1938 Riley 12/4


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Mileage 
    3 000 mi / 4 829 km
  • Car type 
  • Lot number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Gearbox 


"First introduced in 1926, Percy Riley's 9hp, 1087cc, twin camshaft four was an outstanding engine design by any standards, various versions powering Rileys until 1957. Looking to all intents and purposes like a twin overhead camshaft design, the Nine's cross-flow cylinder head featured hemispherical combustion chambers and valves inclined at an included angle of 90 degrees. The twin gear driven camshafts were mounted high in the block, operating the valves via short pushrods. This successful high camshaft layout was retained for the new Hugh Rose designed 1½ litre four introduced in 1935. The Falcon saloon debuted on this new 12hp chassis, which was also available with the familiar Kestrel saloon and Lynx tourer coachwork, while the following year the range was augmented by the Sprite two seater sports and three saloons; the Adelphi and six light Kestrel on the 112.5 long wheelbase chassis and the all steel Merlin on the short wheelbase (106) frame. 
Originally an Adelphi four door saloon, this example was in poor condition when it was discovered as a 'barn find' in the late 1980s and the decision was made to restore it as a Lynx-style four seat open tourer with new coachwork by Wilkinson & Son of Derby. At that time the car still retained its original registration number CKV 319, identifying it as first owned by none other than Rupert Riley, the factory's competitions manager, whose cars were taking class and outright wins at Brooklands on a regular basis. The car benefits from a new radiator, Girling brakes all round and fully restored Dunlop centre-lock wire wheels shod with 4.75x18 tyres. The engine is the correct 12/4 Riley unit, complete with Wilson four speed pre-selector gearbox, and the car comes with full weather equipment to include hood, tonneau cover, side screens and hood bag.
Beautifully finished and ready for all manner of touring trips and historic rallies (including a recent trip to France where the car proved very reliable), this most elegant Riley tourer is offered with its V5C registration document and a comprehensive history file, viewing of which is highly recommended."