Riley Elf Review

1966 Riley Elf MKII 998cc from Singapore

Model year1966
Year of manufacture1966
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 998cc Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 kilometres
Most recent distance120000 kilometres


Cute little car, still getting stares at 40 years old


Mechanical fuel pump gave way. And the fuel gauge isn't accurate, so I was left dry on a couple of occasions (my fault).

Rust in the usual Mini places. The sliding windows don't do much for ventilation in this tropical heat and with our kind of rain, they leak like crazy. An Australian Mini door with swivelling quarter lights and winding windows would be ideal, but they're almost impossible to find... any OZ mini friends care to help?

General Comments:

For a 40-year-old car, my little Elf is totally reliable, apart from the fuel pump episode. I've driven it thousands of kilometres to Thailand and Malaysia many times in the 7 years I've had it. A good clean radiator and fan helps in this tropical weather, and I've driven it through the worst tropical downpour and floods without so much as a little cough.

Performance is adequate and fuel economy is outstanding. As far as I know there are only 2 Elf's in Singapore. Haven't seen the other one in a while.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th December, 2006

3rd Jan 2007, 19:26

I wrote the original survey - and here's a quick update. On 29 December 2006, the brakes began to fail. The pedal would go almost all the way before any bite was felt. The brake fluid was almost gone and topping up didn't help. The next morning, the Saturday before the long New Year weekend, I took the Riley to the workshop and the mechanic found both rear brake pumps seized. One hour, two new brake pumps and S$110 later, all was back to normal. The Riley charges into another year!

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 1 review