Those Rileys again


I was delighted at last to see an article on Rileys in the November, 1970, issue.

As a Riley owner for over seven years I can really vouch for the cars. I have, in fact, never possessed another car and use one of my two Rileys for everyday transport. My total mileage over the past seven years has been 56,000. The total cost of my cars £165—being made up of £45 for my 1952 2 1/2-litre years ago and £120 for my 1953 1 1/2-litre saloon over seven years ago. The 2 1/2 is my favourite car, is bodily in very good condition and still runs on its original pistons and unground crankshaft after 103,000 miles with an oil consumption of 600 miles per pint. My 1 1/2 was rebored at 105,000 but still runs on an unground crankshaft after 126,000 miles.

I do all my own maintenance and only darken the doors of garages for M.o.T. tests. The 1 1/2 engine is a beast to work on but the 2 1/2 an absolute joy with easy access, by virtue of removable bonnet sides, and good solid castings—no modern-pressed tin rubbish.

Although I started by expressing delight over your article, I feel that in a way it is a pity as I now find that in one short month the average 1 1/2 has appreciated approximately 60%—based on your average price and this month’s prices. I trust that this trend is not the shape of things to come. I own my Rileys because they are cars, not investments.

I get the impression that some advertisers have no real knowledge of the cars, especially when advertising a 2 1/2 as a 1950 RMF. According to my figures RMFs were not manufactured prior to 1952. My 2 1/2—engine number RMB2 508—was sold in June, 1952, in which year 1,069 2 1/2s were built. A simple arithmetical calculation therefore tells me that RMEs at the very earliest commenced production at the end of 1951.

Another curious point is the numbers of incredibly low-mileage cars advertised for sale—two in this month’s issue. When one considers that the total production of 2 1/2s and 1 1/2s was only 22,665 this seems unbelievable. Perhaps Riley is a self-propagating species.

Neil M. Ross.
Edinburgh, 4.