1954 Riley RME 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand


Love it. Want a pre-war Riley now



General Comments:

I have always loved the styling of this car and dreamed of owning one. For many years I enjoyed restoring and driving classic Jaguar cars, including a 1947 3.5, a 152 XK120, E types, and saloons. Finally I sold those off and spent 10 years working on old boats and going fishing a lot.

One day I walked past a car sitting with a For Sale notice on it and it was this Riley 1.5. At first I thought I could not fit in it and that it would be too slow on modern roads. Finally I got to know the owner and the car, came to appreciate its quality and potential, and now own it. On the first long run it overheated, and so I tried flushing the cooling system, then learned about the cross-tubes in the engine and the risk they are corroded. Now I am removing the engine in order to strip it and carefully overhaul it. The bodywork and interior of this car are excellent, so I feel it is worth rebuilding the engine properly. The we can do some travelling together and spend time on car club runs. Now I am looking for a pre-war Kestrel to work with.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th December, 2015

24th Sep 2017, 14:08

The "hot spot" system on these cars is, with modern petrol, totally redundant and can (should!) be removed. The kerb-appeal is tremendous, the performance lamentable. (They are too slow to get out of their own way!) Overall though a very desirable car. My advice, enjoy for a year, get shot of it and buy a 2.5 litre.