheers Midland Red. So it's an Abingdon model then. Still a lovely car though :)
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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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Thread starter
5 of 42  Tue 18th Jun 2013 5:33pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1023

I am surprised it was not built in Coventry as Eric my step grandad was a Coventry man through and through. The car would have lived in Wainbody Avenue for about 7 years until they moved down south but he was still working for the Gauge and Tool when he moved. He did love the car and I felt very special when I went in it. The leather has a smell all of its own.
Riley Cars
Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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6 of 42  Wed 19th Jun 2013 3:01pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:24

Even though production would have moved by then, Riley would still be very well known and seen to be a Coventry company. They'd been in the city for around 40 years before that so as your step-grandad was a Coventry man through and through I am not surprised at all that he chose a Riley :)
Riley Cars
mick
coventry
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7 of 42  Wed 19th Jun 2013 7:55pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:73

At least some of the Riley family remained in business in the city in the form of P R Motors [Percy Riley] and they were based in Aldbourne Road opposite the Climax. They made gearboxes and tranmissions - eventually specialising in dumper trucks, forklifts and marine gearboxes. The company expanded taking over the factory in Earlsdon St/Warwick St as well. They were eventually bought out and became Newage Engineers, moving to the Aldermans Green Industrial Estate - where they still are!
Riley Cars
Midland Red
Cherwell
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8 of 42  Wed 19th Jun 2013 8:18pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4407

Interesting information, mick - thanks for that Thumbs up
Riley Cars
Easterngreen
Eastern Green
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9 of 42  Thu 20th Jun 2013 4:33pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:24

On 19th Jun 2013 7:55pm, mick said: At least some of the Riley family remained in business in the city in the form of P R Motors [Percy Riley]....
Percy died quite early on but his wife continued to run the company and I believe she was named British Business woman of the year in the early 1960s. The company that has evolved today from PR motors still has the diamond in the logo that itself was a spin off from the Riley diamond logo.
Riley Cars
matchle55
Coventry
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10 of 42  Thu 19th Jun 2014 9:16pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:170

On the weekend of 28/29 June the Riley register is holding its annual "Coventry Rally", some of the attending cars, mine included, will be parked outside the Transport Museum on the Friday morning. Saturday sees us having a tour of the old factory at Durbar Avenue and on Sunday we all congregate at Wroxall Abbey which is on the Warwick to Solihull road about 2 miles before Chadwick End. Big grin Big grin Big grin
Riley Cars
matchle55
Coventry
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11 of 42  Sat 28th Jun 2014 2:34pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:170

As previously mentioned some 40 of us had a tour around the old Riley factory this morning. Now the home of Unipart the factory is now probably the only car plant still standing in the city, and I mean volume not back street shops. Anyway the engineering manager who hosted the tour said that he thought the factory came through the blitz unscathed, I questioned this thinking I'd read somewhere (maybe a Riley magazine) that it suffered damage. Can anyone shed any light on this for me please?

Question

Riley Cars
colcov
leamington spa
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12 of 42  Sat 28th Jun 2014 5:39pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:69

I was 6 years old the night of the Nov.14th blitz on Coventry. I lived in Ransom Road about 500 yards from the Riley works and I remember all the windows were blown out. I don't know if there was any structual damage, there didn't appear to be looking at it from the road side in Beresford Avenue. I would think it highly likely there would be internal damage as other factories in that area, Sterling Metals, Dunlop, Alfred Herbert all suffered major damage.
Riley Cars
IslandCafe
Modbury, Devon
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13 of 42  Sun 29th Jun 2014 10:38am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:86

My father was a fireman at the Riley throughout the war and told me they suffered little serious damage from the various air raids. He put this down to their fantastic defence system which was two straight exhaust pipes complete with silencers which were mounted side by side on the lookout tower on a swivel and during raids were manned and pointed at any aircraft that came close (seriously). I doubt they had any effect whatsoever but they did exist because I saw them. Thumbs up Cheers
Alan

Riley Cars
matchle55
Coventry
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14 of 42  Sun 29th Jun 2014 9:56pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:170

Thank you for the replies, I think I've got to find the book. Big grin Alan, I wonder if your dad ever mentioned a man called Len Pratt who worked at Riley during the day and was a works fireman during the time of the blitz. He wrote of his experiences at the time in an article for the Riley register magazine and this is where I think I read about the damage. I met Len some years ago when out with my car but didn't realise it was him who had written the article. It seems he is still alive and living not far from me in Bulkington.
Riley Cars
IslandCafe
Modbury, Devon
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15 of 42  Tue 1st Jul 2014 10:06am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:86

Hi matchle55, the name Len Pratt faintly rings a bell but I doubt if that is from my father. Is it possible that he was still a part time fireman in the early 50's when I worked there as I was also a part timer in those days. When I think back I would also run the surgery on occasional weekends despite having no knowledge of first aid at all. Imagine that today!!!
Alan

Riley Cars

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