I was interested in Mr. Hewitt’s letter concerning the Riley Twelve in your September issue. The Twelve, with the 69 by 110-mm. engine, first appeared at the 1925 Show—the earlier 10.7s and the “Redwings” having the 65.8-mm. bore engine – and it continued in production until 1928 when it was finally dropped as a result of the success of the “Nine.”
Judging from the photograph, I think it possible that Mr. Hewitt may have got hold of one of the last, or 1928, series with the plate clutch, Ricardo-head engine, and Perrot-type front brake actuation; I owned a 1927 “special tourer” with wire wheels and if Mr. Hewitt’s car originally had this body it is a pity that it has not survived as it was certainly one of the best-looking cars of its day. Performance of the 1926-27 special tourers with the 10/47 axle ratio was not spectacular, but they could be worked up to a good turn of speed on a long run. The right-hand gear-change was an optional extra and with the cone clutch the gear-change was difficult, but one was left with a satisfactory sense of achievement, once accomplished; again, due to the cone clutch, the mortality with half-shafts and crown-wheels was apt to be high—if Mr. Hewitt has a 1928 model he should steer clear of these troubles. In all other respects the cars were a most rugged job.
I am, Yours, etc., Cowley Down. G. Arnott.