ON THE ROAD WITH A “GAMECOCK.”
GOOD ROAD-HOLDING QUALITIES AND
HIGH CRUISING SPEED CHARACTERISE NEW RILEY MODEL.
SINCE the introduction of the famous Brooklands model of the Riley “9,” which has so many racing successes to its credit, there has been a steadily increasing demand for a model intermediate between this and the more normal touring car or saloon.
What was wanted was a sports model which was not a racing car, but a neat and handy vehicle which combined a lively performance with freedom from constant tuning, and the general ease of upkeep of the touring models. Following the successful introduction of the “special series” models, which embodied the twin carburettor sports engine, the Riley Company have now met the requirements of a large field of motorists with the “Gamecock.” This is a sports 2-seater, of attractive lines and excellent finish, which gives the opportunity of having the chassis with the ” special series” engine at the same price as the other models of the range with the single car
Engine : 4-cyl. 60.3 x 95.2 m.m. bore and stroke, capacity 1,089 c.c. Inclined overhead valves, push-rod operated. Fitted twin S.U.
carburettors. Two-bearing fully balanced crankshaft.
Gear-box : In unit with engine. 4-speeds with silent third. Ratios 20.37, 13.13, 7.67 and 5.25 to 1.
Suspension: Semi-elliptic springs.
Brakes. On all wheels, adjustable from driving seat.
burettor standard engine, i.e. £298. The main features of the R;ley engine include the special cylinder head and valve gear arrangement, by which overhead valves inclined at 90° in the hemispherical head are operated by means of push-rods from the camshafts situated at the side of the engine. This gives the
main advantages of an overhead camshaft design • of the very high efficiency type without the corresponding disadvantage of limited accessibility. Lubrication is by pressure to all bearings and also to the rocker gear. The drive is taken by a single plate clutch to the special Riley 4-speed gearbox, which incorporates a silent third constant mesh gear with helical toothed pinions.
On taking over the “Gamecock” from the Riley showrooms in North Audley*Street we first inspected the body, and found a very sensibly arranged and strongly built piece of coachwork.
Simplicity is the keynote of this model, and the car is not fitted with a dickey seat, which will be no loss to the man who purposely buys such a car in. preference to the normal tourer. On the other hand, the rear of the car forms a really capacious locker, with ample room for two or three suitcases as well as the various minor items which one often requires to carry.
The magneto as well as the twin carburettors is placed on the offside of the engine. The unusual mounting of the former provides exceptional accessibility to the contact breaker and the d.stributor.
The seating, which is fitted with pneumatic upholstery, gives ample leg room for the tallest driver, and the controls are excellently placed.
An outstanding feature of the engine we tried is its remarkable mechanical silence, which, even in these days when it is so much in demand, is far above the average. Moreover, this is not merely the attribute of a new engine, for the car we tried was the first ” Gamecock” to leave the works, and has since covered an enormous mileage on demonstration work in many hands. This property of mechanical silence is carried right through the car, and makes it very pleasant to drive, as there is never any feeling that the car is being stressed. The engine balance seems perfect, and it revels in high revs. The only alight ” period ” occurs when accelerating from comparatively low speeds in the form of a slight rumble, which
we have noticed on other cars with two-bearing crankshafts. Under all other conditions, however, the smoothness of the engine is exceptional. The gear box is a delight to handle at all
speeds and under all conditions, the short gear lever being perfectly placed, and the change being as easy as any on the market.
Although the Riley is only of 1,100 c.c. capacity, it is not really a small car, and when travelling fast it has a wonderful feeling of reserve strength and extreme stability, which make it one of the best average speed cars we have tried.
The maximum speed which we obtained, of 71 m.p.h. on the level, takes a considerable stretch of road to attain, but its excellent performance over all sorts of runs is chiefly due to its easily maintained cruising speed of between 50 and 60 m.p.h., coupled with steering and roadholding of a very high order, judged by whatever standards, the former being thoroughly “live,” yet absolutely positive. The very effi ient and powerful
brakes—the drums are 13 inches in diameter—further enhance the roadworthiness of this model, and it is certainly in this feeling of absolute control and safety that the great charm of the car is found.
There are cars with better actual acceleration, probably due to the fact that the ” Gamecock ” weighs slightly over a ton, but it is just this which gives it that strength and rigidity which is so desirable, and which more than compensates in actual average speed for any slight loss in getting off the mark.
The braking distance from 40 m.p.h. is 55 feet on tarmac, the effort necessary being in fair proportion to the braking required, and never excessive.
The robustness which is found in the chassis and body of the ” Gamecock ” is also noticeable in the car’s equipment, the screen, hood, lamps, and so forth, all being of very sturdy build.
The success of the Riley ” 9 ” in such arduous competitions as the Monte Carlo Rally has proved its reliability, and we can thoroughly recommend this latest sports model to the man who requires a distinctive and roadworthy, yet really economical car.