In 1932 Riley launched a new version of its Riley Nine chassis called the ‘Plus Ultra’. This was considerably stiffer than previously and also enabled a lower seating position, which creates more room inside the cabin. To capitalize on the sporting nature of the chassis, the two-seater sports tourer (Gamecock) was launched. This model probably represents the best value 2-seater sports Riley in today’s market.
This is a unique opportunity to acquire a 1932 Riley 9 Gamecock, now a rare car with about 50 known to exist today. It is an attractive 2-seat sports tourer with a real boot, which with its adjustable and very comfortable pneumatic seats can accommodate both small and larger people with ample leg and arm room. It is an original car with many subtle improvements, and all done to the highest quality materials and workmanship with much attention to detail.
The Gamecock is so called after the Gloster Gamecock biplane fighter; it had a fold-flat screen for that essential raffish look but was also equipped with full weather equipment and a long, flat tail that housed a large boot capable of swallowing all the luggage a couple might need on a long touring holiday. Powered by the marque’s highly regarded 1,087cc twin-cam four cylinder engine, coupled with four-speed manual transmission with a Brooklands remote, it could achieve >70mph. The Gamecock remained in production until 1934 amounting to ~750 cars.
This particular Gamecock, first registered in Lympstone, Devon, in January 1932, was owned by well-known Riley aficionados, from 1964 until 2007, when it was acquired by a friend of the family. I have owned the car for 8 years. Between 1982 and 1988 the car was treated to a total ‘ground up’ restoration, with incredible attention to detail (eg provision for fitting aero screens, rear trunnions are now provided with grease nipples for lubrication, direction indicators), which results in the superb example you see today.
The majority of the mechanical work was undertaken by Fiennes Restoration of Bampton, while the body was restored with a strengthened ash frame and lightened body panels by Clanfield Coachworks of Oxford. The blue leather interior was re-trimmed by Alpine Eagle of Bampton. Further work was also undertaken in the 1990s by noted marque specialists Barrie Gillies of Bradfield and Blue Diamond Services of Langport. In total nearly £50,000 (£100,000 in today’s terms!) was spent to bring the car up to this exceptional standard with many bills to substantiate in the extensive history box-file.
The engine is a twin carb 1934 ‘Special Series’ unit with 8.5:1 compression pistons, Phoenix crank, twin exhaust cams, coil ignition, gas flowed, external full-flow oil filter and a lightened flywheel. More potent than standard with 52bhp, the car drives superbly; it is tractable with c/r g/box and 5:1 rear axle and will happily keep pace with modern A-road traffic. It has a set of matching weather gear including hood (double ducking), side-screens and tonneau cover, little used and all in excellent condition.
Featured in Profile Publications No 76 Riley Cars, the car comes with a very large history box-file of the rebuild. I have misplaced the VSCC eligibility form from 1990, although a new owner would need to re-apply. The car is in excellent running order having done just less than 15,000 miles since the rebuild, although it has been very little used (dry weather only) in the last few years. It was a concours car after the restoration, and it is now even better with a lovely mellow patina from being used. It is possibly the best example in existence today, taking into account both condition and specification and is priced accordingly with offers invited based on the asking price. More pictures available on request.
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