How interesting to read of Ralph Stokes’ fifteen Monte Carlo Rallies (Motor Sport, September 1988), and in particular the halcyon days of the 1950s when the British challenge was led by the big saloons from Ford, Jaguar, Sunbeam-Talbot, and Allard.
However, I fear Ralph and WB have slipped a little in their memories of the period. The famous Lyndon Sims Riley (AEU 921) was of course, a 21/2-litre RMB, and the prefix RMA was reserved for the 1½litre models. The outstanding lappery of the Grand Prix circuit in Monte Carlo, when he diced with, and beat, Moss in the works Sunbeam-Talbot, was in 1954.
In 1956 Sims drove the later Pathfinder model when the final test round the Grand Prix circuit was discontinued and replaced by a mountain test. This was the year Ronnie Adams, the leading British rally driver of that time, guided the big Jaguar Mk VII to victory in one of the more snowy Montes.
Sims’ Riley was a particularly rapid example, and perhaps best known for leading the 1954 International Touring Car Race at Silverstone before spinning out at Stowe on the second lap. Was this the last time a Riley led an international event?
Does anyone know the whereabouts of AEU 921 today, and what was the secret of its particularly high performance? Contemporary reports suggest that it was maintained by the main Riley agent in Cardiff, Castle Garage.
Denis R Bell, Belfast
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