We have not reviewed many commercial miniatures recently, because these seem to have departed for the time being from covetable replicas of desirable private cars or commercial vehicles. When Lesney, Corgi and others resume the old-style miniatures we shall hope to refer to them.
Meanwhile, it is pleasing to learn that Tim Ely, who is great Riley enthusiast, had added to his stable the miniature Brooklands-model Riley built originally for Percy Maclure’s young son. This little Riley was powered by a 147-c.c. Villiers two-stroke motorcycle engine driving through an ingenious two-speed gearbox consisting of chains and sprockets and dog clutches, apparently made in the Riley factory. The wheelbase measures 48 in., the track 26 in. and the little car is 6 ft. 2 in. in length. Peter Maclure’s son, then aged nine, drove the model Riley in a manner which befitted the son of a successful racing driver. At a pre-war Lea Bridge Speedway meeting he took it round in 37 sec., a speed of 27 m.p.h., broadsiding the corners in the dirt-track style. I remember that he opened a 1936 Riley MC Lullingstone speed hill-climb with it and it was demonstrated at Donington, etc.
After the war Bob Gerard got hold of it and later a garage had it, but engine and clutch have long since disappeared. Tim Ely, noted for immaculate restorations, can be relied on to put this right, so that in due time his son, recently born, can enliven Riley Register and other appropriate meetings with this real little miniature.—W. B.