1935 Riley 9HP

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1935
  • Chassis number 
    6027359
  • Engine number 
    55514 (see below)
  • Lot number 
    107
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Present family ownership since 1964
1935 Riley 9hp Imp Sports Two-seater
Registration no. OW 7859
Chassis no. 6027359
Engine no. 55514 (see below)

Development work on a standard Riley chassis by engineers/drivers J G Parry Thomas and Reid Railton so inspired the Riley Board that they sanctioned the designing and building of a two-seater sports car, designated the 'Brooklands'. It featured the well tried and tested four-cylinder, pushrod-operated, twin camshaft engine, displacing 1,087cc, and a lowered chassis and was to dominate the 1100cc class in international competition in the late 1920s and into the next decade. It was from this competition experience that the design of Riley's sporting two-seater Imp, launched in 1933, was developed, a light sports car built on a shortened 7ft 6in wheelbase chassis with appealing styling from every aspect.

This Imp, was first registered with Southampton County Borough Council on 7th November 1935 and, although its very early history is not recorded, it is known to have been trialled pre-war by one J.P.Hill. John Gathercole's standard work, 'The Riley Imp.' illustrates OW 7859 tackling the Adderstone Hairpin on the London-Edinburgh Trial of 1938 and a letter from A.H.Hill in the Riley Register magazine in 1988 refers to the car being "well and truly tested in MCC events" in 1938, taking part in the London-Edinburgh, Lands End and Exeter Trials, being campaigned at Donington, Prescott and Wetherby, and winning the prestigious RMC Ski Lady Trophy that year. In 1959 it was owned by D.Webster of Lytham St.Annes and in 1964 it was bought by Professor L.R.Moore for his son, in whose ownership it remained until his recent death. In 1964 the recorded mileage was 54,000 miles A letter from D.Webster in 1964 records all work undertaken and refers to the fitting of Girling mechanical brakes. In 1964 this car was selected by Model Cars Magazine for their Prototype Parade Plan no. 146 which featured a fine line drawing by A. Russell Black. This drawing clearly shows the MPH style spare wheel cover which the car retains, a feature which Imp historian Gathercole states is common to only two other recorded Imps.

This wonderful restoration project, in the present family ownership for 51 years, has been off the road for many years and has been the subject of a long, ongoing, but never completed restoration. It appears to be substantially original and complete in all major respects although it should be noted that the original engine (No. 55514) has at some stage been replaced with a Riley 9hp engine of similar vintage – perhaps the outcome of enthusiastic trialling pre-war. The mechanical condition of this manual gearbox car is unknown. The car comes with a good history file including an old buff logbook and Swansea V5C document, maintenance and instruction books, various correspondence and other related literature.