Ri­ley RMA

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Contents - Matt Richardson

EN­GINE 1496cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 54bhp@4500rpm TORQUE 76lb ft@2500rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 76mph 0-60MPH 25sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 25mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual MoT Ex­empt ODOME­TER 19,169 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This RM feels drum-tight and drives in the slick, charming way mar­que afi­ciona­dos will be fa­mil­iar with. Ac­cel­er­a­tion is gen­tle, the en­gine doesn’t rev too highly and the gearshift, although smooth and me­chan­i­cally pre­cise, takes a slow hand or dou­ble de-clutch to change with­out graunch­ing. Once at a com­fort­able cruis­ing speed, the car will roll along all day. The ride is quite firm, a lit­tle jit­tery over bumps and with not much lean through cor­ners. The steer­ing is heavy and doesn’t get much lighter at speed, but is nice and di­rect with ev­ery bump fed back through the wheel. The hy­dro-me­chan­i­cal drum brakes take a firm push on the pedal to stop – it won’t stand on its nose, but the car draws up straight ev­ery time. The brake and clutch ped­als are close – driv­ers with large feet may strug­gle.


The green paint is in fine con­di­tion with a good shine – just a lit­tle ‘orange peel’ ev­i­dent on the body­work. There are only a cou­ple of stone chips across the en­tire car, and the black fab­ric roof in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. ‘Sui­cide’ front doors and a cen­tre-hinged bon­net are typ­i­cal of the era. The big grille has good chrome, as do the quar­ter bumpers on all four cor­ners. Mod­ern in­di­ca­tors have been fit­ted to the rear, sup­ple­ment­ing the orig­i­nal traf­fi­ca­tors, which still work. The tyres all have deep tread, Avons on the rear and Fire­stones up front – but do check their ages. The hub­caps ap­pear to have been hand-painted.


The green leather seats are in su­perb con­di­tion – just some slight creases in the hide and age patina. The car­pets look like new, as do the pedal rub­bers and the head­lin­ing is fresh and bright. The wood dash­board and door cap­pings are beau­ti­ful. Rear pas­sen­ger foot space is nar­row as the chas­sis rails get very wide to­wards the back, though head­room in the back is good. A switch has been added be­low the dash for the in­di­ca­tors.


It’s all straight and cor­rect. There are no signs of oil or water leaks. The sin­gle SU carburettor looks tiny be­side the en­gine, while it and the al­loy rocker cov­ers (although not shiny) have a bright, clear sur­face. The spark plug HT leads are of the old-fash­ioned cloth­cov­ered type, but newer wires are vis­i­ble in the en­gine bay, sug­gest­ing mod­ern up­dates. The four-speed man­ual gear­box is smooth and pre­cise and the sus­pen­sion moves with­out any knocks or thumps.


This has the look and feel of a well cared-for car. In fine con­di­tion in­side and out, it drives well – it may have pre-war styling but con­tains the next gen­er­a­tion of en­gi­neer­ing. An in­ter­est­ing drive, not just as a wed­ding car.

De­light­ful in­te­rior, with plenty of wood and chrome.

Ad­vanced twin-cam has been kept in fine fet­tle.

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