1952 Riley RMF
Recent nut-and-bolt restoration and under 500 miles since; matching numbers; in wonderful condition throughout; various modern upgrades including LED lights, electric fan, high-level brake lights, flashing indicators, USB ports and even a reversing camera!
Last and best of the RM Series, the RMF was only in production from 1952 – 53 and featured a number of improvements over its predecessors, most obviously a larger rear window for better visibility. The RMF also had fully hydraulic drum brakes rather than the hydromechanical system of the earlier cars and featured independent torsion bar front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering which gave excellent ride and handling for the era.
Under the bonnet was Riley’s wonderful 2.5-litre 'Big-Four' with twin camshafts mounted high at the sides of the cylinder block, hemispherical combustion chambers and twin SU carbs. Driving through a four-speed gearbox linked to a new hypoid bevel rear axle by an open propshaft, in RMF form the engine produced 100bhp giving the car lively acceleration and a top speed just a whisker shy of the magic ton. No wonder the Police loved it!
Only 1,050 RMFs were made before it was replaced by the Pathfinder in 1954 and good ones are highly prized today. Just look at the styling – isn’t it gorgeous?
This car is certainly one of the good ones. In fact we would go so far as to say it is perhaps the best we have seen in over 15 years of hosting these sales. It was bought as a rolling restoration by an American Riley enthusiast in 2005 who promptly set about a ground-up restoration which was to keep him happily employed for the next eight years.
The extent of the work carried out is far too detailed to list in full here, but rest assured – every single nut and bolt on this car has been either rebuilt or renewed, the owner being a gifted engineer who even fabricated parts from scratch if replacements were not available or he thought the original design could be improved upon. The whole process was exhaustively documented in a blog that the owner constantly updated from 2005 to 2013, including thousands of words and hundreds of photos. In fact you wonder how he found the time to work on both the car and the website at once!
The blog gained a considerable audience worldwide, our vendor being one of many people who followed progress with equal measures of interest and admiration. Sadly, just as the restoration was nearing completion, the American owner suffered a change in his personal circumstances and was forced to put the Riley up for sale, leading to a deluge of offers from which our vendor was delighted to emerge victorious.
A Riley Club member himself, he had the car shipped back to England and set about the final detailing which he only completed in the summer of 2019. In the spirit of the American owner, he also incorporated modern improvements of his own, including uprating the electrical system with negative earth conversion to accommodate extras like LED lighting, high level brake lights, flashing front indicators integrated into the torpedo sidelights and an electric cooling fan.
On the inside he added double USB ports for sat nav and iPod connectivity, a voltmeter, Delaney Gallay heater, Jaeger rev counter and clock with electronic conversion and even a reversing camera to eliminate the need for ugly wing mirrors! Care was taken to ensure that all these mods can be easily undone should the new owner feel so inclined (but why would you?).
The car has only covered some 470 miles since the restoration was completed and the engine (which is original to the car and was fully rebuilt with new white metal bearings; crankshaft sludge traps correctly cleaned out etc) is still at the running-in stage so it will need to be gently treated for the next 500 miles or more before the performance can be safely exploited to the full.
Supplied with a V5C and an original RMF handbook, the car also comes with a USB stick containing all the restoration notes and photos. Interested parties can be sent a link to the original blog by emailing our own James Dennison on the address shown below. Be warned though, there is a helluva lot to read!
Only reluctantly for sale because our vendor has now acquired another project which is consuming all his time and resources, this stunning ‘matching numbers’ Riley is in fabulous condition throughout and is sure to turn heads wherever it goes.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: LXS140
Chassis Number: RMF62S10072
Engine Number: RMB2/685
Engine Size: 2443
Docs: V5C; original RMF handbook; USB stick of restoration
Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)
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