Lot 138 - 1950 Riley RMB (2.5 litre)

Lot 138 - 1950 Riley RMB (2.5 litre)

Lot 138 - 1950 Riley RMB (2.5 litre)

Lot Number 138
Registration GWN 646
Chassis Number 605.7128
Engine Number 7128
Odometer reading 45,292 miles
Result Sold - £17,360
  • Ex-1961 Monte Carlo Rally competitor
  • Fully restored although retaining some original rally features
  • One of only six RMBs fitted with a factory fitted sunroof

The Monte Carlo rally must surely represent the golden age of intercontinental motor sport. Not only did it host a whole range of teams that took part but the conditions varied enormously from hot coastal weather to driving snow in the mountains. The Riley RMB was a useful tool for the job as it combines fixedhead motoring and powerful 2.5 litre engine. The 'Big-Four' as it was known, with twin camshafts mounted high at the sides of the cylinder block, hemispherical combustion chambers and twin SU carbs meant that the engine was rated at 100bhp giving the big saloon a top speed of just shy of the magic ton.

This extremely well-presented RMB was bought new by Arthur Bassett of Swansea in October 1950 with the express intention of competing in the following year’s RAC Monte Carlo Rally, as shown in press cuttings on file. It duly did, finishing a creditable 236 out of 342 or 54% up the field. It also maintains a number of special features built specifically for the race including locking fuel caps, a secret compartment in the rear seat divider and steel shackles on the jacking points which were used to strap the car down securely on its voyage across the Channel. It also benefits from an extremely rare factory fitted sunroof and is thought to be one of only six RMBs thus equipped.

After successfully completing the rally, the car passed through several more local owners as detailed in the original buff logbook before the current owner. Although the engine had been rebuilt some time ago, the rest of the car had not, so a full restoration, which took almost four years to complete, was undertaken. As can be seen, the work was done to a high standard and the car looks wonderful today with excellent paintwork and, great brightwork and gorgeous red leather interior as shown with limited use whilst also retaining much of its original patina. The underside looks equally good and the car is fitted with a stainless exhaust and full one year MoT test certificate.

The car became a regular on the Welsh show circuit and reportedly won so many prizes that the vendor eventually became too embarrassed to enter it. He states that the car has always proved totally reliable during his long ownership and has always driven exceptionally well tackling long journeys with ease – as you might expect from a seasoned Monte Carlo rally car!

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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