Lot 346 - 1905 Riley 9hp V-Twin
|Estimate||£45,000 - £60,000|
In 1899, the first Rileys powered by an internal combustion engine were shown. They were a Quadricycle, and a Tricycle, both called 'Royal Rileys'. Then in 1905, a 'proper' 4-wheeled Riley was developed and went into production. The Car was a light 2-seater, using the V-twin engine and available with an optional hood. Throughout 1906 and 1907, the cars were successful in many of the events (mainly hill climbs) they entered, winning a large number of them outright, although mainly due to handicapping procedures. A significant development that Riley used on these cars was the patented detachable wheel, which meant that the puncture didn't have to be repaired in-situ, the wheel could simply be replaced. During this period, the success of the cars led the Riley Cycle Company to cease production of bicycles by 1911. However, before this, in late 1907, Riley had decided that a larger car was necessary. The early Riley 9hp V Twins are exceedingly rare and only three are known to survive worldwide - one is in the Gaydon Motor Museum, another is in private hands and the third one, chassis number 740, is the vehicle on offer today.
This Riley 9hp was imported from New Zealand to the UK by the vendor in 2009 where it had been meticulously restored over a 30-year period by a previous New Zealand owner, Gary Turner, and was completed in 2004. The chassis number puts the date of manufacture as 1905 which means that it is certainly one of the first such cars ever made, records for Riley cars from this era are patchy to non-existent. David Styles, the leading authority on pre-1940 Riley cars and the author of 'Riley - As Old As The Industry' has known this car since the late 1980,s providing drawings and photographs' plus a copy of a 1906 Riley Nine brochure to assist Gary with the restoration. David Styles has also confirmed that this car was originally exported to New Zealand by the Riley Cycle Company and as far as he can establish the vendor is the forth owner. This car has been very carefully restored, with close attention to the detail of design in the construction of the new coachwork, the lines and panel work has been faithfully reproduced and is virtually indistinguishable from an original Riley body of this period. This Riley 9hp is in outstanding condition throughout and the vendor informs us it is in excellent running order. Finished in green, coachlined in white and with green leather 'button backed' seats this car is supplied with a V5C registration document and a very large history file documenting the rebuild containing many fascinating drawings, documents and press cuttings relating to the model that were amassed by Gary Turner over many years. It also comes with a certificate from the Historic Vehicle Authority of New Zealand confirming the year of manufacture as 1905 and stating that it is one of only three known survivors. This is a unique opportunity to purchase a piece of British motoring history and certainly an investment for the future.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.