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 Riley M.P.H.

The Riley MPH is a rare, two-seat sports car made between 1934 and 1935.  The chassis used  half-elliptic springs and rigid axles front and rear, was based on  the car prepared for the 1933 TT races.  Side members were positioned under the axle at the rear to keep the height down to as low as possible and the centre of gravity.  Large, fifteen-inch drum brakes were used.

The  bodywork was mainly aluminium  over a traditional wood frame with an aero  windscreen that could fold flat to reduce air resistance.  Three sizes of the six-cylinder engine was offered, 1458 cc, 1633 cc or 1726 cc  all fitted with triple or more usually twin SU carburettors. Engines had the traditional  arrangement of twin camshafts mounted high in the crankcase and aluminium alloy connecting rods. The 1726 engine had an output of 56.8 PS   at 4800 rpm. Drive was  rear wheel through a choice of either  four-speed manual "crash" gear box or the ENV pre-selector gearbox supplied by Armstrong Siddeley. Top speed of the 17 hp (1726 cc) engined version was approximately 90 mph. Exact numbers made is not known ( bomb on factory records in WW2), but is believed to be 15 or  16, being expensive at £550 new. Numerous replicas have, however, been constructed fourteen original cars are thought to survive so if offered an 'original one' buy a lottery ticket then check with the club before opening the wallet.

*Not to be confused with the Vincent MPH a modern 'replica' made without harming any real Riley's*

Clubs for this model:  The Riley Register,     The Riley Motor Club,     Riley Pre war Specials   &  those from other countries listed here

Must Buy 'The Riley MPH'  by Robin Cameron from the Riley Register  ridiculously underpriced books full of facts and pictures on every single car

Riley MPH in the media :- beware sound tracks so drop the volume slightly

KV 6079 in old pics click here

Pebble Beach 1935 MPH shown around by Willem Van Huystee click here

Riley MPH with engine but lacking a tunnel for full effect click here


 Live/surviving cars are in bold any more please tell me ditto  specials like CPE with history

Chassis number  4/101                KV 5694           Registered      June   1933             MPH Number ?     prototype pictured here

Chassis number  4/105                KV 6079           Registered      June   1933              MPH Number ?     prototype      Monte Carlo 1936 on dvla as 1933 but no make

Chassis number  44T 1739         JH 9506            Registered     24 Oct 1934             MPH Number 8     see page 98  in Robin Camerons book 14/6 engine and below re Ivor Halpert and CPE 695

Chassis number  44T 2127         KV 9477            Registered     1 June 1934              MPH Number ?    Works racer,2nd in 1934 Le Mans. Ran in 1934 TT, later in re-bodied form in Monte Carlo Rally 1935. Number re allocated to a replica/ re creation p 107   in Robin Camerons book also pictured here

Chassis number  44T 2128          KV  9478            Registered     1 June 1934             MPH Number ?     Works racer,3rd in 1934 Le Mans. Works racer. Ran in 1934 TT, later in re-bodied form in Monte Carlo Rally 1935. Number re allocated to a replica/ re creation p 107   in Robin Camerons book also pictured here

Chassis number  44T 2142        KV 9763            Registered    1 June 1934               MPH Number ?    Works racer,3rd in 1934 Le Mans. Works racer. Ran in 1934 TT, later in re-bodied form in Monte Carlo Rally 1935.  Number re allocated to a replica/ re creation p 107   in Robin Camerons book

Chassis number  44T 2246         ARW 485          Registered     28 Feb 1935              MPH Number 5    Re Registered as COE 354 not on the dvla but meant to be alive

Chassis number  44T 2247        FM 8943           Registered     11 Oct 1934            MPH Number 3    12/6 engine

Chassis number  44T 2248        ADU 529           Registered     34 Aug 1934          MPH Number ?    12/6 engine Monte Carlo Entry for 1935

Chassis number  44T 2248         AOG 888          Registered     Sept 1934             MPH Number 4 

Chassis number  44T 2251         AWK 195         Registered     25 March 1935       MPH Number 9      12/6 engine

Chassis number  44T 2252          KY 8909            Registered     7 Jan 1935               MPH Number ?    

Chassis number   44T 2255        AOT 855         Registered     19 Nov 1935            MPH Number 7     The Bertelli bodied car 14/6 engine

Chassis number  44T 2252         OW 7925            Registered     11 Dec 1935              MPH Number ?     see page 100 onwards  in Robin Camerons book duplicate chassis to AOT also pics from when sold click here 15/6 engine

Chassis number  44T 2252         AOL 763            Registered     4 Jan  1935              MPH Number 11     15/6 engine

Chassis number  44T 2257         AHP 203            Registered     30 Nov 1934              MPH Number ?    Special bodied Girling-braked Works entrant inl935 Monte Carlo RallY. Wrecked and dismantled.

Chassis number  44T 2258         BLN 39            Registered     18 Dec 1934              MPH Number 10     12/6 engine

Chassis number  44T 2278         FP 2831            Registered     16 Feb 1935              MPH Number ?          15/6 MPH  see below for old and now pics    

Chassis number  44T 2347         NJ 6180             Registered     1 June 1935               MPH Number 14    

Chassis number  44T 2407          AVC 15            Registered     May 1935              MPH Number 14     Racing MPH later  exported to France.

Chassis number  44T 2415          Swiss              Registered     Mid 1935              MPH Number 14     from when sold at Bonhams click here

Chassis number  44T 2418          AVC 16            Registered     31 May 1935        Racing MPH re-engined Jul '3 5 with 4 cyl  1½ litre & re-named Sprite.Last Known in S Africa see here

Chassis number  44T 2419          AVC 17            Registered    31 May 1935        Racing MPH re-engined Aug '35 with 4 cyl 1½ litre

Chassis number  44T 2420          AVC 18            Registered     May 1935            Reported dismantled Jan'36.   

Not sure of 1934 CARS:-,      AG 381* ( Chassis number 44T241*15/6), 

MPH  Historic Replicas  ie using original parts and of some age:-

CPE 695 . A well executed replica of the Riley MPH.  Built about 30 years ago by the late Ivor Halbert using his genuine MPH ('JH 9506') as a guide, it is based on an original 44T chassis and still carries its original six cylinder 15T engine and its original registration number.

Info from Brightwells:-Ivor Halbert 1916 - 2009  Born in 1916, Ivor Halbert was brought up in an engineering family and was fascinated by machinery from a very early age – especially cars, motorbikes and aeroplanes. Already proficient at making things on a lathe while still a boy, he began his engineering apprenticeship at the age of 16 at Llewellyn Gears in making gears, airscrew hubs and splined shafts for aero engines and tanks.

After the war he went to work for the Bristol Aeroplane Company and by the early 1950s had acquired his own engineering business, GV Linham Ltd (named in memory of a friend and fellow engineering apprentice who had died in tragic circumstances). Operating from a purpose-built factory in Fishponds and employing some 75 staff, Ivor specialized in making precision components for prototypes and development models in the aviation and automotive sectors. His clients included Bristol Cars, Jaguar, Rotol, BAC, Rolls-Royce, Concorde and the Admiralty, all of whom demanded the very highest standards of engineering excellence.

Ivor’s real enthusiasm in life always centered around sports cars and he was soon earning enough money to indulge this to the full, owning a whole string of supercars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche. Perfectionist that he was, he was always striving to improve the performance of these already impressive machines and he struck up a very close relationship with supercar dealer and motorsport enthusiasts Dick and Peter Lovett, buying many cars from their dealerships, improving them as he saw fit and helping them to tune and modify cars for use in competition.
However, Ivor’s abiding passion was for the Riley marque – he had learned to drive in a 1930 Riley Monaco that belonged to his father and was instrumental in persuading the family to buy ever more exotic Rileys that he would invariably modify and tune to extract every last ounce of performance. Italian supercars would come and go but, as time went on, Ivor became ever more attached to his Rileys (and the odd MG, Frazer-Nash and motorcyle), eventually owning the superb collection that you see today. It is only because of his death earlier this year, at the ripe old age of 92, that they have come onto the market at all. Also interviewed here

The last chassis and registration  number is replaced with an *asterisk but known to the clubs .There will be others in other clubs and countries please click + email info

FP 2831 on the 2019 Daffodil Run an excuse for pics of the parts not normally picked out !

And below back in the fifties (?) from the old  classic car archive... Riley pics for sale check if your car is there ?

First registered to Mr Noel of Cottesmore House,Oakham, Rutland in  the February 1935. John Noel had  sadly been killed during the Second World War but was a pre war Le Mans entrant and keen motorsport driver so a car with pedigree.

For more pics and info on the car sold at Bonhams 44T2415 click here  or for the original sales site (hopefully still there) click here


NEW RILEY MODEL. An altogether new car known as the M.P.H. model is announced by the Riley concern. It is a six-cylinder two-seater car, developed as a result of experience in racing and record breaking. Built in the Special Department at the works where ‘so many history making cars have been made, it is primarily designed for high speeds and rapid acceleration. As may be imagined the new model is not a cheap car, but one rather for the racing and trials enthusiast. It' is to be offered at £650 with either a 12 h.p. or 14 h.p. engine, and is claimed to be capable of speeds approaching 90 m.p.h. Leeds Mercury - Friday 22 June 1934

 NEW RILEY MODEL The photograph shows the recently announced new  Riley model, known as the MPH.It is a two-seater six cylinder and rapid acceleration. As may be the M.P.H.and has been developed as a  result of experience gained by racing and record breaking .It is being built in the special department at the works   where many cars which made motoring history have been made.It is primarily designed for high speeds and rapid acceleration. As may be  imagined, the new model is not a cheap car, but is rather a car for the connoisseur, and has been developed  for the racing and trials  enthusiast. It is listed at £550 with either a 12 h.p. or 14 h.p. engine, and  is capable of speeds approaching 90 miles per hour  Deliveries will begin in three weeks' time. Coventry Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 06 June 1934 


That astonishing Anglo French contest, the Le Mans twenty-four hour race, this year provided an unprecedented series of British successes. Not for the first time, an English car won the Rudge-Whitworth Cup-- the victory this year going to a couple of French men in a six-cylinder Riley-- while sixteen out of the twenty-three cars which finished were British-made. The Riley success stands alone. Six cars started, six finished. They all qualified to run in next year's final of this year's eliminating race. Never in the stirring story of Le Mans has such an achieve ment previously been recorded. When you come to think of it, the Rileys were really marvellous. The two which finished second and third, in regard to sheer speed, were only beaten by a super charged, eight-cylinder Alfa-Romeo of nearly double the engine size and three or four times the price. They properly saw off three other blown Alfas, a huge 4.9-litre supercharged Bugatti, and an assortment of other fast cars. The Rileys, of course, are not supercharged, and they have six-cylinder engines without overhead camshafts. How did they do it How do they get the stamina to withstand twenty-four hours of gruelling road-racing without the slightest sign of tiring The answer lies, I think, in the P.R." head, a cylinder-top in which the overhead valves are arranged in the same way as in a racing-car engine, with two overhead camshafts and a hemispherical combustion space. On the Riley, however, the drive is sim plified, and dead weight is saved by housing the camshafts one on each side of the crank case and operating the valves through push -rods and rockers. The excellent design of the cylinder-head enables a high compression ratio to be used with out pinking," while the engine is tuned to develop its maximum power at a very high rate of revo lutions. Rileys have considerably lightened their chassis and bodies, so that the new Imp model, on which Miss Champneys put up the best performance of any woman in the race, weighs under 14 cwt. A very fine power- weight ratio is thus obtained, and full use is made of it by providing a Wilson-type self-changing gear, by which instantaneous changes-up are always possible. The brakes, adjustable from the driving seat, are of large diameter, and the road-holding and cornering of the car are beyond reproach. The 1100-c.c. and 1500-c.c. Rileys were lapping the Le Mans course at such high speeds that they excelled the performances put up a few years ago by cars such as the 3-litre and 4 ½-litre Bentleys Sebilleau and Delaroche, on their Riley Twelve," covered 2706 kilometres in the twenty-four hours. In 1928, Babe Barnato and Bernard Rubin covered 2669 kilometres on a 4½-litre Bentley. This shows the progress that has been made in motor-car design in the last six years Even if it be true that the course is faster and easier than it was (which I am inclined to doubt), when the engine sizes of the two cars are taken into account the comparison is, I think, quite fair. As a matter of fact, the biennial cups have only four times been won at higher speeds than that which the Riley averaged so easily. The victors on two occasions were 6 ½-litre Bentleys, while on the other two, supercharged Alfa-Romeos of 2.3-litres capacity took the palm. Before leaving the subject of the Rileys I should like to mention that Miss Dorothy Champneys and Mrs. Petre, who finished thirteenth in the race as a whole, fourth in their class, and were the leading feminine team at the finish, drove Miss Champneys' own Riley Imp," with which she recently won the Ladies' Prize in the Scottish Rally a machine, therefore, that is obviously suitable tor all purposes. Lord de Clifford's car, with which he put up an excellent per formance and qualified for next year's final, was a Rapier Special, I as turned out by Dobson and de Clifford, Ltd., of Staines. Fundamentally a Lagonda, it has a special engine of under 1 100 c.c. (the standard job is just over this mark), and other features which make it eminently suitable for competition work. It averaged over 57 m.p.h., including all stops, for the twenty-four hours. The best performance on formula (which gives the right to try for an award in the final next year) was put up by Roy Eccles's M.G. Magnette," while Aston-Martins and Singers were serious rivals from The Sketch - Wednesday 27 June 1934

Position 2nd Class:- 1½, Number:-27, Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:-Jean Sébilleau,Georges Delaroche Car:- Riley 6/12 MPH Racing Riley, 1½L I6 Laps:-200

Position 3rd Class:- 1½, Number:-28, Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:- Freddie Dixon,Cyril Paul, Car:- Riley 6/12 MPH Racing Riley, 1 ½L I6 Laps:-199

Position 5th Class:-1.1, Number:-36 Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:- Alex van der Becke, Kenneth Peacock, Car:-Riley Brooklands Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 195

Position 6th 1.1 Number:- 37 Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:- Sammy Newsome, Percy Maclure, Car:- Riley Nine Ulster Imp Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 195

Position 12th Class:-1.1, Number:- 39 Team:- France Jean Trévoux France Jean Trévoux France René Carriére Car:- Riley Nine Ulster Imp Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 174

Position 13th Class:-1.1, Number:- 38 Team:- Miss Dorothy Champney Drivers:- Dorothy Champney Canada, Kay Petre Car:- Riley Nine Ulster Imp Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 172

Bonhams Swiss car engine