16th Mar, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

  Lot 39

1935 Riley 12/4 Special
2018 Riley Motor Club National Rally Concours - Winner Best in Show

Sold for £33,750

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: 197 YUD
Chassis No: 22T574
MOT: June 2022

  • Beautifully crafted Special based on a Riley 12/4 Falcon that was repatriated from a Barbadian chapel via a Geest banana boat!
  • Completed in 2011 and subsequently judged 'Best Special' at the Riley Register Annual Show
  • Retains the donor car's original chassis, engine, pre-selector gearbox and axles
  • Unique coachwork design inspired by that of an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider
  • Ash frame designed and built by Jim Marland of Proteus Cars fame before being skinning in aluminium by Western Coachworks
  • 1496cc engine thoroughly overhauled to 'Sprite' specification with uprated camshafts / pistons etc and then fully balanced
  • Higher back axle ratio fitted for relaxed cruising and pre-selector gearbox refurbished with hundreds of pounds worth of new parts
  • Able to accomodate six foot tall plus drivers

Specials vary in execution from those which give Heath Robinson a bad name through to others that a manufacturer would have been proud to catalogue. We humbly submit that ‘197 YUD’ is an example of the latter. A mechanical engineer by training whose career ended as the Technical Director of an international electrical engineering firm, the vendor had been a Riley enthusiast ever since his time rallying a 1.5 Litre saloon. Deciding to build a pre-WW2 Special which would accommodate his tall frame in comfort, he located the dilapidated remains of a Falcon 12/4 Saloon in a Barbadian chapel and had them repatriated on a Geest banana boat! The bodywork had rotted away but the original 1496cc engine, four-speed pre-selector gearbox and axles had all survived. The refurbished chassis was not shortened but had its engine mounts and gearbox crossmember moved back by some eighteen inches which in turn allowed the radiator shell to be lowered. The engine was thoroughly overhauled to ‘Sprite’ specification with the appropriate camshafts / pistons etc and fully balanced. The pre-selector gearbox was renovated with hundreds of pounds worth of new internals and the rejuvenated back axle fitted with a taller ratio for more relaxed high-speed cruising.

Loosely modelled on an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider complete with integrated rear spare wheel mounting, the bespoke bodywork was crafted by Jim Marland of Proteus Cars fame (ash frame) and Mick Sharp of Western Coachworks (aluminium panelling). The Black leather seats are complemented by a matching hood, sidescreens and carpets. Completed in 2011 after five years’ graft, ‘197 YUD’ was subsequently judged ‘Best Special’ at the Riley Register Annual Show; one of several awards it has garnered. Having covered some 16,000 miles, the vendor rates it as ‘very good’ (bodywork, paintwork, electrical equipment, interior trim) or ‘excellent’ (engine, gearbox). Worthy of close inspection, this beautifully crafted Special is offered for sale with V5C Registration Document, history file, maintenance record and MOT certificate valid until June 2022.

Awards History:

2012 Riley Register Coventry Rally - 1st in the Specials Class
2012 Lancaster Insurance Classic Car of the Year - Runner-Up
2012 Cumbria Classic Car Show - 1st in class
2013 Bank Hall, Bretherton Classic & Vintage Car Show - Winner Best Vintage Car
2015 Lytham Club Day - 1st in class
2018 The Riley Motor Club National Rally Concours d'Elegance - Best in Show
2018 The Riley Motor Club National Rally Concours d'Elegance - 1st in Pre-war Class

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
07855 493737


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 16th Mar, 2022

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Imperial War Museum
CB22 4QR

About Imperial War Museum  


Tuesday 15th March 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 16th March 2022 from 9am

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