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Riley Cars  1914-23    . . .10.8hp side valve, 11hp, Tourers

..and the blue diamonds are worn on all


Models Available :-


1913-1922  5 Seat Tourer 10 h.p.

1914 (-1916) 4 cylinder 2 Seater 10 h.p.
This is described in the 1913 sales leaflet (in the archives) as :- "Two seater Torpedo body (8 ft  W.B.Chassis) 800x 85mm grooved back and plain front  tyres " for 220guineas
 Riley 10 1909-14 and again revamped Riley 10 1914-16
By the 1908 Motor Show, another new model had been launched, in the shape of the Riley 10hp. Normally a 2-seater model, with a shortened chassis, and smaller engine than the 12-18hp. At this time much of the development of the Riley Cars was  carried out by Percy (Engines/Mechanics) and Stanley (Body design).  During 1910, the 9hp model was gradually phased-out, leaving the company running a 2-car production line.  Technically a smaller, cheaper version of the 12/18 a few were displayed in shows, a few more built then WW1 intervened. I cannot locate any later version survivors yet or photographs see Robs page

This vehicle was a small passenger car with a four-cylinder engine that Riley placed alongside the big 17/30 in 1915 . The car had a four-cylinder block engine with a capacity of 1096 cm³,  sidevalve and water cooled. The chassis had a wheelbase of 2438 mm and  was already phased out by 1916.

Engine:- 10 hp 4 cylinder side valve, Bore 63 stroke 88, Capacity 1096cc Carburation Zenith, Gearbox:- 3-speed gearbox. Suspension:- Front semi-elliptic Rear 3/4 elliptic, Sizes:- Wheelbase 8' (approximately2430mm) Track 4' (approximately 1210mm)

Engine 1915-16  :-  11hp V two cylinder side valve, Bore 96, stroke 96 Capacity 1390, cc 15 bhp, Gearbox:- 3-speed gearbox. Top gear ratio 4.25:1 Weight:- 11.5cwt (chassis only), Sizes:- Wheelbase 7'6" / 8' (approximately 2280 / 2430mm), Track 4'2" (approximately 1250mm) Length 10'6" / 11'9" (approximately 3190 / 3560mm), Width 5' (approximately 1500mm) Tyres 750x85  The chassis had a length of 2,743 mm, the bodies of the four-seat touring car were 4115 mm long and 1,676 mm wide. All four wheels were fitted with semi-elliptic leaf springs. The chassis weighed 648 kg.

Links :- Riley Rob



Early motoring postcard showing man vs hill as a popular pursuit. This was postally used/printed 1905 so the dates in Styles (as started in 1908) do not match there must have been overlap between these later cars and the earlier models or the car is actually a SWB 12/18 ???

1919-21  4  Seater 11 h.p.
During  1918, the  new company Midland Motor Body Co. was set up based at the old Riley Motor Works, under Allan Riley. For the 'resumed'  1919 Motor show, the new  and pre WW1  Rileys were ready for display and launch. This was the 11hp also the  first Riley  bearing the now famous 'V-radiator', and Diamond Badge from Harry Rush . The car's chassis' was made at  the  Foleshillsite then transported  across to the Midland Motor Body site to have the bodies lowered into place. At this time  bodies were either 3 or 4-seaters, and could be removed fairly easily, whilst allowing mechanical and electrical components to be worked on ie a development from the tipping earlier car bodies. Various versions of this  car continued  and by 1921 was the first Riley to be marketed with the slogan 'As old as the industry, as modern as the hour'.  Cost £525

Apologies an ex newspaper advert I tried to clean up. Shows an all weather 1922 four seater fabric car for export on the 'new' disc wheels and the new diamond pattern radiator. Like the tricars and the later WD Riley were very keen to sell worldwide


Rileys produced after the First World War were the 11s, with side-valve 1½ litre engines, alloy pistons and full electrical equipment, spiral-bevel final drive being added by 1921. In 1918,  the Riley companies were restructured. Nero joined Riley (Coventry) as the sole producer of automobiles. Riley Motor Manufacturing under the control of Allan Riley became Midland Motor Bodies, a coach builder  supplier for Riley. Riley Engine Company continued under Percy as the engine supplier. At this time, Riley's blue diamond badge, designed by Harry Rush, also appeared.

A new company based at the old Riley Motor Works, called the Midland Motor Body Co. was set up, under Allan Riley. By the 1919 Motor show, the new Rileys had been fully developed, and were ready for Launch. The first Riley was the 11hp, bearing the now famous 'V-radiator', and Diamond Badge. The car's chassis' were made at Foleshill, before being transported to the Midland Motor Body works, to have the bodies lowered into place. The bodies were either 3 or 4-seaters, and could be removed fairly easily, whilst still leaving all of the mechanical and electrical components in place. This car continued for several years, and in 1921 it was the first Riley to be marketed with the slogan 'As old as the industry, as modern as the hour'.

The Riley that appeared at the first postwar motor show at Olympia in 1919 had little in common with the 17hp still for sale and the Torpedo ( both not included here). The stand featured just the stripped 11hp chassis, a standard four seater version and a coupe although as in anything Riley it later included a 'family' version etc.This new car was an 11hp totally designed for ease of maintenance only six  parts now needed lubrication and then only twice a year. (For details A.T.Birmingham p40 onwards)  Standard 4 seater £550, Family body £550, Two seater £520, Coupe £600. One owner used his car for over 4,000 in 1920 achieving 35mpg on short runs and 38mpg on long runs running on a 50/50 petrol Benzole mixture. He recorded it as using half a pint of oil every 150 miles and complained of a rear axle hum over 25mph ( hence the good fuel consumption, on modern roads/speeds more like 24mpg now)As always with a successful design, the 11hp Riley was subject to develop- ments to keep it abreast of progress. By 1922, spiral bevel rear axle gears arrived, and at the 1922 Olympia Show, the starter motor and the dynamo were relocated from chassis-mounting to opposite sides of the crankcase. The following year, the ‘Eleven’ was renamed the ‘11/40hp’.

By 1923, the bodyshop had also been transferred out to Foleshill, where further land had been acquired, to accommodate the factory. The Riley 11hp was also renamed the 11-40hp, and considerable successes were made in all of the racing events that Rileys entered. Most were private entries, but several were aided by the Riley companies. Throughout the early 1920's, the Rileys had been available with 2 engines, the 10.8hp, and the newly-upgraded 11.9hp. Customers had the choice of either engine in their cars, and the split was roughly 50/50 with all bodies, except the 2-seater. This car (unofficially known as the Redwing, due to it's polished aluminium body with Red wings) generally had the 10.8hp. However, despite the success that these models were gaining for Riley, the company had decided that a new model must be developed. The designs for the new 9hp engine / chassis were finished in 1925, and the first few cars were built in early 1926. This was the now famous Riley 9 'series'.   Another 12 months saw the arrival of the 1645cc side-valve ‘Twelve’, which brought more major alterations seen on the Tourers and Redwing.

For further technical information check out the Register PDF on these early cars click here

The car above is listed( in the brochure in the Archives) as having detachable and adjustable front seats. The car is still being sold as with a removable body to work on the engine without disturbing any electrical connections. It is also sold as having a detachable -head engine , four speed gearbox, aircolled brakes and only having six parts to lubricate half yearly !

1919-22 Family Tourer  11 h.p.  as an advert from above also XI2020 shown below


1919-23  2 Seater 11 h.p. coupe  with Dickey seat shown as an advert from the archives





1920 11hp Riley often sold with the disc wheels  then fashionable as in the advert below


Riley grew rapidly at the beginning of the  1920s with the Riley Engine Company producing 10.8 side valves and 11.9 hp engines, while Midland built  bodies mainly in 'Tourer' format according to the buyers wishes . Until 1926 the two engines were used, the 10.8hp and the 11.9hp before being superseded by the  "Riley 9" series.






Riley Torpedo 1921 pictures by Gustavo Gomes The name was also used on later re structured models






10.8 side valve. The identical body to the 11hp Riley Coupe of 1919 priced new at £700 so a considerable expense then