- Current ownership since 1965
- Subject to an extensive mechanical overhaul
- Re-trimmed interior with new hood and side screens
- Offered with a large collection of invoices
The Riley 9 caused a sensation when launched at London's 1926 Olympia Motorshow. Though the chassis was relatively unremarkable for the period, Percy Riley's 1087cc four-cylinder engine was way ahead of its time, and featured a cross-flow cylinder head in which the valves were inclined at 45 degrees within hemispherical combustion chambers. Avoiding the complication and expense of overhead camshafts, they were opened by short, light pushrods operated by a pair of camshafts mounted high in the cylinder block. The unit was a revelation, and not only powered Rileys to endless competition successes for years to come, but formed the basis of the supercharged engines of the all-conquering ERA voiturettes. Even in standard form the efficient breathing of the little Riley unit ensured a spirited level of performance, helping to make the 9 one of the best-selling models of light car produced by the British motor industry between the wars.
Two fabric-bodied models were available at launch - the Monaco Saloon priced at £285 and a Four-Seat Tourer positioned at £235; contrary to the position today, open-topped cars were then the cheapest form of four-wheeled motoring. The delightful Four-Seat Tourer on offer is a 1928 example that was discovered by the vendor 'in a parlous state' on the streets of Islington, North London, in 1965. Having rescued the Riley, he then restored it over the ensuing 43 years and has continued to maintain its originality to this day. He currently regards the retrimmed interior and engine - refurbished in 1984 and 'now just about bedded in' - as 'very good', and the Bodywork, Blue over Black paintwork and transmission as 'good'. This very usable vintage car is now offered complete with new hood and sidescreens, period photos, a large collection of invoices, buff log book and V5C, and indoor cover and hood bag.