A delightful and historic Riley Special with period VSCC racing and hill climb history, which was purchased by our client sight unseen in 2010 when the car was residing in America. He repatriated it to Europe, and to his home in Belgium. The Riley has been competed extensively in his hands, as a regular entrant in historic race meetings and hill climbs across Europe and the UK. The engine has been rebuilt during his ownership by Rob Cobden in 2012, and new modern crank and rods, new main bearings, and uprated oil pump were also fitted at that time.
This single seater started life as a Riley 9 car. In 1959, Mr David Fairley purchased the rolling chassis, with the intention of building a single seat racing car. The original gear box and engine were retained by the previous owner to maintain a Riley Brooklands, so David acquired a replacement engine and correct pre-select gearbox from a 1500cc Riley 12/4. Lord O’Neill, former prime minister of Northern Ireland and David’s friend, donated a single seat racing body along with lightweight aluminium hydraulic brakes.
The finished car was then tested through illegal and clandestine early morning and late evening runs, on the roads near David’s home. However, the car’s performance was sadly disappointing, and with funds limited and the 12/4 engine in already in a tired condition, the car was left in a field until circumstances changed.
In 1969 David moved to Wakefield and took the Riley with him. Happily, the opportunity then arose to carry out the work required to the engine and gearbox along with fitting a supercharger. David was then able to fulfil his intentions for the car and competed in VSCC race meetings and hill climbs during the 1970’s.
In the late 1970’s David sold the Riley, and the car eventually ended up in the hands of Mike Jones of C.E. Jones and Sons who continued to race the car. Mr Jones then had her rebodied by Bob Maynard. This body is still fitted to the car and remains in excellent condition. The car also had works completed by Former McLaren employee James Watt who applied gold tape to the car – amusingly the same as you would find on a McLaren F1. The body is very attractive and purposeful, with notable ERA styling.
Mike Jones sold the racer in 2002. The car was taken to Connecticut in the United States, where it was used and enjoyed regularly, before purchase in 2010 by the current owner.
Our vendor has reluctantly made the decision to now offer the car for sale due to his desire to support his wife and his daughter, as they both now compete in pre-war racing machines.
This Riley Single Seater represents an excellent opportunity to own an attractive and capable car with proven reliability and a respectable history. Early enquiry is recommended.
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