advanced search
To search within this site simply put in the model name,chassis number etc 

 Riley Mentone

Produced between 1932 and 1935, the 12/6 used a lengthened version of the chassis used on the immortal Riley Nine and, in typical Riley fashion, was available in a bewildering assortment of body styles Riley  Mentone being one . Bodywork for both was  designed by Stanley Riley, using Percy Riley's 9hp, 1,087cc, twin-camshaft four which lasted in various versions powering Rileys from 1926 to 1957. The twin-cam Riley engine was one of the most advanced of its day, they then created a  'six' by, in effect, adding a pair of cylinders to the existing design. Advertised  as 'The Wonder Car Plus Two', the first 14hp, 1.6-litre six-cylinder models duly appeared in 1929 followed by 12hp, 1.5-litre versions in 1933. Riley's 1,633cc, 13.5hp engine was also offered in this chassis, which was built in two different wheelbase lengths scarce today as between the Monaco and Adelphi in size /style.

1934 Riley 1.5-Litre 12/6 Mentone Sports Saloon Registration no. WS 845 Chassis no. 44T 2130

1934 Riley 1.5-Litre 12/6 Mentone Sports Saloon from Bonhams sale for more pics click here or for the Bonhams page click here
The aim is to collate larger pics for thise restoring cars especially saloons. .  any pics yes please
Clubs for this model:  The Riley Register,     The Riley Motor Club,    &  those from other countries listed here

A Riley 12/6 was a car made by the British Riley company from 1932 to 1935. It had a 1458cc straight-six engine with twin cams and either single, twin or triple S.U carburettors. The transmission was either a four speed manual or optional preselector gearbox. They were capable of a top speed of around 70 mph. The chassis was a lengthened version of the one used on the Riley Nine. They were available in Mentone saloon, Kestrel saloon, Lincock fixed head coupé, Ascot drophead coupé with dickey seat, Lynx tourer, Falcon saloon, Gamecock tourer and March two seat tourer, MPH two seater trial/sports 2-seater and Trinity 3-position-Drophead-Coupé. The 12/6 engine was designed to fit in between the 9 and 14/6 engines for trialing and racing purposes. The 9 was 1087cc, fitting in the 1100cc class, and the 14/6 was 1633cc, fitting in the over 1500cc class. At 1458cc, the 12/6 was designed to fit in the 1500cc racing class. As the 14/6 was basically a 9 with two extra cylinders on the end, the 9 & 14/6 engines shared the same parts and spares. The 12/6 didn't share parts with any other Riley, so many 12/6s have been bored out to the size of a 14/6 to compensate for spares. as in a few below  from wiki

One at Shannons, Australia with little detail but larger pics click here

There will be others in other clubs and countries please click + email info

from the Sketch 1933

Original Newspaper Articles:-

The latest Riley Six-Twelve" By The Earl of Cardigan THE Riley "Six Twelve" is a little car of which, since I first tried it, I have retained pleasant memories. It was produced, if I remember rightly, at a time when a great number of ultra-small "sixes" were being put on the market. Consequently, one was inclined to fear that it might prove something of a "buzz-box," designed to meet a passing fashion for extreme top gear flexibility of running. No doubt flexibility was a feature sought for by the designer but, as one very speedily discovered, this was but one among many useful qualities. The new model was a Riley first, and a popular baby six afterwards. In other words, like all of its breed, it was a thoroughly sound, road-worthy little motor car. Further acquaintance only serves to confirm this impression. On my recent test run, it happened that I was in a tearing hurry practically all through the day and no car could have responded more cheerfully to forceful driving. The engine proved lively, and showed an agreeable willingness to rev in so easy a manner that no undue vibration or fussiness ever became apparent. Inci dentally, there was no lack of sheer speed. 65 m.p.h. in top and 40 m.p.h. in third gear being readily attainable. 84 I should explain that the figures given are those marked on the Riley speedo meter to indicate the comfortable maxi mum in either case. The system is a good one. Just as the cruising revs of the engine are plainly stated in every aero plane, so, in every Riley model, one may see at a glance just what the engine ought to do in its several gears without exerting itself unduly. Naturally, there is a distinction between the comfortable and the flat-out maximum. If anyone wishes to force the Six-twelve beyond the recommended figures, he will find that he can reach, not 65, but something like 70 m.p.h. in top gear. Similarly, in third gear, he will find no difficulty in touching 45 m.p.h. Roughly speaking, a Riley will always go about 5 m.p.h. faster than the maximum recommended by the makers. One recent improvement impressed me very favourably. The new gearbox pro vides helically cut gear wheels for every ratio. This does not sound very striking, since there is little to be gained in ease of gear-changing. On the other hand, it is extremely pleasant to find all the gears, not merely third and/or top, capable of extremely silent running. In the Six- twelve," one is spared the painful contrast of changing down from an agreeably quiet third gear into a relatively raucous second. As for simplicity, al though the heli cally cut gears do not claim to be fool-proof, they are in fact quite easy enough to satisfy anyone other than a con firmed crasher." The steering struck me as very pleasant, and the brakes proved amply powerful and pleasantly smooth in action. Road-holding was excellent as in deed one expects it to be when one knows that the designer has had road racing ex perience. If there is one simple and obvious proof of the benefits to be derived from motor racing, it is the fact that every single car produced by every single racing firm is, within my experience at any rate, well above the average in the matter of sitting down snugly on the road. I can not think of any exception to this rule. The springing of this model seemed to me just a trifle on the hard side but this is so good a fault that I hesitate to criticise it. Quite ninety per cent, of one's running is done nowadays at medium or moderately high speeds, and a car with slightly hard springing is therefore a comfortable car during ninety per cent, of the day's run. It is only when travelling slowly over a bad surface that Riley springing falls short of the ideal. WHERE coachwork is concerned, the Six-Twelve," like all Riley models, has two primary features to its credit. It is good looking and it provides really adequate accommodation. These two qualities do not by any means always go together but the Mentone saloon which I drove provides ample space for four adults, with excellent provision in a luggage trunk for suitcases. As for its looks, they are on a par with those of all other Riley saloon models which is saying a good deal. My chief criticism here is that no provision is made for the driver's left foot. It seems a pity that this small, but not unimportant, detail should have been overlooked. In the matter of price, at £338, the "Six-Twelve is not strictly speaking a cheap car. On the other hand, there is no denying that it provides a very full £338 worth of value.

ARR the controls fall easily to hand. Note the neat opening mechanism of the wind-screen and the two cubby holes and neatly grouped instruments on the dashboard 

 The firm has mastered more effectively the art of building a small car which is both comfortable and exceptionally attractive in appearance than the deservedly successful Riley Company. So low is the build that running boards might be dispensed with.  from Britannia and Eve - Friday 01 September 1933 

 both  from The Bystander - Wednesday 02 August 1933 again by Lord Cardigan

Cars with a Personality The Riley Six-Twelve By The Earl of Cardigan

Since it is not the policy of the Riley Company to bring out new models at frequent intervals, my recent test of the "Six-Twelve" Mentone saloon was merely the renewal of an earlier acquain tanceship. None the less, I soon found myself driving this car with the same pleasure and zest that I remember experiencing in the first instance. Herein lies the Riley's great virtue it is a car which can always be driven with pleasure, and which will inspire the driver with an immediate and gratifying sense of con fidence.

Needless to say, many minor improve ments have been carried out to secure increased all-round efficiency. The maxi mum speed is now close on 70 m.p.h., and something over 55 m.p.h. can be obtained in the usefully high third gear. Except when pushed up to its highest revs," the engine runs with remarkable smooth ness, and at all times is notable for its acceleration and responsiveness.

The gears are of the common or garden variety, but by no means the less agreeable for that. Gear-changing is not difficult, but merely demands a modicum of skill and attention such as many drivers are glad to apply. Only the complete novice is likely to encounter any problems, and even he may find consolation in the car's very creditable top-gear flexibility.

Good steering and road-holding play an important part in making this Riley attractive to handle. Like all cars which come of a racing stock, it sits down on the road with admirable steadiness under all conditions. Light steering action is combined with just the right degree of self-centring effect, so that bends can be taken without hesitation at relatively high speeds.

The brakes are remarkably efficient, although a firm pressure on the pedal is required. To many drivers, this will seem an advantage rather than other wise, since there need be no appre hension when an emergency calls for brisk and sudden braking action. My own preference is emphatically in favour of the brake which is a shade heavy rather than that which is embarrassingly light." Riley brakes, incidentally, are instantly adjustable from the driving seat, even when the car is in motion.

The springing, at high and medium speeds,  is very comfortable. At low speeds, however, it is distinctly on the hard side. The result is that the car rides most easily on the open road, while a rippled street surface affects it quite considerably. It is needless to say of the coachwork that it has well-proportioned and attractive lines." I know of no better-looking small car than the Riley, and it is sufficient praise of the Mentone saloon to say that it well maintains the high standard of appearance which is to be expected of it. Apart from mere looks, it is extremely comfortable, and the space available has been very cleverly utilised to provide ample leg-room for all passengers, in addition to a useful luggage locker. At £348, this Six-Twelve model should continue to prove popular among discerning motorists.  from the Bystander February 6th 1934  plus pics below

1934 Riley Mentone x 2  from Cliff Jones