1952 Riley RMB 2.5 - 60k miles, exceptional history For Sale
This beautiful , genuine low mileage (60,000) Riley RMB 2.5 was first registered on the 4th March 1952 as LVC 396. The car has been owned by a collector for the past three years and whilst its recent owner has a high volume of beautiful cars, the Riley has been given regular use and has often attended shows and events. No hesitation was made in driving the Riley 100 faultless miles from Lincolnshire, confirming what a strong, usable car this is. Prior to the most recent ownership, the Riley was owned by a prominent and highly respected Riley enthusiast well known to us in North Yorkshire who spent a significant amount of money on the car although it had previously had a comprehensive rebuild after 26 years dry stored.
The RM was first registered in Coventry and it then spent eight years with its first owner in Reigate, Surrey. The Riley then had a succession of owners in a short period of time, changing hands in April 1960, January 1961 and May 1961, now in Bilston in the West Midlands. Original service records from 1961 to 1966 are still with the Riley within a preserved Regent Lubrication Service folder. Services were recorded at 10,392, 12107, 15039, 18378, 20847 and 23548 miles. From February 1968 to October 1994 the Riley was off the road, unused and then sold in incredibly original condition, requiring some restoration work with a mileage of 39000.
From October 1994 to June 1995 a comprehensive program of work was undertaken. The Riley was stripped down to the bare tub mounted on the chassis with its running gear in place Body panels were all removed, as was the radiator, grill, front and rear wings, running boards, doors, boot lid, spare wheel housing, roof cover, internal lining, roof guttering's, bumpers, seats, interior panels, floor sections, dashboard, front and rear screens, fuel tank and all chrome. The timber frame was then inspected and found to have no problems at all. The body tub was restored as required with new metal and then re-sprayed, a new roof covering was then fitted with gutter rail, and screens re-fitted with new rubbers. The chassis was cleaned, painted, and finished with a waxoyl seal; the floors treated the same.
The low mileage engine was dismantled to the point where the block, crank, pistons, rods, camshaft were left assembled. After inspection and thorough cleaning, it was built back up as required with correct adjustments and new parts, as necessary such as pushrods and core plugs. The carbs were stripped and treated to new jets, the starter motor, dynamo and distributor all stripped, cleaned and new brushes fitted, a new petrol pump fitted and copper fuel line, and the fuel tank cleaned, inspected, painted and re-fitted. The radiator was repaired, and the gearbox and rear axle tested in the car. The gearbox was removed to fit a new clutch plate and the rear axle oil changed. The front suspension and steering were stripped, cleaned and rebuilt with new bushes and the brakes rebuilt with new seals, flexible hoses and wheel cylinders. With the doors stripped, the Riley was treated to new window channels, door locks were rebuilt and some external brightwork was re-chromed. Most of the lose body panels were shot blasted, prepared and re-painted before fitting and new body seals used. The electrical system was checked over and repaired as required, and the interior treated to new carpets and roof lining, the woodwork re varnished, the instrument faces all cleaned and the beautiful original leather work all carefully cleaned and preserved.
In 1999 the Riley was sold (mileage 42500) to the owner before last, a keen Riley enthusiast who kept the car for 18 years. Whilst he enjoys driving his cars, he likes to work on them and take them to the highest standards. During his 18 years of ownership, 15000 miles were covered, and the Riley was taken to the next level up in terms of condition. During early ownership he treated the Riley to a new stainless-steel exhaust system and new steering gaiters but in 2002 had the engine removed the dismantled. The bottom end was treated to white metaling, conrods were re-conditioned, new main bearings fitted and the crankshaft reground. A new oil pump, pistons and piston rings were fitted, a new timing chain and tensioners fitted, and the cylinder head was rebuilt. Once the engine was back in the car and he began covering some miles, the Riley was taken to David A.C Royle & Co Ltd and had almost £5000 spent on light bodywork and paintwork and some further mechanical improvements. Throughout the long-term ownership in excess of £15,000 was spent on the Riley, all since restoration.
Since been with its last owner, the Riley has covered 1500 faultless miles as expected having had a restoration and further £15000 or so expenditure since. LVC 396 is a true delight in every respect and has a superb feel in that whilst it has been restored, it still retains a high level of originality. The wood frame is excellent, the bodywork, chrome and paintwork are excellent having been restored, the engine pulls and performs beautifully having been subject of a total rebuild, and the interior is wonderful still retaining its original leather. With a lovely low mileage of 60,000, its original ‘buff' logbook, a detailed history, this Riley 2.5 is an incredibly special car and one to be driven with confidence having now covered almost 18000 miles since its long period off the road. Handling and performing superbly, this really is a wonderful example to own.
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