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Charles Leith Ltd
Fordingbridge Hampshire

Tel:  01425292788
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1935 Riley 12/4 Sports Special Zagato style For Sale

1935 Riley 12/4 Sports Special - STUNNING

This very attractive Zagato-style Riley Special is based on a matching-numbers Riley 22T Kestrel rolling chassis with its’ correct engine, gearbox, transmission, etc. Originally registered 6th March 1935, VL 6625 was lovingly rebuilt with no expense spared by previous owner but one, John Worrell. The original saloon body had already been lost by a previous custodian when the restoration started.

The fabulous ash-framed Alfa Romeo 1750 Zagato-style body in black with crimson red leather upholstery and red wire wheels was beautifully crafted by Western Coachworks, well known in Alfa Romeo circles. Believed therefore to be as professional a job as you will see anywhere - this car is probably as well put together than many manufactured at the Riley works. The result looks just right – it being quite easy to imagine the Coventry factory producing such a car.

Invoices list that work by John Worrell commenced around the year 2000 and completed in 2006 when an officer of the Riley Register inspected the car before the updated V5C registration was then issued.

Engine work included Omega high-compression pistons, re-profiled Riley Sprite cams, twin SU carburettors, and a four-branch exhaust manifold. We are told that the 1½-litre four-cylinder twin-cam engine produces approximately 70bhp. Power is transmitted via a Wilson pre-selector gearbox, and the brakes are Girling, rod-operated.

The engine revs freely, and coupled with light bodywork this car moves along with a good turn of speed. The car sits well on the road with no roll, precise steering and strong brakes, the preselect gearbox easy to operate combined with a restored traffic clutch suited to road use. The engine bay is clean and tidy, including a Kenlowe electric cooling fan in case of traffic, along with new radiator. Touring luggage for two can be packed in behind the front seats in squashy bags or stowed via a key operated hatch in the tail, next to the quick-release fuel filler cap.

In the cockpit the aluminium dashboard is machine-turned and the instruments are the usual Riley gauges, with the rev counter reading counter-clockwise like the XK Jaguars and 1960s Alfa Romeos. The speedometer currently reads less than 2000 miles. The car comes with a full mohair tonneau cover and a fold flat windscreen for those wind in the hair moments.

Once built, it appears that John Worrell used the car very sparingly and kept this car until 2011 when it went to Germany for 2 years or so. Purchased by my client around 2013, himself the owner of a large car collection this car was largely used for display at concours events and classic car shows, hence the recorded mileage of less than 2000 miles since restoration. The history file contains numerous restoration invoices, an old-style continuation logbook and UK V5C registration document.

So nice is this car that Mark Dixon deputy editor of Octane magazine has written a 7-page colour article on this car.

This car is undoubtedly a head-turner!

More spacious than a Riley MPH, IMP or Sprite – all of which I defy most people able to fit into and sit behind the wheel - due to the lack of space - the measurements of the car we have for sale are as follows, the same length as an MPH and Sprite but 12” longer in wheelbase, providing more space for the driver and passenger, more predictable handling in wet conditions together with a saving of about £625,000** between our car and an original MPH for instance!

(**See £695,612 Riley MPH here )


Overall Length Wheelbase Engine

This car: 12’3” 9’ 1” 1496cc

Compare with Riley Factory cars :

Kestrel 12/4 13’7” 9’ 1” 1496cc

MPH 12’0” 8’ 1” 1458cc

Sprite 12’ 4” 8’ 1 ½” 1496cc

Incidentally, this rather ugly Riley Special recently sold for well over £70,000 - rather more money than we are asking:

Asking £65,000


Note Riley IMP and RILEY MPH cockpit photos at the end are included to show you just how small the factory cars are - questionable whether you would be able fit into these cars - even if you could afford the 6-figure price tags.

This advert has now been removed through sale or otherwise, please see the list below for similar live adverts
Year Make Description Price
1936 Riley 1936 RILEY 12/4 SPRITE, entrant in 7 Mille Miglia editions For Sale £424,000
1929 Riley 1929 Riley Brooklands Monoposto (Ex Bob Gerard) For Sale £150,000
1938 Riley 1938 Riley 2.5 Supercharged Blue streak 1938 For Sale £145,995
1928 Riley 1928 Riley 9 Brooklands For Sale £135,000
1939 Riley 1939 Riley R 12 clean Silver driver RHD Rare Clean Silver $120k For Sale £120,000
1951 Riley 1951 Riley RMC 2.5 Roadster For Sale £95,000
1937 Riley 1937 Riley 12/4 'Sprite' Evocation For Sale £89,950
1934 Riley 1934 RILEY 9 NINE BROOKLANDS SPECIAL (KEITH ROACH) For Sale £87,500
1932 Riley 1932 Riley Brooklands Six For Sale £85,000
1935 Riley 1935 Riley Kestrel Boat Tail. For Sale £78,000
1930 Riley 1930 Riley 9 Brooklands Evocation built by Allen Clear For Sale £72,500
1935 Riley 1935 Road or Race Kestrel Boat tail 12/4 Special For Sale £69,000
1935 Riley 1935 Riley 12/4 Special For Sale £67,500
1953 Riley 1953 Riley Lincoln V12 Special For Sale £65,000
1935 Riley 1935 Riley 12/4 Special 2+2 Sports Tourer For Sale £64,500
1929 Riley 1929 Ex-MacLachlan Riley 9 Brooklands Special For Sale £64,000
1951 Riley 1951 Riley RMD 2 1/2 Litre Drophead Coupe For Sale £61,542
1947 Riley 1947 Riley Special Superb modernisation-a classic body For Sale £50,950
1934 Riley 1934 Riley Kestrel 6 Cylinder, Special Series For Sale £49,000
1946 Riley 1946 One off Riley 2.5 Pathfinder Hamilton special For Sale £45,000
1938 Riley 1938 Riley 12/4 TOURER COACHWORK BY WILKINSON & SON OF DERBY For Sale £44,500
1932 Riley 1932 Riley Gamecock For Sale £39,700
1935 Riley 1935 Riley kestrel 12/4. 22t For Sale £36,750
1948 Riley 1948 RILEY RMB 2.5cc EX POLICE CAR AND EX GOODWOOD POLICE CAR For Sale £35,995
1948 Riley 1948 RILEY RMB 2.5CC EX GENUINE POLICE CAR & ex GOODWOOD POLI For Sale £35,995