2020 Shannons Sydney Summer Classic Auction & Rare Number Plates

1952 Riley RMB 2 Litre Saloon




Engine In-line 4-cylinder, 2443cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Saloon
Colour Regency Red & Morgan Cream
Interior Beige
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

Launched in 1946, Riley’s first post-war model was the RM series of saloons, dropheads and roadsters with production initially taking place in Coventry before moving to MG’s factory in Abingdon in April 1949.  Designed for high-speed cruising, the RMB featured a stronger chassis made from heavier gauge steel to accommodate the long-stroke 2 ½-litre four-cylinder engine and torsion bar front suspension, plus hydro-mechanical brakes.  Based on the outstanding pre-war Riley Nine unit, the four-cylinder engine boasted twin overhead cams, hemispherical combustion chambers, valves opposed at 90 degrees and a pair of SU carburetors.  The RMB was capable of reaching a top speed in excess of 90mph, putting it in the upper echelons of performance alongside the likes of Aston Martin’s DB2, Bentley’s Mark VI and Jaguar’s XK 120 and Mark VII.  Naturally Riley RMs competed in international rallies and even the occasional circuit race, with a works-prepared RMC finishing 17th at Le Mans in 1950.  The 2 ½-litre Riley underwent constant development, the original lever-arm rear suspension replaced with telescopic dampers in 1951 and a more powerful engine fitted the following year, when the RMB was replaced by the stop-gap RMF.  Some 6,900 RMBs were built between 1946 and 1952 and Australia proved to be the strongest export market.  The last Riley to wear the famous blue diamond badge, the RM series was well received and The Motor described the RMB as offering "Sports car performance with town carriage manners".  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".