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.

*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


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





Surviving cars
1934 CARS:-,      AG 381* ( Chassis number 44T241*15/6),      JH 950* ( Chassis number 44T173* 14/6),
1935 CARS:-     ADU 52* ( Chassis number 44T224* 12/6),     AOL 763 ( Chassis number 44T225*  15/6 see below)     AOT 85* ( Chassis number 44T225* 35 14/6),     ARW* ( Chassis number 44T224* 15/6),     AWK 19* ( Chassis number 44T225*12/6),     BLN 3* ( Chassis number 44T225*  12/6),     OW 792* ( 44T225*  15/6),       FP 2831   15/6 MPH  see below for old and now pics
Non Uk cars are listed where known by their Uk registration number as anyone working within the military or civil service could take their vehicles pre war meaning many vehicles spread throughout the world in addition to exports. 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 

MOTOR DICTA By H. E. SYMONS. LESSONS OF LE MANS.

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