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Lot 220: Riley 12/4 Lynx-Sprite Tourer

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

Introduced in 1926, Percy Riley's 9hp, 1'087cc twin-camshaft four was an outstanding engine design by any standards, various versions of which powered Rileys until 1957. Clothed in stylish bodywork by Stanley Riley, the Coventry marque's pre-war offerings were among the world's finest small-capacity sporting cars. Percy Riley's proven twin-camshaft layout was retained for the new Hugh Rose-designed 1-litre four introduced in 1935; the Falcon saloon made its debut on this new 12hp chassis, which was also available with the familiar Kestrel saloon and Lynx tourer coachwork. The following year the range was augmented by the Sprite two-seater sports, as well as three further saloons: the Adelphi and six-light Kestrel on the 112.5 inch long-wheelbase chassis and the shorter-wheelbase (106inch) all-steel Merlin. In Standard trim the 1.5-litre 12/4 engine produced 45/46bhp with a single Zenith carburettor. The Special Series came with twin SUs and 52bhp while at the top of the range was the 59/61bhp Sprite specification engine that added 48 to the car's purchase price. In this guise the Sprite more than upheld Riley's sporting traditions, winning the Ulster Tourist Trophy in both 1935 and 1936 with the legendary Freddie Dixon at the wheel, while there were numerous privateer successes at Brooklands and elsewhere. The Lynx remained the only 4-seater open car in the range, although by the end of 1937 production had almost come to a close and thus the example on offer today is one of the last to roll off the production line, first registered in Devon on 9th July 1937. Finished in blue with a grey interior, this fine pre-war open tourer is described by the vendor as being in excellent condition. Residing in the Totnes Motor Museum for some years, this car is supplied with a current V5 document, desirable buff log book, VSCC form, FIVA identity papers and a letter of authenticity from The Riley Register confirming the car is an original factory Sprite and fitted with its original engine. With the vendor since 2003, the car has competed in the Neige et Glace Rally on two occasions with podium finishes as well as competing at the VSCC Prescott hill climb and many other rallies. The car benefits from a Scintilla magneto, high compression head, Sprite oil filter and other extensive improvement works carried out during the vendor's tenure, among which a full engine competition rebuild including new Phoenix crank and rods, new high compression pistons, liners and new valves. Handling this performance is a gearbox rebuilt to competition specification as well as new hubs and wheels  a rear axle overhaul was also carried out. Finishing touches include a recent re-spray, headlight restoration, and passengers now benefit from full wet weather gear including tonneau and side screens. Highly eligible and subtly prepared for a plethora of historic rallies and events, and with the added practicality of 4 seats, this fine Riley is a well sorted, reliable motor car for UK and European touring and competition.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number220
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberDYW 905
Chassis numberSS27L6370
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2