Riley MPH Racing

Riley – the sound of strength and reliability. In the twenties and thirties of the last century, these were exactly the characteristics that made the traditional family business Riley so popular. Achievements in racing were the precondition for car manufacturers to sell vehicles. For speed trials, hill climbs and reliability rides, Riley’s dynamic 8, 6 and 4-cylinder models proved their worth. Sporty laurels were won at Le Mans and the famous race at Brooklands.

A particularly impressive vehicle was the Riley MPH Racing. The prototype of the MPH was mounted on the chassis of a T.T. Model and received a 6-cylinder in-line engine. The body was build entirely of aluminum and mounted on a wooden frame made of ash. The body shape was strongly inspired by the shapes of the competing Alfa Romeos. The MPH race car prototype was first used in the Scotish Rally in 1934 and proved to be extremely competitive.

The model shown here is a rebuilt Riley MPH Special. It is assumed that only 14 or 15 originals from around 20 manufactured vehicles were received worldwide.

Originally three differently configured engines were installed in the MPH models. The engines were available in three sizes, the 1.5-liter, a 1.6-liter and the most powerful 1.7-liter engine, with a top speed of 146 km / h could be achieved. All three rows of 6-cylinder engines were equipped with double overhead camshafts. These engines were an evolution of the successful Riley IMP engine.

The power was transmitted via an unsynchronized gearbox to the rear axle. Alternativly a so-called ENV “Pre-selector” transmission, a kind of semi-automatic transmission, by Amstrong Siddeley was available.

To achieve the low sideline, the entire frame was placed below the center of the rear axle. Thus, the race car has a very low center of gravity and a very good road holding. Both the front axle and the rear axle, are suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs. Typical for the bodywork design is the round tail under which the tank is located.

The very small Riley MPH series was built between 1934 and 1935 at Riley in Coventry. The few specimens that are still preserved today are very popular. In addition, over the years due to the high desirability of some specials – replicas based on a similar Riley model with the same frame – built.