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(1931 Riley 9 Biarritz Date of first registration: 10/02/1931. Vin number: 601238*. Engine number: 28892/ sold @ Tennants )
Riley Biarritz 'Silent Saloon' was launched in 1928 designed by Percy and Stanley Riley as a more de-luxe body on the 9 chassis to replace the Riley San Remo. Initially it was launched as a full fabric saloon, but later became half panelled. From a distance it looked similar to the Monaco, but there were in fact a lot of differences between the two. At the rear, it featured a split rear window, and a one-piece, full width rear hinged luggage boot. As on other de luxe cars there were roof ventilators and at the front one piece bonnet lid, without the more normal scuttle panel between. It was, compared to the other models launched at the same time, a succesful addition to the range, with perhaps as many as 4 or 500 produced over the first 3 years. Lasted in varying formats until 1932 many half panelled.
Data for Biarritz
ENGINE 9hp 4 cyl ohv; Bore 60.3; stroke 95.2; compression 5.2:1; Capacity 1087 cc; 42bhp at 3600rpm; Carburetors Zenith; 4-speed gearbox. Top gear ratio 5.2:1
SUSPENSION Semi-elliptic ; DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 9' /2730mm Track 3'11" / 1180mm Length / width: various bodies; Tyres 27x4.40; 17cwt 863.64kg PRICE £325
Known cars :-12 + The last chassis number will
be replaced by an asterisk unless pics are public
Some are listed in Styles in 1982 but missing
BF 541 * chassis 6087 * registered 1929
DR 787 * chassis number 6011717 1931 9hp Labelled Biarritz/Monaco? was Biarritz in 1982 rebodied ?
DY 466 * chassis chassis number 60498 * registered 1929
GK 409 * chassis chassis number 601162 * registered 1931
GO 1185 chassis 601306 * registered 1931
FL 766 * chassis chassis number 604331 registered 1929
JN 316 chassis 6010463 missing but known in 1982
KH 9918 chassis 607873 missing but known in 1982
MY 2447 chassis 608096 fabric bodied car when for sale "This car was bought by my grandfather in the 1930s. When he died in 1973 my father acquired it and started repairing and restoring it. It was last on the road, to my knowledge, in the early 80s, and was taxed up till the 90s." registered 1930
OF 4753 chassis ???? in Australia where fabric bodied cars have a chance ! registered 1929
0Y 8 * chassis 601191 * registered 1931 see pics above from Wroxall 2019
PL 549 * chassis 6012507 registered 1930
TS 9280 chassis 6013637 missing but known in 1982
TS 9053 chassis 6012159 first registered 24 January 1931, 1056cc Amberley Vintage Car Show 2014
TU 9039 chassis 601804 missing but known in 1982
UR 421 * chassis 606283 registered 1929
UU 1662 chassis 604876 missing but known in 1982
VC 707 * chassis 601242 * registered 1931
VC 8602 chassis 6013091 missing but known in 1982
VD 51 * chassis 601254 * registered 1931
VE 4849 chassis 6012490 missing but known in 1982
VK 3968 1931 Riley 9 Biarritz R: Date of first registration: 10/02/1931 Vin number: 6012384 Engine number: 28892 ** This is NOT for sale on ebay but is often offered by a pathetic fraudster in Russian Ukraine not wherever he says he is that day, money trail goes to Russia **
VX 916 * chassis 601187 * registered 1931
WW 916 * chassis registered 604265
XBV 52 * chassis 601314 * Biarritz Estate 9 registered 1931 Normally rebodied just post war due to tax and petrol rationing rules.War was declared on 3rd September 1939 and the Government was ready by the 8th of September with its coupons for rationing petrol which it called 'motor spirit'. Coupons could be collected from a Post Office and were dated the 15th of September. However, they could not be used until the 16th of September when the rationing was to come into force. Only two coupons were available at this time. Then in 1942 petrol for private use was withdrawn completely. It was only available for work deemed essential, and a special permit was needed to obtain it. Cars were therefore absent from the roads. All large cars were confiscated and converted into vans and ambulances some into what was later termed utility ie working vehicles. On 1 June 1948: The Motor Spirit (Regulation) Act 1948 was passed, ordering a red dye to be to put into some petrol, and that red petrol was only allowed to be used in commercial + 'utility' vehicles. A private car driver could lose his driving licence for a year if red petrol was found in his car.
Estate cars were then termed 'Utility cars' in the UK
and depot wagons or station wagons in the USA
and most were built on RM chassis with a few pre war
cars rebodied including this Biarritz and at least two
Monaco, one being a van, for more see RM
special bodies page and the pre
war converted cars page
Special Originally a Riley Biarritz :-1931 9HP:- ?? (601031*);
There will be others in other clubs and countries
+ email info
Original newspaper Articles :-
Other people's opinions of the Wonder Car No.7' The first of a series "The Riley Monaco Saloon had always aroused my intense admiration it seemed like the high water mark in small car construction hence I was quite unprepared for the shock when the manufacturers out Rileyed Riley and produced in the Biarritz a body even more chaste and again "I think we Britishers ought to feel very proud of the Riley. A few years ago foreigners practically had the monopoly of the 1,100 c.c. class, but in the last London Land's End out of forty-three entries in this category all but ten were British and the Rileys alone numbered twenty-eight a complete change if ever there was one.
from " MARMADUKE" in the Lightcar Cyclecar," June 7th.
The Riley 9 Biarritz Saloon referred to above. Full details from COVENTRY and 42 North Audley Street London.
Note the World's Records put up by Eldridge and pt G.E.T. Eyston, Now can you find another car in the 1,100 c. class which would dare to submit to this sealed bonnet test over a similar distance demonstrates beyond dispute the super-reliability which, irrespective of speed, is a guarantee of all that you desire. Let us arrange a trial run. COVENTRY and 42 NORTH AUDLEY STREET, LONDON, W.i RILEY (COVENTRY) LTD.,
from The Bystander - Wednesday 25 June 1930
This is a car for which I have the profoundest respect and the most resolute liking, not so much because it has scored many notable successes in competition (which are certainly to be quoted to its credit) but because it seems to me to be, both in theory and in practice, the best example yet to hand of what a light car can be when sponsored by an intelligent and enterprising manufacturer. This fact is widely recognized and I do not suppose that there is any car in its class that has anything like the Riley's vogue.
As a consequence of this it naturally follows that there are a number of Riley Nine owners amongst the circle of my motoring acquaintance. Had I no personal knowledge of the car itself I should still not hesitate to declare that it is an exceptionally good one, for I have yet to hear from these owners a word in its dispraise. They are all enthusiasts about it and, for that matter, so am I.
The Biarritz saloon which is a little bit more expensive than the highly popular Monaco that I re cently had the pleasure of driving has been worked hard by one of those fortunates who have little to do in life but sit behind a steer ing-wheel. Yet it was as tight a job as if it had only just gone through i t s running period. But there was one thing that was con spicuously not tight," and that was the gal lant little engine. What a truly amazing power plant this is. I do not know exactly how many horses it develops, but it gets all that one could possibly ask for, and right through its scale it pulls with a happy heartiness that is most pleasing. Of flat spots there is an entire absence.
The extremely easy change gear-box, with the silent third of which the Riley firm were the pioneers, enables one to make the most of this willing flow of power, and quite astonishing speed and acceleration is readily to be had on the indirect ratios. In these circumstances it is the simplest matter in the world to put up averages far beyond the scope of much bigger cars (carrying the same number of passengers). Moreover, the braking and road-holding are so good that great liveliness can be indulged in with perfect safety. And now I must say a word about the body. This I think is generally recognized as one of the best things of its kind that has ever been built. It is a four-door, four-light, close-coupled saloon, with a capacious moulded boot at the tail, and it is a wonderful example of what can be done on a chassis of quite short wheel-base. It provides very comfortable accommodation for four more than full-sized people. Not only, too, are they not squeezed, but they have an elegant width of unobscured vision. Furthermore, the doors are so well planned that ihey can all get in and out with per fect facility. There tire a great many cars of greater size which are nothing like so good as the Riley in this important respect.
Altogether a thoroughly jolly, sport ing, comfortable, lusty, and desirable little car, which shows incident ally that advanced per formance is by 110 means incompatible with very low costs of upkeep. The makers, with good reason, claim it to be a car of very small depreciation. This applies both to value and to mechanism. THE RILEY NINE
from The Tatler - Wednesday 13 May 1931