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Riley Continental

The pre war 2½ Litre  was called various names  16/4, Big Four and Blue Streak amongst them. The quality of the engine was superb but released on the outbreak of the second world war and in too many formats  so unfortunately launched too late (1937 to 1940). It slotted into Riley's range immediately below the 18 hp V8 model. Announced in September 1937 for the Earls Court Motor Show  it became one of the two genuine Riley models in the 'rationalised' range that followed the 1938 takeover by the Nuffield Organization.Using   a 2443cc straight-four engine with twin cams and S.U carburettor which developed 82 bhp  that had first seen the light of day in 1927. The transmission was a four speed manual. It was capable of a top speed of around 80 mph. The chassis was a lengthened version of the one used on the Riley 12 hp which was introduced at the same time and  offered with 5 bodies plus as a chassis, all but 4 or 5 of the vehicles sold had either the Adelphi, Kestrel or Continental bodies. Production Models  sold by  Riley were:- 2½ Adelphi 4-door Saloon (1937-38); Riley 2½ Continental (1937-38); 


 Due to a protracted legal challenge by Bentley over the using the 'Continental' name, the car was also known in adverts as 'Touring Saloon', and 'Close-Coupled Saloon' and for once sold a few more than  most other big fours  before the receivers were called in in early 1938


 

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


1937 Wide Track Touring Saloon/Continental using Midland Bodies

ACA 417  Chassis SS27C 5906    64
ADW 872  Chassis  27C 6312 58*
AMO 488  Chassis  27C 6871
ASF 448  Chassis 27C 6177  Conflict Ch. No. with Adelphi EG 3530
ATM 975  Chassis 27C 5866
BCY 208  Chassis S27C 6280    92
BDG 598  Chassis 6076
BKV 92  Chassis 27C 5387    59x w
BKV 669  Chassis 27C 5699    64*
BKV 715  Chassis 27C 5710    36 W
BKV 716  Chassis 27C 5665    36 W
BKV 882  Chassis 27C 5781
BKV 940  Chassis 27C 5889    36 W
BNM 216   Chassis 27C 6990
BSP 7   Chassis 27C 6356    61
BVE 510   Chassis 27C 5667
BVE 863 27C 5787    61
BVF 91 27C 6139
CM 690  Chassis 27C 6674
CAO 134  Chassis 27C 6236
CDU 55  Chassis 27C 5753    36
CDU 62  Chassis 27C 5352    37
CDU 616  Chassis 27C 5670    37
CDU 696  Chassis 27C 5973
CDU 928  Chassis 27C 6272    37
CFJ 399  Chassis S27C 5948
CFY 610  Chassis 27C 5796    59*
CN 7852  Chassis 27C
CRH 486  Chassis 27C S27C 6103    61
Cfi 847  Chassis 27C 6358
CWK 166  Chassis S27C 6801    37 w
CWK 446  Chassis 27C 6960    37 w
DAL 550   Chassis 27C 5664
DAR 873  Chassis 27C 64
DFJ 436  Chassis 27C 7314  (28F Briggs Touring Saloon?)
DGT 718  Chassis 27C 5799    64 Ch. No. with AdelPhi DMB 76  Conflict
DKD 33   Chassis 27C    64
DLF 366   Chassis SS27C    58x
DLF 378   Chassis 27C 6080    58X
DMB 498   Chassis 27C 6183
DTV 36   Chassis 27C
DUU 837   Chassis 27C 6468    73
DXM 181   Chassis 27C    58
DXR 942   Chassis 27C
Dxr 363   Chassis 27C    51x
DYH L49   Chassis 27C    5BX
DYH 595   Chassis 27C
EGO 203   Chassis 27C 5908    67*
EGO 207   Chassis 27C      61
EGP 3BB   Chassis             58 (28F Briggs Touring Saloon?)
EMX 102  Chassis 27C       61*
EMX 796  Chassis 27C 5829 57*
ENW 61  Chassis 27C 5896 60x
ENW 300   Chassis 27C 6093
EUB 279  Chassis 27C 5226
EVK 894  Chassis 27C 62s6
FPB174  Chassis 27C
FPE 676  Chassis 27C 5668    64
FPG 100  ChassiSSs 27C 7005 78*
FPH376  Chassis 27C 6969    78
FT 4741  Chassis 27C 6373
FV 8556  Chassis SS27C 6165    61
FV 8642  Chassis 27C             51
GR 3572  Chassis 27C 5843    61
HF 6950  Chassis 27C 5844  67* Historic Special
JG 9404  Chassis 27C 6916
JR 6095  Chassis 27C 6316    68
JV 5400 Chassis SS27C 5954
JV 5582   Chassis 27C    6497
SB 5219  Chassis  27C 5707
UR 60967  Chassis  27C 6184
VD 7877  Chassis  27C 5784
VLB 883  Chassis  S27C 5804
VN 9627  Chassis 27C  5426
VS 3291  Chassis 27C 

Not sure which chassis AL 66 45 says in advert SS so  one of those above!

Chassis unidentified  by UK registration, & Overseas
  Chassis 27C 5669  67x New Zealand
  Chassis 27C 5877
  Chassis 27C 6240
  Chassis 27C 6456
  Chassis 27C 6614  New Zealand
  Chassis 27C 6977


CLOSE COUPLED'CONTINENTAL' /Big Four
ABE 492   Chassis 38BX   1034   registered 0.11.37   Broken 1950's Poss N Lincs demonstrator'
ABE 700   Chassis 38BX   1154  registered 14.1.38  Broken early 1960s'
AUN 917   Chassis 38BX   1217  registered 8.2.38 Ex Taylor, Wales. Possibly originalty metallic grey. See illustration page 8l'VB
BWN 141   Chassis 38BX   1188  registered 24.1.38  Australia. Ex-Lundegaard & Gillies'
CUO 814   Chassis 38BX   1119  registered 14.2.18 Originally  registered as Continental Touring Saloon'
DDU 388   Chassis 38BX   1182  registered 16.1.18  Last known early 1960s at a Riley Register Coventry Rally  Ex Mrs Kent'
DDU 987   Chassis 38BX   1232  registered 12.3.38 Broken 198i. Regn' previously believed DDV'  Ex Hill Cornwall.
DRW 155   Chassis 38BX   1300  registered 6.7.38  J.S.Findlay Glasgow No further info'
EF 6830   Chassis 38BX   1301  registered 1.7.38  Last known Hants 1961 ' Rebuilt at Rileys early 1950s.
EKM 596   Chassis 38BX    registered 30.11.37  Last known Derbyshire 1961' Possibly a l2/4 Touring Saloon 28F?
FWL 765    Chassis 38BX   1240   registered 22.3.38 Supplied via Oxford distributor to the late Major George allen in VB bk page 27 and 81
GPB 838   Chassis 38BX   1143   registered 29.12.37 Part dismantled; in process of rebuilding' Ex Gardner-Powell'
GPH 520   Chassis 38BX   1288   registered 19. 5.38 Ex D.Bough.

Not sure which chassis 38 KY 22


   Chassis 38BX   1082 Broken Cheshire 1965'
   Chassis 38BX   1l77
   Chassis 38BX   1267  Last krown Scotland 1948'
   Chassis 38BX   ? Broken Lancs mid 1960s'
   Chassis 38BX    ? Broken St Helens late 1960s'
   Chassis 38BX  ? Autocar 7'10'38 Devon'
   Chassis 38BX   ?  J Leete Devon 1976' No further trace'
   Chassis 38BX ?   Possibly AX 1017'
   Chassis 38BX    ? Riley Record 1943 Coventry'
   Chassis 38BX ?  Salford Manchester 1938 ex Shepherds distrb
   Chassis 38BX  ?  Register Newsletter 5/68 Cheshire'
   Chassis 38BX   ? Liverpool Motor Club 1950s'
at least some of these records appear to relate to the same car

BIG FOUR BODIES BY CHASSIS No. CROSS REFERENCE(1990's information)





1938 Riley Continental 16/4 © CLIFF JONES PHOTOGRAPHY



Riley 12/4 Sprite Continental Touring 1937 for sale in NL (rare car)



Riley Continental in Films and TV:-
1937 Riley 12/4 Continental in Under Suspicion, 1991 *(BVE 51*)
1937 Riley 12/4 Continental in Poirot, 1989-2013 ** (CAO 13*)


1937 Riley Continental