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Riley Brooklands 1930
Image by pedrosimoes7
Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
Riley was a British motorcar and bicycle manufacturer from 1890. The business became element of the Nuffield Organisation in 1938 and was later merged into British Leyland: late in 1969 British Leyland announced their discontinuance of Riley production, even though 1969 was a hard year for the UK auto market and so a quantity of automobiles from the company’s inventory are most likely to have been first registered only in 1970.
These days, the Riley trademark is owned by BMW.
Riley Cycle Firm
Riley started as the Bonnick Cycle Organization of Coventry, England. During the pedal cycle craze that swept Britain at the end of the nineteenth century, in 1890, William Riley Jr. purchased the organization and in 1896 renamed it the Riley Cycle Firm. Later, cycle gear maker Sturmey Archer was added to the portfolio. Riley’s younger son, Percy, left college in the identical year and quickly began to dabble in automobiles. He constructed his first car at 16, in 1898, secretly, simply because his father did not approve. It featured the very first mechanically operated inlet valve. By 1899, Percy Riley moved from making motorcycles to his very first prototype four-wheeled quadricycle. Small is recognized about Percy Riley’s really very first "motor-vehicle". It is, however, nicely attested that the engine featured mechanically operated cylinder valves at a time when other engines depended on the vacuum effect of the descending piston to suck the inlet valve(s) open. That was demonstrated some years later when Benz created and patented a mechanically operated inlet valve approach of their personal but had been unable to collect royalties on their system from British companies the courts were persuaded that the technique utilised by British auto-makers was primarily based the one pioneered by Percy, which had comfortably anticipated equivalent developments in Germany. In 1900, Riley sold a single 3-wheeled automobile. Meanwhile the elder of the Riley brothers, Victor Riley, despite the fact that supportive of his brother’s embryonic motor-vehicle enterprise, devoted his energies at this stage to the core bicycle company.
Company founder William Riley remained resolutely opposed to diverting the resources of his bicycle business into motor vehicles, and in 1902 three of his sons, Victor, Percy and younger brother Alan Riley pooled resources, borrowed a essential balancing amount from their mother and in 1903 established the separate Riley Engine Firm, also in Coventry. A few years later the other two Riley brothers, Stanley and Cecil, possessing left college joined their elder brothers in the business.[two] At 1st, the Riley Engine Firm basically supplied engines for Riley motorcycles and also to Singer, a newly emerging motor cycle manufacturer in the location,[two] but the Riley Engine Firm organization quickly began to concentrate on 4-wheeled automobiles. Their Vee-Twin Tourer prototype, produced in 1905, can be deemed the 1st proper Riley vehicle. The Engine Company expanded the subsequent year. William Riley reversed his former opposition to his sons’ preference for motorised vehicles and Riley Cycle halted motorcycle production in 1907 to concentrate on automobiles.[two] Bicycle production also ceased in 1911.
In 1912, the Riley Cycle Company changed its name to Riley (Coventry) Limited as William Riley focused it on becoming a wire-spoked wheel supplier for the burgeoning motor business, the detachable wheel having been invented (and patented) by Percy and distributed to more than 180 motor manufacturers, and by 1912 the father’s enterprise had also dropped automobile manufacture in order to concentrate capacity and resources on the wheels. Exploitation of this new and swiftly expanding lucrative business sector made commercial sense for William Riley, but the abandonment of his motor-bicycle and then of his automobile enterprise which had been the principal consumer for his sons’ Riley Engine Organization enforced a rethink on the Engine Firm.
Riley Motor Manufacturing
In early 1913, Percy was joined by three of his brothers (Victor, Stanley, and Allan) in a new business focused on manufacturing whole automobiles. This Riley Motor Manufacturing Firm was situated close to Percy’s Riley Engine Business. The 1st new model, the 17/30, was introduced at the London Motor Show that year. Quickly afterwards, Stanley Riley founded however another business, the Nero Engine Organization, to create his own 4-cylinder 10 hp (7.5 kW) car. Riley also began manufacturing aeroplane engines and became a essential supplier in Britain’s buildup for Planet War I.
In 1918, soon after the war, the Riley businesses had been restructured. Nero joined Riley (Coventry) as the sole producer of automobiles. Riley Motor Manufacturing came beneath the handle of Allan Riley to become Midland Motor Bodies, a coachbuilder for Riley. Riley Engine Organization continued under Percy as the engine supplier. At this time, Riley’s blue diamond badge, developed by Harry Rush, also appeared. The motto was "As old as the industry, as modern as the hour.
Riley grew swiftly by way of the 1920s and 1930s. Riley Engine developed four-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines, although Midland constructed far more than a dozen diverse bodies. Riley models at this time incorporated:
Saloons: Adelphi, Continental, Deauville, Falcon, Kestrel, Mentone, Merlin, Monaco, Stelvio, Victor
Coupes: Ascot, Lincock
Touring: Alpine, Lynx, Gamecock
Sports: Brooklands, Imp, MPH, Sprite
Limousines: Edinburgh, Winchester
The Riley Brooklands was 1 of the most successful performs and privateer racing automobiles of the late 1920s and early 1930s, specifically in hill climbs and at Le Mans, delivering a platform for the good results of motorsports’ 1st women racing drivers like Kay Petrie and Dorothy Champney. It was primarily based on Percy Riley’s ground-breaking Riley 9 engine, a modest capacity, high revving engine, ahead of its time in numerous respects. It had a hemispherical combustion chamber and overheard valves and has been called the most considerable engine improvement of the 1920s. Its longevity is illustrated by Mike Hawthorn’s early racing good results right after WW2 in pre-war Rileys, in certain his father’s Sprite. But by about 1936 the firm had overextended, with too many models and as well few frequent parts, and the emergence of Jaguar at Coventry was a direct challenge. Victor Riley had set up a new ultra-luxury concern, Autovia, to generate a V8 saloon and limousine to compete with Rolls-Royce. Meanwhile, Riley Engine Company had been renamed PR Motors (after Percy Riley) to be a higher-volume supplier of engines and components. Although the rest of the Riley companies would go on to turn into part of BMC, PR Motors remained independent. Following the death of Percy Riley in 1941, the firm began generating transmission components and still exists nowadays as Newage Transmissions. Percy’s widow Norah ran the organization for a lot of years and was Britain’s businesswoman of the year in 1960.
By 1937, Riley started to appear to other makers for partnerships. It had withdrawn from performs racing soon after its most successful year, 1934, although it continued to provide engines for the ERA, a voiturette (Formula 2) racing vehicle based on the supercharged 6-cylinder ‘White Riley’, developed by ERA founder Raymond Mays in the mid-thirties. Rileys (Ulster Imp and Sprite) had been also the 1st important automobiles raced by Mike Hawthorn following the war. BMW of Munich, Germany was interested in expanding its range into England. But the Rileys were much more interested in a larger British concern, and looked to Triumph Motor Business, also of Coventry, as a all-natural fit. In February, 1938, all negotiations collapsed as Riley (Coventry) and Autovia went into receivership.
Each firms had been bought by Lord Nuffield for £143,000 and operated by Victor Riley as Riley (Coventry) Successors. It was rapidly sold to Nuffield’s Morris Motor Organization for £1, with the combination coming to be called the Nuffield Organisation.
Nuffield took swift measures to firm up the firm. Autovia was no more, with just 35 automobiles getting been made. Riley refocused on the four-cylinder market place with two engines: A 1.five litre 12 hp engine and the "Big 4", a 2.5 litre 16 hp unit (The hp figures are RAC Rating, and bear no partnership to bhp or kW). Only a couple of bodies have been made, and some elements had been shared with Morris for economies of scale.
After World War II, the restarted Riley Motors took up the old engines in new models, based in conception on the 1936-8 ‘Continental’. The RMA employed the 1.five litre engine, whilst the RMB got the Large Four. The RM line of cars, sold under the "Magnificent Motoring" tag line, have been to be the company’s higher point. They featured a front independent suspension and steering program inspired by the Citroën Traction Avant. Their flowing lines have been particularly nicely-balanced, marrying pre-war ‘coachbuilt’ elegance to far more contemporary attributes, such as headlamps faired-in to the front wings.
Victor Riley was removed by Nuffield in 1947, and the Coventry works had been shut down as production was consolidated with MG at Abingdon. Nuffield’s marques had been to be organised in a related way to these of Basic Motors: Morris was to be the value line, MG provided overall performance, and Wolseley was to be the luxury marque. But with the luxury marque, and sporty/luxurious Riley also fighting for the leading position, the range was crowded and confused.
British Motor Corporation
The confusion became critical in 1952 with the merger of Nuffield and Austin as the British Motor Corporation. Now, Riley was positioned in between MG and Wolseley and most Riley models have been, like these, little more than badge-engineered versions of Austin/Morris styles.
Other BMC Rileys integrated the Pathfinder with Riley’s 2.5 litre four which replaced the RM line. With a slightly restyled body and a distinct engine it was later also sold as the Wolseley six/90. The Riley lost its distinct (even though subtle) variations in 1958 and the 1958 6/90 was accessible badge engineered as a Riley Two-Point-Six. Despite the fact that this was the only postwar 6-cylinder Riley, its C-Series engine was actually less-potent than the Riley Massive 4 that it replaced. This was to be the final large Riley, with the model dropped in May 1959 and the organization refocusing on the under-2 litre segment.
Riley and Wolseley were linked in modest automobiles as nicely. Launched in 1957, the Riley 1-Point-5 and Wolseley 1500 were reworked Morris Minors. They shared their exteriors, but the Riley was marketed as the a lot more functionality-oriented choice, obtaining an uprated engine, twin S.U. carburetters and a close-ratio gearbox. With its excellent handling, compact, sports-saloon styling and nicely-appointed interior, the 1-Point-5 fairly effectively recaptured the character of the 1930s light saloons.
At the leading of the Riley line for April 1959 was the new Riley four/Sixty-Eight saloon. Once more, it was merely a badge-engineered version of other BMC models. This time, it shared with the MG Magnette Mark III and Wolseley 15/60. The vehicle was refreshed, along with its siblings, in 1961 and rebadged the four/Seventy-Two.
The early 1960s also saw the introduction of the Mini-primarily based Riley Elf. Again, a Wolseley model (the Hornet) was introduced simultaneously. This time, the Riley and Wolseley versions had been differentiated visually and identical mechanically.
A BLMC press release dated 9 July 1969 announced "today that all Riley models produced at British Leyland’s Austin-Morris division will be discontinued".[two]
The final model of the BMC era was the Kestrel 1100/1300, primarily based on the Austin/Morris 1100/1300 saloon. This also had stablemates in Wolseley and MG versions. Following objections from diehard Riley enthusiasts, the Kestrel name was dropped for the last facelift in 1968, the Riley 1300.
Riley production ended with the 1960s, and the marque became dormant. The last Riley badged auto was created in 1969. Following BMW’s divestment of the MG Rover Group in 2000, the rights to the Triumph and Riley marques, along with Mini/MINI have been retained by BMW.
In 2007, William Riley, who claims to be a descendant of the Riley household, although this has been disputed,[three] formed MG Sports and Racing Europe Ltd. This company acquired assets relating to the MG XPower SV sportscar from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the administrators of the defunct MG Rover Group, and intended to continue production of the model as the MG XPower WR.