Riley MPH Special

1937

A beautifully re-engineered Riley MPH Special that was 10 years in the making.

Riley
The 1930's Riley MPH is an iconic pre-war sports car renowned for its elegant design and exceptional performance. In the case of this car, the ethos was to take the best elements of Riley engineering and styling to make a usable, all-around evocation of the firm's finest, rarest sports model, the MPH
£85,000

2.5 Litre BIG FOUR

Beautiful Alloy Body

Room for six-footers!

Year

1937

MILEAGE

As Displayed

SERVICE HISTORY

Specialist

Transmission

4 Speed Manual

Information

interior

exterior

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Julien's Perspective

Some thoughts on this model

Much has been written about Riley’s plethora of models, its status as the ‘English Bugatti’, and the individuals who adapted and campaigned ‘specials’ based on factory cars but with brilliant modifications.

The approach to building a special must hence be clear from the outset and the specialists involved need to be carefully chosen for their understanding of the marque. In the case of this car, the ethos was to take the best elements of Riley engineering and styling to make a usable, all-round evocation of the firm’s finest, rarest sports model, the MPH.

Chassis number 27A5169 attests to this car beginning life as a 1936 1.5 litre Adelphi. The engine, according to the late Ian Gladstone of Blue Diamond, is a very early 2.5 litre 16hp ‘Big Four’ which Riley only commenced testing, under the supervision of Harry Rush, in 1937. The crossflow designwith twin bronze carburettors became the basis for post-war RM cars.

The block is crack-free, white metalled and fitted with new pistons, and is mated to a four-speed gearbox. Together with twin fuel pumps, fuel regulator, low differential gearing and side exhaust Riley’s most powerful engine is tractable from low revs and immensely sonorous.

Given the engine choice and the principle of driveability, hydraulic brakes were fitted and these have been re-shoed and carefully adjusted to offer the necessary stopping power. Springs and shock absorber set up, together with tyre choice, give a pliant ride.

Unlike an original MPH, the ash frame body was built up around a six-foot passenger with a raked seat back behind which there is storage space. Tool compartments are located under the footwells and the cabin is carpeted and fully upholstered with an effective heater and mohair tonneau.

Most strikingly, in contrast to the many specials with cycle wings and aero screens, the front and rear alloy wings, along with the front apron, were made up on bucks to evoke the unique beauty of the MPH.

Detailed invoices accompany a full photographic build record showing more than a decade’s work by a small elite team with notable names such as, Sigma Engineering, South Western Coachworks, Formhalls engineering, Tim Whitehead, formerly of Blue Diamond, Tim Sage and Parr’s Engineering, all playing a significant but vital roles in this beautiful build.

Given that original cars, of which there were only a dozen, change hands for over £400,000 and the fact that so many craftsmen who know Riley's have now retired this should prove a unique opportunity.

The car has enjoyed daily use in Devon and Somerset, particularly in the Blackdown Hills where it seems almost ideally suited to the local roads. 

It would be a pleasure to answer any questions you might have. However, to really appreciate this Riley, it needs to be seen “in the flesh”, so do please call me directly on 07788 865700 to arrange a viewing.

Finance available

Bringing our rich history to life by meticulously rebuilding limited edition Classic Jaguars including the iconic Lightweight E‑type.

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Bringing our rich history to life by meticulously rebuilding limited edition Classic Jaguars including the iconic Lightweight E‑type.

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1937

Riley MPH Special

CAR NUMBER
RILE37-076
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