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Lot 016: Riley RMA Saloon

Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (27 November 2013)

Low-slung, rakish and elegant, the RM series was the last range of cars to be developed independently by Riley before the 1952 merger of Riley's Nuffield Organisation with Austin to form BMC. Originally made in Coventry, by 1949 production had moved to the MG works at Abingdon. The 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. Noted for its outstanding handling, the RMA 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. This particular RMA was first registered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1947 and spent the next 50 years in the local area. Correspondence from the Riley RM Club states that it had four owners up to 1974, while other documents suggest that it has had another four or five owners since. Between 1999 and 2002 the car was treated to a total body-off restoration by the previous owner, the whole process being meticulously documented in photos and notes in the history file. This included a new ash frame and a rebuilt engine plus much other work too detailed to list in full here. On completion the car was used as almost daily transport for the next 9 years. The current vendor acquired the car in 2011 and has covered another 1,000 miles or so during his ownership. He states that the car runs and drives well with good oil pressure and temperature at all times. The original green leather seats have been fitted with covers and are all reported to be in good condition apart from the driver's seat which is somewhat worn. The bodywork has deteriorated somewhat and could do with some localised repairs here and there, but the doors all fit nicely with no sagging. The car is taxed until next April but the last MOT expired in July 2014 and the car now no longer needs an MOT under the new regulations. It comes with a spare reconditioned SU carburettor and air filter casing plus two highly detailed workshop manuals and a copy of Riley Cars by SF Drake. Eminently usable as it is, it could be gradually improved over time if desired. Pleasingly it also retains its original and transferable number plate, LBB 166.

Lot Details
Auction Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number016
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£3000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1947
Condition rating2
Registration numberLBB 166
Mileage-
Chassis number37S 12008
Engine numberA9905
Engine capacity (cc)1496
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4