2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1950 Riley RMA 1.5Lt Saloon
This lot is no longer available
Riley's first post-war model was the RM series of saloons, dropheads and roadsters, built initially at Coventry although production later switched to the MG factory at Abingdon. The RMA was the first model to appear late in 1945 and featured torsion bar front suspension and a development of the pre-war overhead-valve four-cylinder engine, plus hydro-mechanical brakes. Marketed as the 1½ litre, the RMA had attractive, traditional styling and could reach 75 mph on the open road. While the RMA continued in production, Riley supplemented it with the now more familiar 2½ litre RMB from 1946, using a longer wheelbase chassis made from heavier gauge steel, to accommodate the long-stroke four-cylinder engine. With twin cams and fed by a pair of SU carburettors, the RMB had 100 horsepower on tap and could top 90mph. In March 1948 Riley expanded the model line-up to include the flashy RMC Roadster, a model aimed squarely at the American market (indeed it was initially only sold in left-hand drive guise), followed by the Drophead RMD in 1949, with buyers including film star Clark Gable. Riley RMs also featured in international rallies and even the occasional circuit race, with a works prepared RMC finishing 17th at Le Mans in 1950. The last Rileys to wear the famous blue diamond badge, the blend of traditional and modern qualities that made the RM series so popular in the day was neatly summed up by Riley's slogan "as old as the industry - as modern as the hour".