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1951 Riley RMB Saloon LHD Stick


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One of the cars I have always been facinated by are these early 50s Rileys.   I like the English styling and they came LHD with a stick.   I believe that is a DOHC four powering it.

 

They have wood framed bodies and generally look like a car you can spend 100k on and get back 15.   This one on BAT is sort of interesting.

 

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1951-riley-rmb/

 

This 1951 Riley RMB is a four-door saloon that was acquired by the seller’s late husband in 2014 and is one of approximately 6,900 examples produced during the model’s run between 1946 and 1952. The car is finished in green with a black vinyl roof over green leather upholstery, and power is supplied by a 2.4-liter twin-cam inline-four mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Service in 2016 included refreshing the brakes, refurbishing the fuel tank, replacing the tires and weather seals, and installing a replacement voltage regulator and generator as well as a gear-reduction starter. This Riley sedan is now offered at no reserve with records from current ownership, expired California registration documents from the 1970s and 1980s, tire tools, and a clean California title in the seller’s name.

 

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Riley2.jpg

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Love it. 

 

Guy in CT had been posting his Riley restoration online but sold car a couple years back. Eric from Olympian Motorcars knows a lot about these cars.

 

Saw another local one recently but it is rhd and one of my gurus is insistent on no rhd cars...

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12 hours ago, alsancle said:

Sold no reserve for $16,750.

 

Is it just me or does that seem like  a pretty cool car for the money? 

They are great, I have loved them for a long time...........storage space has kept me from having one.  The design and visual setup of the Rileys screams "high end looks", in a smaller platform.  I don't want to highjack your thread about this one for sale, but in general speaking about Riley's, here is a 51 drop head coupe.  Consider Riley price points......and here is a 51 Mercedes....at Mercedes price points.  Gotta Love Rileys.........

 

If you will indulge me one more thing (since I am hijacking your for sale post).......I knew nothing about Rileys until a good car buddy friend of mine mentioned them frequently.  I knew him from the MG world, where I have dabbled over the years....He is a Go To guy in the British car hobby and in particular MG's.  He is a Riley lover.  Now I am one too.....my point being, always be on the lookout with your car buddies to hear what they are playing with, looking at, etc.......the options in collectible cars is so wide/broad that it is impossible to be up on every Marque and model.........a wide base of friends (many I am meeting through this forum), will expose you to some great stuff....and you can return the favor to them.  

 

Now lets stop talking about how great Rileys are, they are undervalued and I want to get one cheap before others realize what a bargain they are...

 

 

51 Riley

 

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51 Mercedes

image.png.70574ebfca51a0910f976668ab995a67.png

 

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Funny, I was literally thinking cooler than an MB 170 for less money when AJ posted result.  Both 4 cylinder cars but the Riley seems more...dashing?  These are kind of cool but ties to bigger MBs seem to buoy prices a bit...

20180902_135534.jpg

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Isn’t the Riley DHOC and the 170 a flathead?

My understanding is the 170 a Flathead is a very basic engine, these are cool looking cars but not street terrors.  The Riley seems like more bang all around, mechanically, a bit more upscale interior, sportier lines.  The Riley seems to me like it would be happy being tested on  curvy country road, the 170 might be more at home running errands.  Things change a bit if one moves up to the early 50s 220s, right maybe John's comparison of vehicles is closer.  Price delta gets a lot bigger as well though!  

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Riley engines look like dohc but they are not. The Saloons are very nice cars, however pretty hefty weight, and a comparatively small displacement so only modest performance. A MK 2 Jag will eat one for lunch. But yes, about as charming a British Saloon as you could want. They are also potential money pits depending on the state of the woodwork. So that plus the fact that 99% of the car is Riley only and somewhat hard to source / relatively expensive, depresses prices.

 

Much the same can be said for pretty much any of the British postwar coachbuilt Saloons.  Charming cars but complex body structures .And a rather high trouble / cost vs performance / road handling.

 

They also require a knowledgeable , hands on owner as Riley capable shops and mechanics are very thin on the ground in North America. 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I believe in 51 it is the 2.5 liter engine, with 100 hp.  It does have two camshafts, but mounted in the block and pushrod valves.  So as 1912 Staver says, "not a dohc"....

 

I am a sucker for looks.  They just "look right" to me, and I have seen some decent driving examples for what I paid for my last lawn tractor.  

 

Also, I tend to be "British Biased" in many areas of life......Acknowledging the Rebellious children that we are........

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34 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

My understanding is the 170 a Flathead is a very basic engine, these are cool looking cars but not street terrors.  The Riley seems like more bang all around, mechanically, a bit more upscale interior, sportier lines.  The Riley seems to me like it would be happy being tested on  curvy country road, the 170 might be more at home running errands.  Things change a bit if one moves up to the early 50s 220s, right maybe John's comparison of vehicles is closer.  Price delta gets a lot bigger as well though!  

Steve, I heartily double down and agree with everything you mentioned above.  At the entry point for Mercedes in that era, I'd much rather have the Riley, and it is as simple to me as "it is just better looking", the fact that it has more interesting engineering, it also a plus.  As you move up into the larger Mercedes platforms of that era in convertibles, it is rare air and dropping half a million is easily done, and those big Mercedes convertibles of the early 50's are very cool......then there is the SL platform......and I would take one of those over a Riley.....     :)

 

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The next generation of full size Riley's are in my opinion actually better cars than the RM series cars. But at least partially  a badge engineered BMC product . They get very little respect at all in North America.  If you can find one they can be a real bargain. 

 Even the very pleasing Riley 1.5 only recently got any real respect.

Any of these mid 1950's Saloons plus MG ZA , ZB Magnette's are top's in my book for value for money.Riley Pathfinder - Wikipedia

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I once fell in love with a 1937 (I think) Riley at an antique show when I was maybe 15. It was a green, RHD saloon with a sunroof.  It had the preselector transmission and worn, yet beautiful brown leather upholstery.  I begged my dad to help me buy it. Alas, it had a cracked head and my dad suggested that I best not buy it as the cracked head could turn out to be made of unobtainium. Likely, he was right but I still long to have one. 

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5 hours ago, ericmac said:

I once fell in love with a 1937 (I think) Riley at an antique show when I was maybe 15. It was a green, RHD saloon with a sunroof.  It had the preselector transmission and worn, yet beautiful brown leather upholstery.  I begged my dad to help me buy it. Alas, it had a cracked head and my dad suggested that I best not buy it as the cracked head could turn out to be made of unobtainium. Likely, he was right but I still long to have one. 

 

A friend complimented me on one of my rare smart moves in my younger days.   I pointed out it was my dad who actually kept talking me out of really stupid ideas and not me.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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