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Riley Kestrel


Produced: 1965-1969, 21529 produced.
Types: Saloon,4 doors,4 seats
Riley Kestrel

In 1965 BMC added a Riley badged version to its ever expanding 1100/1300 range. Available in 1100 Kestrel and later 1300 forms the new cars were little more than "badge-engineered" versions of the rest of the 1100/1300 family, being closely related to the MG variants.

Like the MG versions the Riley Kestrel and 1300 made use of the mildly tuned twin carb A-Series engines, the last 1300s were blessed with 70bhp which produced lively performance figures. All Riley 1100/1300 cars were well equipped and trimmed, featuring two-tone paint, leather seats and wood trim. Production disappeared along with the rest of the Riley marque in 1969.

Further information added:

ADO16 is the codename for the development of what became the Morris 1100, a small family car built by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and, later, British Leyland. It was also built in Spain by Authi.

The vehicle was launched as the Morris 1100 on August 15, 1962. The range was expanded to include several rebadged versions, including the twin-carburetted MG 1100, the Vanden Plas Princess (from October 1962), the Austin 1100 (August 1963), and finally the Wolseley 1100 (1965) and Riley Kestrel (1965). The Morris badged 1100/1300 gave up its showroom space to the Morris Marina in 1971, but Austin and Vanden Plas versions remained in production in the UK till June 1974. Throughout the 1960s, the ADO16 was consistently the UK's best-selling car.

In 1964 the 1100 was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year.

The estate version followed in 1966, called Countryman in the Austin version and Traveller in the Morris one, continuing the established naming scheme.

The ADO16 (Austin Drawing Office project number 16) was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis. Following his success with the Mini, Issigonis set out to design a larger and more sophisticated car which incorporated even more advanced features and innovations. In common with the Mini, the ADO16 was designed around the BMC A-Series engine, mounted transversely and driving the front wheels. As well as single piston swinging caliper disc brakes at the front, which were not common on mass produced cars in the early 1960s, the suspension system used was the Hydrolastic interconnected fluid system designed by Alex Moulton. The mechanically interconnected Citroen 2CV suspension was assessed in the mid-1950s by Alec Issigonis and Alex Moulton, (according to an interview by Moulton with CAR magazine in the late 1990s), and was an inspiration in the design of the Hydrolastic suspension system for the Mini and Austin 1100, to try to keep the benefits of the 2CV system (ride comfort, body levelling, keeping the roadwheel under good control and the tyre in contact with the road), but with added roll stiffness that the 2cv was very much lacking. Pininfarina, the Italian styling studio which had worked with BMC before on the Austin A40 Farina, were asked to do the styling. It was a masterpiece of packaging having comparable interior space to the much larger Ford Cortina.

Mark I (1962-1967)
The original Mark I models were distinctive for their use of a Hydrolastic suspension. Marketing material highlighted the spacious cabin when compared to competitor models which in the UK by 1964 included the more conservatively configured Ford Anglia, Vauxhall Viva HA and BMC's own still popular Morris Minor.

The Mark I Austin / Morris 1100 was available, initially, only as a four door saloon. Later a three door station wagon became available, but customers looking for a two door saloon would have to await the arrival in 1967 of the Mark II version. An Automotive products (AP) four speed automatic transmission was added as an option in 1965.

Mark II (1967-1971)
In 1967, a 1275 cc engine was available on MG, Riley, Vanden Plas and Wolseley models. The Mark II versions of the Austin and Morris models were announced, with the larger engine making it into these two makes' ranges in October 1967 (as the Austin 1300 and Morris 1300). An 1100 version of the Mark II continued alongside the larger engined models.

On the outside, a slightly wider front grill, extending a little beneath the headlights, and with a fussier detailing, differentiated Austin / Morris Mark IIs from their Mark I predecessors, along with a slightly smoother tail light fitting which also found its way onto the FX4 London taxi of the time. Austin and Morris grills were now identical. All synchromesh manual gearboxes were introduced in 1968.

Mark II versions of the MG, Riley, Vanden Plas and Wolseley were introduced in October 1968, at which time Riley abandoned the Kestrel name. The Riley 1300 Mark II was cancelled in July 1969, and was the last Riley.

Source: Motorbase


1098ccS4 OHVBMC A-Series62.93mm x 83.72mm
1275ccS4 OHVBMC A-Series70.61mm x 81.3mm


Top Speed0-60SQMMPGEngine PwrComment
95 mph17.3 s0 s29 mpg0 bhp 01275cc engine

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