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Lot 032: Riley Nine Merlin Saloon

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (28 November 2012)

During the late 1920s and '30s, the Coventry firm of Riley produced some of the best small sporting cars in the world, whether saloons, tourers or out-and-out sports cars. One reason was the excellence of the power unit, an innovative 1,087cc four-cylinder, twin cam, hemi-head design by Percy Riley that was good for 60mph and 40mpg. The others were lovely coachwork and fine handling, largely the work of Stanley Riley who had a gift for chassis, suspension and body design.Various body styles were produced over the next few years including the Monaco, Biarritz and Kestrel saloons and the Lynx tourer. New for 1936 was the Merlin which had the same engine (though with a stronger crankshaft and a higher compression ratio) but featured a pre-selector gearbox and a totally new and very rigid chassis frame, a new final transmission and new Girling brakes. The handsome four-door coachwork was made by Briggs Motor Bodies and featured all-steel panels and a sliding sunroof. At 269 it was twice the price of a Morris Minor and 50 more than an MG Midget but sold steadily during the two years that it was available. First registered in May 1936, this particular Merlin was sympathetically restored some years ago and still looks to be in very good condition today both underneath and up top. Looking very striking in black with a green pinstripe and green painted wire wheels, it has a particularly appealing and original green leather interior with excellent woodwork and nicely patinated upholstery. The sliding fabric sunroof still works and it retains its original pull-down front sun-visor and drawstring operated rear blind. The original swiveling/dipping headlight system also functions as it should. Enjoying show use only in recent years, it is said to drive very well and has recently benefited from a new propshaft, new brake linings, shock absorbers, tyres and battery. MOTd and taxed until September 2013, it comes with a buff continuation log book from 1948 when it was in North Wales, various old MOTs, technical literature relating to the model, starting handle, wheel changing kit and original valuable number plate. There is also an insurance valuation from 2012 which states the value at 16,000. Due to be driven some 35 miles to the sale, it is ready for immediate use.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number032
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£10000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1936
Condition rating
Registration numberJC 3504
Mileage-
Chassis number66M1407
Engine numberM1407
Engine capacity (cc)1087
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors