• Year of manufacture 
  • Chassis number 
  • Lot number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Drivetrain 
  • Fuel type 


1935 Riley 9hp Kestrel Saloon
Registration no. BVW 735
Chassis no. 6027175

Introduced in 1926, Percy Riley's 9hp, 1,087cc twin-camshaft 'four' was an outstanding engine design by any standards, various versions powering Rileys until 1957. Clothed in stylish bodywork by Stanley Riley, the Coventry manufacturer's pre-war offerings were among the world's finest small-capacity sporting cars. Representing Riley's last word in modernity and offered on both the four- and six-cylinder chassis, the aerodynamic fastback Kestrel saloon was an exciting addition to the range for 1933. By the time this particular example was made, the Nine had incorporated a series of further refinements that included a lower final drive ratio, coil/distributor ignition, all-helical gearbox, box-section chassis frame, wire wheels, and Hartford shock absorbers, while the ENV pre-selector 'box was an option.

A pre-selector model finished in black/green with green leather interior, this Riley Kestrel had been in the same family's ownership since the late 1950s when it was sold at Bonhams' Harrogate Sale in November 2007 (Lot 625). At that time it was stated that 'BVW 735' had undergone a bodywork restoration in the 1970s but then suffered a broken crankshaft, a failure that kept it off the road until 2000 when the engine was completely rebuilt with a new crankshaft, pistons, etc. Last used on the road in 2004, the Kestrel was said to require re-commissioning (new tyres, battery, etc) before further use.

Since the car's sale in 2007, the engine has been rebuilt around a new modern cylinder bock (the original had cracked) and the car has covered only some 200 miles since then. Cosmetically it has been left mainly untouched and has the charming patina of an older restoration. There are bills on file from renowned marque specialists Blue Diamond Services totalling circa £20,000 for works including the engine rebuild. The car also comes with numerous other invoices, five expired MoTs dating back to 2008, a V5C Registration Certificate, and a current MoT valid until July 2020.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department