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Lot 664: 1933 Riley 9hp Ascot Drophead Coupe

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (10 September 2005)

Introduced in 1926, Percy Riley’s 9hp, 1,087cc twin-camshaft four was an outstanding engine design by any standards, various versions powering Rileys until 1957. Clothed in stylish bodywork by Stanley Riley, the Coventry marque’s pre-war offerings were among the world’s finest small-capacity sporting cars.
This Riley 9hp has the ‘Ascot’ style of drophead coupé coachwork that provides two-seat plus dickey accommodation as well as a golf club/fishing rod stowage compartment unique to the model. One of only a handful of its type known to exist, the car was acquired in Hayling Island by its late owner in May 1999 as a restoration project, having been off the road since the early 1960s. Included in the sale is a CD of photographs plus its late owner’s detailed record of this demanding project, which was eventually completed in 2002. When printed out, this runs to 20-plus closely-typed pages recounting the restoration’s trials and tribulations, as well as the considerable imagination and ingenuity deployed in overcoming the many problems encountered. Names of helpers, Riley specialists and spare parts suppliers also are recorded. Particularly worthy of note is the fact that all ferrous items were zinc plated prior to refinishing and that the cylinder head was rebuilt with unleaded-compatible valve seats. The electrics have been sensibly up-dated and the lighting improved with double-dipping bulbs and flashing indicators discreetly incorporated in the brake/sidelights. Immediately after completion, ‘DH 9991’ won its class at the Riley Register Rally concours - just reward for a Herculean effort.
Finished in green/black with green leather interior, the car possesses a current road fund licence, MoT valid until October 2005 and Swansea V5 registration document, and is offered with a box containing registration documents, old MoTs, logbooks, a quantity of Riley and Rotax instruction books/manuals, oil filter element, photo album and restoration invoices (estimated at totalling close to £10,000).

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, Beaulieu Autojumble, National Motor Museum, Hampshire
Lot Number664
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£14500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£16675
Condition rating
Registration numberDH 9991
Chassis number6021860
Engine number51000
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors