Bonhams : One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports  Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020

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Lot 331
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports
Registration no. WG 3688 Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020

Sold for £ 74,100 (US$ 92,903) inc. premium
One lady owner for forty-six years
1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports
Registration no. WG 3688
Chassis no. 6027496
Engine no. 56020

Footnotes

  • Development work on a standard Riley chassis by engineers/drivers, J G Parry Thomas and Reid Railton so inspired the Riley Board that they sanctioned the designing and building of a two-seater sports car, designated the 'Brooklands'. Railton himself drove the prototype to victory at 91.37mph in its first race at Brooklands in 1927, setting the fastest lap at an impressive 98.62mph. 'The Brooklands' featured the well tried and tested four-cylinder, pushrod-operated, twin camshaft engine, displacing 1,087cc. 'The Brooklands' model featured increased compression ratio, stronger valve springs and twin SU carburettors. The chassis was lowered to carry sleek two-seater coachwork and shortened to 8ft to reduce weight and improve road holding. 'The Brooklands' dominated the 1100cc class in international competition. Six cylinder 'Brooklands' and MPH models followed, and from these developed the next generation of 9hp, four-cylinder sports cars – the Imp.

    The Imp's chassis featured a 7ft 6in wheelbase, sweeping up over the front axle and under-slung at the rear, emulating the design which had proved successful with the 'Brooklands' six. The exquisite coachwork design of the Imp was way ahead of anything previously seen in an economy production sports car and twin SU carburettors and a Scintilla Vertex magneto were options. The Pre-selector gearbox enhanced the driving experience. With its long bonnet, flowing wings and short tail the Riley Imp is without question one of the most attractive small sports cars of its era.

    This car was first registered with Stirling County Council on 7th May 1935. The old style buff log book dates from 1956 at which time it was in the ownership of one David Patrick of Hutton, Brentwood, passing in 1959 to Graham Dawson of Acton. In April 1964 it was bought as a birthday present for the present lady owner and shared the motor house with her husband's vintage 3-litre Bentley. For the next few years it was to be her regular transport being used for work, shopping trips and attending trials and race meetings. With the arrival of a family the much cherished Imp was no longer practical transport and was consigned on loan for over twenty years to the Birmingham Science Museum.

    Emerging from that sojourn, WG 3688 was treated to a major restoration by respected restorers Jim and Bruce Young. The car was stripped to the bare chassis and all mechanical components meticulously checked and refurbished where necessary, the work involving an engine rebuild with new cylinder liners, valve guides and standard pistons fitted. Chassis work was completed as necessary to restore the car to excellent running order and restoration of the coachwork involved careful conservation of originality in all major respects. The car was re-liveried in black and new red leather upholstery was installed to the original pattern and carpets replaced. The culmination of that restoration saw the car take part in the Riley Register Coventry Rally in 2004 and its major achievement that year was the Riley Register's 70th Anniversary trip to Le Mans – a journey accomplished with flying colours. In 2006 the car participated in the Riley Nine 80th Anniversary celebrations at Shelsley Walsh. In recent months the car has been the subject of a general check over by Bruce Young prior to its MoT test – the new certificate valid to July 2011. The car is offered with a history file specifically recording restoration work undertaken and prospective buyers are encouraged to inspect this documentation at the sale. It comes also with a Swansea V5C registration document and the aforementioned old style buff log book dating from 1956. Here is a fine British thoroughbred sports car, carefully cherished over many years by the lady vendor, retaining originality in spades. The car is now fully prepared to participate in Riley Register, VSCC and other appropriate historic events.
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports  Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports  Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports  Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports  Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020
One lady owner for forty-six years,1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports  Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020
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