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Lot 167: Riley 9hp Brooklands

Goodwood Revival Sale, Bonhams (15 September 2012)

Almost as soon as these new (9hp) models arrived on the scene, interest was shown in the engine by J G Parry-Thomas, who joined forces with Reid Railton to produce an 1,100cc racing chassis which Railton drove to undreamed-of success at Brooklands. Later, after Thompson and Taylor had developed the chassis, Riley put into production the 9hp Speed Model, which quickly became a legend as the Brooklands Nine. It was a Brooklands Nine which won the Rudge Whitworth Cup at Le Mans in 1934.' - As Old As The Industry: Riley 1898 - 1969, David G Styles. Introduced in 1926, Percy Riley's 9hp, 1,087cc, twin-camshaft four was an outstanding engine design by any standards, various versions powering 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, none more so than the rare and highly desirable Brooklands Speed Model, 110 of which were made between 1928 and 1932. The production Brooklands boasted a chassis shortened to an 8' wheelbase from the standard Nine's 8' 10.5" and was low-slung in the extreme, it being possible for the driver to touch the ground while normally seated at the wheel! Body construction varied considerably, ranging from wood-framed, steel-panelled, two-door types intended for touring, to the lightweight, door-less, alloy ones used at Le Mans. The engine differed from the standard Nine's by virtue of its water pump, high-compression pistons, different camshafts, four-branch exhaust manifold and twin carburettors, in which form it produced around 50bhp at 5,000 rpm. The Brooklands was enthusiastically received by the British motor racing fraternity as it provided a most competitive entry into the 1,100cc sports car class (Class G), hitherto dominated by Continental makes. As well as the aforementioned 1934 team award at Le Mans, Riley Brooklands successes included various Class G world records, a class win in the RAC Tourist Trophy, an outright win at the 1932 Ulster Tourist Trophy and victory in the JCC 1,000 Miles Race and countless other events at Brooklands. This Riley Nine has been built to Brooklands Speed Model specification and complies with current FIA regulations. It is constructed around a Riley chassis (number '601020') which has been fitted with a Riley four-cylinder engine and Riley four-speed non-synchromesh gearbox, the latter dating from 1928. The 1,087cc engine is a racing unit that has been fitted with modern forged pistons, Carrillo-style 'H'-section connecting rods, and a counterbalanced sold-billet steel crankshaft. In 2012 the car was overhauled regardless of cost by CKL Developments Ltd immediately prior to the Le Mans Classic race (see detailed bill on file). Noteworthy features include a newly reground crankshaft by CK Motor Engineers, new big-end bearings shells, new piston rings, re-white metalled main bearings, new magneto, large ribbed sump and an oil cooler. Power is transmitted via a racing clutch to the close-ratio gearbox (overhauled at the same time as the engine). The lightweight body is new and the interior has been re-trimmed in high quality red leather. A new fuel tank has been fitted together with a period, under-dash oil feed tank. To comply with modern requirements, especially for Continental motoring, cycle wings, sidelights with indicators, 'pork pie' rear lights (also with indicators) have been fitted together with Rotax dipping headlamps. The car's maximum speed is around 80mph using the present pistons. At the 2012 Le Mans Classic the Riley was classified 11th on the Index of Performance, a result that could be bettered with improved carburetion. This Riley Brooklands is well known at most of the major European circuits and is reported to be in an excellent state of maintenance. Offered with sundry invoices, FIA HTP/barcode and VSCC papers, this very competitive pre-war racer is ready to race or hill climb.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Revival Sale
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood
Lot Number167
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£36500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£41975
Condition rating1
Registration number
Chassis number601020
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors