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Riley Sprite


One of the last of the Riley sports cars using  a special version of the 12/4 engine employing differing cams, magneto ignition, a larger sump, new water pump, with later cars using a cross-flow head. The chassis was the same design as the  MPH (underslung at the rear, overslung at the front), with extensive use of lightweight racing parts, and 13ins Girling drums .

**Warning any racing car  Riley or other marque will have had numerous engine, gearbox and body tweaks to keep it competetive so the ratio of parts worn that are as they left the factory after such a period of time will be the source of endless debate. The purpose of this site is to list and archive information and have it freely available for all clubs not to answer which chassis or body cowl is worn at the present time or we will end up like the discussion of years back re the Bentley 'Old Number One' which graced the High Court for quite a while**

click here for that and understand why NO Riley club wants such trouble


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


 The cover from the book "DND 162 The competition history of a 1937 Riley Sprite"" by John Redman click here

Riley TT Sprite Media + Links :-

Another book is "Riley Sprite 80th Anniversary by Nicholas Lees "  click here    For the video ( turn sound down ) click here   Other  Riley books on the library page link above

For real nostalgia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIyyv0vNUjI   BFG 1 & DND162 appear in the clip along with AKV 218 which is the prototype Sprite many thanks for the link to David Miller. . . all pages are under permanent construction ie better pics will be added plus information when found.

Unidentified Sprite @ Prescott.click here ..  turn up the volume as the car sounds glorious

Prescott Hill Climb 1946 Riley sprite, Bugatti etc click here for video

Riley Rob page click here

National Motor Museum chassis/Mike Hawthorn car click here



 Riley Sprite DUG 497 picture from Bonhams sale click here for lots of pics



AKV 218 driven as any Riley should be used
pics below are  of the same car when for sale in Belgium 2018 all pics from Marcel Roks






This particular Riley “AKV-218” was first registered on the 31st of August 1935 and was constructed by the works/competition department on an MPH type chassis. It is thus in effect a four-cylinder version of a Riley MPH and is the Riley Sprite Prototype. It received various engine- and brake-modifications by the factory. Once completed AKV-218 was used extensively by the works for competition events throughout 1935 to 1939. AKV-218 was also driven by Cecil Riley himself in late 1935 from Coventry to Calais and through France to cover as much Alpine Passes as possible before the winter weather would close them. He achieved 14 passes climbed in 8 days before returning to Coventry.. info from Marcel Roks


 There are also Kestrel Sprites, Lynx Sprites etc ( on the appropriate pages eventually ) as the Sprite engine was a £25 added extra plus tax. Those listed above are 'real Sprites' ie sold as such and not replicas/specials and as such are considerably rarer and costlier


Production Sprite 2-seaters that have a known provenance = about 85%:-

Key: Radiator types: T= Traditional. B= Birdcage/ fencer's mask     Gearbox Types: M= Manual. CR= Manual close ratio. PS= Preselector
Axle No: Moss Gears No. cast into magnesium alloy diff nosepiece, usually on pinion clamP bolt boss. Comp or Comp hist: Car has a competition history pre-War or immediately post-War. Surviving cars are indicated by  bold type
 S26S 2429  chassis number AKV 218           Registration date 31.08.35,     Axle   std.12/4 Steel,    Radiator T,   Gearbox  PS,  Prototype & Publicity car. On MPH chassis   with competition  history.

S26S 2698   chassis number    BDU 727          Registration date 23.12.35,      Axle No.  3,      Radiator Type  B,    Gearbox M, Comp.history including 1935 Monte Carlo Rally.

S26S 2766   chassis number       JB 8284            Registration date   23.01.36        Axle No.  4,    Radiator Type B,        Gearbox Type  PS, Unique birdcage grille.

S26S 3377  chassis number       ANX 305            Registration date  31.12.35        Axle No.  ?,    Radiator Type B,        Gearbox Type  M,  Ribbed wings as on  saloons.  with competition  history.

S26S 3752   chassis number            BOM 956           Registration date  05.02.36       Axle No. 6,    Radiator Type B,        Gearbox Type  PS,    Radiator cap under bonnet.

S26S   chassis number            (2636W1)                  Registration date  ?.?.36          Axle No.  ?,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  S,  Guy Lapchin France. (8344WI 7142-RK7)

S26S  3753   chassis number         SX  4220          Registration date  27.02.36         Axle No.  ?,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  PS,  Hartford telecontrols. USA

S26S  3754    chassis number        BFG 1          Registration date  01.04.36         Axle No.  ?,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  M, John Clough rallies, Imp tail for 2 wheels. Re-reg'd as 1 BFG.

S26S 3878    chassis number        BRW 303         Registration date  31.03.36         Axle No. None,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, 1936 publicity car , later works fitted  with an unnumbered axle.

S26S 4029    chassis number        EG 3676         Registration date  31.03.36         Axle No. 11,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,

S265 4O88    chassis number        JB 8852         Registration date  31.03.36         Axle No. 12,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,
S26S ------ (2033-RL)         Registration date  ?. 36         Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, Bought as chassis by Jean Trevoux. Fitted with a  standard body ex-Guy Lapchin's 2636M & Special wings. Competition  history includes Morocco 1937 & Le Mans 1939.

S26S 4242    chassis number        JY 7950        Registration date  ? 36         Axle No. 14,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history Post WW2. 

S26S 4593    chassis number        JI 7305         Registration date  06.03.37        Axle No. 16,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, was in Sweden ex. Northern Ireland

S25S 4394    chassis number        CNF 640         Registration date  16.07.36         Axle No. 15,    Radiator Type B         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history Post WW2.

S26S 4631    chassis number        CXY 386         Registration date  ? 36        Axle No. 17,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS

S26S 4818    chassis number         CY 7680         Registration date   ? 36         Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  ?, Last owned in Wales in the 1950's

S26S 4863    chassis number        M 71675         Registration date    ? 36         Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type ?,         Gearbox Type  ?, In Spain under restoration

S26S 4883    chassis number        BTB 363         Registration date  28.07.36        Axle No. 21,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, Ex Blakes of Liverpool

S26S 4884    chassis number      DFC 789       Registration date  31.07.36        Axle No. 20,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history

S26S 4920   chassis number        CVM 208        Registration date  07.08.36        Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history

S27S 5379    chassis number        BKV 88         Registration date  07.10.36        Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  ?,  1936 Publicity Department car with competition history

S27S 5443    chassis number       CVU 783         Registration date  ?        Axle No. 23,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, Brooklands History  pre WW2 .Post WW2 fitted with BWK 324's TT body Now Cr box in Austria

S27S 5548    chassis number       DJJ 678         Registration date  13.11.36        Axle No. 28,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, MPH wings fitted at a later date

S27S 5675    chassis number       BAH 900         Registration date  01.12.36        Axle No. 26,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, Twin fuel fillers

S27S 5732    chassis number        CPO 302         Registration date  01.12.36        Axle No. 27,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history

S27S 6030    chassis number       DUG 497         Registration date  14.01.37        Axle No. 26,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history including 1937 Monte, Imp tail plus two spare wheels. Axle number the same as BAH 900

S27S 6031    chassis number       CDU 63         Registration date  07.01.37        Axle No. 29,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  M, with competition  history including  Monte Carlo

S27S 6299    chassis number       ASF 522         Registration date  01.02.37        Axle No. 30,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  M, with competition  history. Racing crankshaft, 4 bolt rods & supercharged. Axle maker ENV

S27S 6320    chassis number       C2570 S         Registration date  ?        Axle No. 31,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, Possible German original

S27S 6344    chassis number       ETA 357         Registration date  01.12.36        Axle No. 33,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history ex Blakes

S27S 6356    chassis number       ERA 000         Registration date ?        Axle No. 32,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  PS, Believed exported to Australia new MPH wings to special order

S27S 6445    chassis number       CHP 109         Registration date  01.12.36        Axle No. 34,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,  In USA see 'Continental Tour' Autocar 11 December 1937

S27S 6653    chassis number       CRW 910         Registration date  01.12.36        Axle No. 36,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, The 1937 Publicity department car  plus Autocar test car on 6th August 1937

S27S 6667    chassis number      DND 162         Registration date  ?       Axle No. 37,    Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  M, with competition  history 1939 RAC Rally

S27S  669*, in Australia

S27S 6698    chassis number       DYH 443         Registration date  ?        Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,  **Chassis number in R Register is  quoted as 6840** In Sweden

S27S 6797    chassis number       DYV 241         Registration date  ?       Axle No. 42,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history

S27S 6843    chassis number       BKW 769         Registration date  21.05.37        Axle No. 41,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  CR,

S27S 7069    chassis number       APM 351         Registration date  27.07.37        Axle No. 43,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history

S27S 7070    chassis number       CCG 294         Registration date  24.07.37        Axle No. 40,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  CR, In Venezuela /USA 1959-1995

S27S 7126    chassis number       EGH 198         Registration date  25.08.37        Axle No. 44,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, 

S27S 7693    chassis number       BCR 810         Registration date  11.01.38        Axle No. ?,    Radiator Type B/T,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history 1939 RAC Rally

S27S 7721    chassis number       ORE 600         Registration date  16.10.37        Axle No. 47,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, Believed exported new to Holland Later in UK

S27S 7723    chassis number       EMB I36         Registration date  18.01.38        Axle No. 48,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS, with competition  history

S27S 7850    chassis number       FTN 200         Registration date  01.04.38        Axle No. 50,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,with  post WW2 competition  history

S27S 7892    chassis number       ABA 525         Registration date  01.06.38        Axle No. 51,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  M, with competition  history

S27S 7914    chassis number       GNW 265         Registration date  30.05.38        Axle No. 49,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,

S27S 7917    chassis number       HPA 739         Registration date  07.10.38        Axle No. 52,    Radiator Type B,         Gearbox Type  PS,With silentbloc bush front spring mounting

also to check EHU 992 and found many many replicas

Original Build Engined TT Sprites(Works Racers)

22T 1750    chassis number       AVC 19         Registration date  31.05.35           Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  CR Works car then Ecurie Eudel 2087RL ?

22T 1916    chassis number       AVC 20         Registration date  31.05.35         Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  CR , Works car then Bob Gerard 19.11.36

S26S 4634    chassis number       BWK 324         Registration date  18.06.36            Radiator Type T,         Gearbox Type  CR , Works car then sold to F Gee 2.1.37.  Later to Leslie and Mike Hawthorn

S27S 6950    chassis number       CWK 171         Registration date  01.07.37   Radiator Type T,                   Gearbox Type  CR , Works car Radiator cowl. Then to Bob Gerard 14.2.38

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




from the Blue Diamond/Riley Club Australia full magazine click here



Original newspaper reviews of the time :-

"A NEW RILEY MODEL The Riley Company are expecting big things of their new V-9 (factory designation number given to the newspaper NOT description). An engine of this type is prominently displayed on their stand. It enables a big, roomy body to be put on to a short wheelbase, because it is of the same length as a four-cylinder. In reality it is two 9 h.p. engines side-by-side. Its speed and acceleration are stated to be something really out of the ordinary. A " Sprite " is shown—an enlarged version of the 9 h.p. " Imp."  from the Coventry Herald - Friday 18 October 1935 






1937 Riley Sprite © CLIFF JONES PHOTOGRAPHY



1938 Riley Sprite  © CLIFF JONES PHOTOGRAPHY