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Lot 123: Riley SP6 Roadster

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

This unique roadster is deeply steeped in Riley tradition. Having learned his craft as a Riley apprentice, Dennis Ramsay's father always kept a few Blue Diamonds around; as mechanics Dennis and his father were associated with the Scottish Border Reivers racing team that provided Jim Clark with some of his first mounts. Starting in 1951, one of their first projects was a special based on a six-cylinder Riley; Ramsey continued to race and build cars throughout the 60s and 70s, until his thoughts returned to building another special Riley in the early 1980s. ' 'I acquired two 2 litre Rileys' said Ramsay. 'One was a 1952, which I rebuilt, and the other was a 1954'. Ramsey shortened the RM frame by 24 inches. Adjustable Armstrong dampers were fitted at the front, with spring settings adjusted to align the lower wishbones horizontally. Rear leaf springs were shortened and softened to suit the lighter load they carried, snubbed by level-type dampers. Altered engine mountings shifted the 2 litre unit three inches rearward. Ramsey retained the torque-tube drive of his earlier Riley, shortening the tube to suit the new wheelbase and engine location. Ramsey left the SP6's Riley engine more or less alone, one adjustment being the cross-drilling of its big end journals to provide more consistent oiling at high revs. Behind the usual Riley bonnet the scuttle was rebuilt and Ramsay installed box steel door pillars, with rear doors from an RM saloon adapted to fit the new design. Front and rear wings were modified from the originals, those at the rear widened to suit the tapering tail. New panelling was aluminium throughout, including the rear body, foot wells and complete undertray. Red leather trimmed the seats and interior. It took two years to complete, finally being finished in 1983; Ramsey sold the car shortly after completion. The SP6 was sold to a gentleman who lived in Crewe, before passing to Karl Zachau in 1991. In early 2000 Zachau offered it to readers of The Automobile. It was here that the current vendor  Karl Ludvigsen, author, collector and well regarded historian  bought the car. Karl has used the car extensively on classic rallies and continental touring during his tenure and describes it as in good to excellent condition. Offered with UK V5 registration papers, this unique and interesting Riley is without doubt a car for the true connoisseur of one of Great Britain's most celebrated and revered marques.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number123
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration numberHFV 554
Chassis numberRME 23426
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2