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(1931 Riley 9 Biarritz Date of first registration: 10/02/1931. Vin number: 601238*. Engine number: 28892/ sold @ Tennants and is NOT for sale on ebay)
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 successful 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
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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