• COMMENT ON A ROAD-TEST
read with great interest the article in }’our March issue concerning, the road-test of the Riley 1.5, and while I agree with a nue-titer of your rounuent,,.. I can not say all of them are eorreet in so far as my experience of this model is roneeraelt. a, I now have my second 1.5, the first one being one of the earlier issue,.
Going through your article and taking one or two items as they come, the first concerns the ignition switch. On both my ears 1 have had an additional fitting added whereby the key actuates the starter. This is a great improvement, particularly for dead-engine starts in driving tests. is with the original arrangement both hands are required to sic-itch on and use the starter button. Now one movement stvitehes on and starts the engine, the only disadvantage being that t wo keys :cii mc 11`,. the original having to be retained to lock the car. No under-facia shelf. This I easily made .and fitted in an hour 0.1’60 with hardboard covered with felt. It rests on the main beam under the facia board across the car and stays put with no fixing—very useful indeed for maps and various items to be hidden from prying eyes,
All B.M.C. gearboxes are reluctant to engage first when at rest, and both my -Rileys seem worse than normal in this respect. In fact, second often has to be used to move .off. Excessive roll on cornering is eorrect, but earl be cured completely
by a (ample of Kooks on the rear, and a Derrington bar On the. front. The car will then corner dead level, and out-cOrner most things on the road, except sports ears.
The brakes emit a rubbing sound. My, present car does so, but the earlier model did not. The brakes also squeal When first used in tlamp weather.
ou state that the front seats are not condonable. but I do not agree, having done several runs of up to 400 utilesin one day with no discomfort whatever. In fact. I would go so far as to say these seats are the best I have had, in the fifteen or so car.F. I have owned. Blocks are used under the rear supports to give a more creel position.
My family also do not find the car at all cramped in spite of its small size.. When all are on board they consist of teenage son and daughter, younger son of 10, and my wife, and many long runs have been undertaken, with na complaints as to lack of room.
One or two comments and comparisons of these two Rileys. Both had the head planed to give nearly 9.1 compression-ratio, straightthrough Servais silencers were fitted, together with competition valve springs. The air-cleaner was removed and the M.G.-A type fitted. A radiator blind is used.
The earlier model would rev, up to 6,000 with no trouble at all. and would return a maximum of well over 90 on the clock. My present car, now coining up to 6,000 miles, will not its yet go above 5,500 in the gears no matter what you do, and the top speed
is around 88, but it will cruise at 75-80 all day.
The first car used no oil at all the whole 2(1,000 miles I had it. except of coarse for oil changes every 2,000 miles. The present car used much oil when new, but now uses none at all.
The larger tyres now fitted seem to be a big improvement, as with the first car I wore out a set of covers every 7.000 miles. This, of course, included numerous rallies, being always driven as fast as circumstances permitted, and being cornered at the limit just for the fun of it.
I tried several makes of tyres, except Michelin ” X,” which I do not like, but they all wore out the same. The present car is driven in the same way hut the tyres at the moment. show very little signs of wear.
I purchased a second Riley because the first gave not the slightest trouble in its 18 months’ daily use by my wife and myself, except for losing me a premier award in one tally by losing all its clutch fluid during some driving tests.
Summing up, and I have been driving cars for thirty years, I would Say the Riley 1.5 is comfortable, fast and very road-worthy when modified at a cost of less than £20, easy to park and drive, and, if carefully run-in, is virtually trouble-free. I am, Yours, etc.,
Peterborough. S. A. Comic. • • *