Riley RM drophead
ENGINE 2443cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 100bhp@4500rpm TORQUE 86lb ft@2000rpm TOP SPEED 85mph 0-60MPH 16.8sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 19-26mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual MoT Exempt ODOMETER 51,091 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The 2.4-litre four fires up without any hesitation and quickly settles to a healthy idle; and once you’re on the move there are no misfires, tappet noises or power losses to contend with. The brakes are a little sharp but bring the car to a halt without any juddering or pulling, and there’s a reassuring directness from the communicative steering. Both the clutch and the stubby gearlever operating the fourspeed manual gearbox are light and precise to use.
The car was restored two years ago by a classic restorer based in Eastern Europe and the body remains in superb condition. The chassis number suggests that the car started life as an RMB saloon, but the quality of the construction and the corrosion-free bodywork give no cause for concern. There’s an even shine to the Bronze Metallic paintwork, with no surface rust, bubbling or microblistering in the panels, and the 16-inch painted steel wheels and attendant hubcaps are scuff-free. The chrome is in excellent condition too – particularly the radiator grille – and there are no scratches or cracks in the window glass. It’s worth noting that while the roof isn’t a period-correct design, the Mohair material used is of a very high quality.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The cream leather seats fitted during the car’s restoration are in very good condition, with no rips or marks, and it’s a similar story with the reassuringly dry carpets. All three dials work correctly, and there are no scuffs on either the dial rims or the protective glass. The wood trim on the dashboard, glove compartment and door cappings is in fine order throughout, and the rim on the three-spoke steering wheel is unmarked. Only the aftermarket water temperature gauge and spotlight switch spoil the car’s period ambience, but they work correctly and are welcome additions for modern driving.
UNDER THE BONNET
The RM’s engine was reconditioned last year and is in very good condition. There’s no sign of any fluid leaks, the components themselves are free of grime and dust and the radiator appears to be in rude health. The car doesn’t come with much in the way of history – period workshop manual aside – but the quality of the mechanicals more than makes up for this.
THE CCW VIEW
The quality of this RM’s restoration means that you should be able to spend years enjoying it at classic shows before having to lavish it with any serious TLC. Riley aficionados will spot the couple of incorrect details that but they’re easy to forgive on a car that drives and looks as good as this one. David Simister