1954 Riley RME
Only 12,000 miles on rebuilt engine; interesting history; solid and usable example of this classic sporting saloon
Dating from September 1954, this Riley RME was originally registered in Kirkudbright, Scotland, with the number SW 9823. Notes on file state that it was first owned by a gentleman in Dumfries who bequeathed it to his chauffeur, a Mr Blair, when he died. He in turn passed it on to his daughter, Elizabeth Blair, who ran the Creggans Hotel on the shores of Loch Fyne, the file containing an old V5 in her name and a copy of a black and white photo showing her with the car.
When she died in 1999, she bequeathed the Riley to an old friend, David Robb, who had looked after it informally for many years. Affectionately known as ‘Belinda’, the Riley has been in regular use ever since, 11 old MOTs indicating that it has covered some 16,000 miles since 2003. Notes on file detail maintenance carried out over the years including a full engine rebuild in 2010 since when the car has covered some 12,000 miles. The vinyl roof was recovered at the same time, a new stainless steel exhaust was fitted, the front bumpers were rechromed plus numerous other jobs.
Invoices from the Riley RM Centre in Perthshire show evidence of more recent servicing including an overhaul of the brake system hydraulics in 2018 with a reconditioned master cylinder and various new hoses, plus a new battery earlier this year.
It seems that the speedo was changed in 2015 when it was showing 75,140 miles, the replacement speedo reading 11,266 miles when fitted and 12,045 today so the car has been only lightly used in the last five years, a show plaque indicating that it attended the Scottish Riley Enthusiasts National Weekend in 2019. An original factory workshop manual is also present.
Starting promptly and running sweetly as we moved her around for these photos, Belinda appears to be in very sound and usable condition all round with a nicely mellowed interior. What lets the side down slightly is the paintwork which has been brush-applied in the traditional manner so the finish is more satin than gloss. We also detected a few mm of play in the in the driver’s door although the other doors are all rock solid.
Being offered here at a very modest guide price, Belinda now seeks a caring new owner who can enjoy and improve her over time as desired.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Riley's four-seater 1.5-litre RMA Saloon was introduced in 1945 with low, streamlined styling and an opulent interior designed to appeal to the more discerning motorist.
The cars were built on separate chassis assemblies with unstressed, ash-framed steel panelwork and a fabric-covered roof. Power came from a 1,496cc overhead valve four-cylinder engine with twin camshafts, mounted high in the cylinder block. Producing 54bhp, it propelled the car to a top speed of 75mph. The running gear was advanced for its time with rack-and-pinion steering and torsion bar independent front suspension.
In 1951 the RMA was replaced by the RME, essentially the same car, but with open prop shaft, hypoid axle, fully hydraulic brakes and a larger rear window. Noted for its outstanding handling, the RME was summed up by Motor magazine as follows: "With its many traditional British features, its good road manners and its excellent build quality and finish, the latest Riley will appeal to discerning drivers whose taste runs to an individual car of very pleasing up-to-date line." By 1954 it had lost its running boards and gained rear wheel spats, the model continuing in production until the arrival of the new Riley One-Point-Five in 1955.
Reg No: 249 XVK
Chassis Number: RME23391
Engine Number: RMA13565
Engine Size: 1496
Docs: V5C; old style V5; 11 old MOTs; invoices; b/w photo; original workshop manual
Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)
- Put in your highest bid you would be prepared to go to.
- Bidding at the last moment may leave you disappointed. Any earlier bid is always taken first, so doing this may only push someone else up and prevent you from becoming the highest bidder.
- No bids can be placed once the time remaining ends, therefore do not delay.