1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598

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Lot 50
Offered from The BHA Automobile Museum
1950 RILEY RM DROPHEAD COUPE

Sold for US$ 52,800 inc. premium
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe

Chassis no. 61S/7987
Engine no. 6598

2,443cc DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin SU Carburetors
100bhp at 4,400rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Torsion Bar Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*One of only 502 Dropheads built
*Comprehensive and well maintained restoration
*Rarely seen in the U.S.
*Golden age motoring with post-WWII mechanicals



THE RILEY RM

While American car designers plunged into new forms and fads as soon as possible after WWII, many British automakers continued to offer updated versions of their pre-1940 products into the early 1950s. The grim realities of an England struggling to find its post-war economic footing created a situation that resulted in some wonderful automobiles; cars that carried the sweeping lines of Europe's finest pre-war sport models into a new era.

Developed just before WWII, the RM series' 2.5 liter engine continued to feature Riley's signature double-cam valve train layout, which dated to the famed Riley Nine of 1926. The camshafts flank the cylinder bores in the block, operating inclined overhead valves via pushrods. The design enabled the engine's hemispherical combustion chambers.

The Riley RM was offered during 1948-1951, in 4-door Saloon, Sports Roadster and Drophead Coupe. Only 502 RM Dropheads total were produced, for both home market and export.

In 1952, Riley was acquired by British Motor Corp. and would soon thereafter lose its traditional distinctions; the final, fully badge-engineered Rileys would appear in 1969.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

The 1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe offered here is a fine example of an upper mid-market post-WWII British car built to pre-war standards by a long-established and proudly independent automaker. The genuine wood interior trim, leather seating, cabriolet top with exposed landau bars, rear-hinged doors and vestigial running boards combined to present, for one last round, a car redolent of a golden but forever lost age.

This Drophead's body was fitted to a 1½ liter RMA chassis in 1964 and remained as such until it was by J.E. Botinger of North Devon in the United Kingdom in March of 1993. The prior owner, who had acquired the car at least a decade, had enjoyed it for 7-8 years before stripping the car down for a restoration he became too ill to complete. When Mr. Botinger bought the car, it was apart but had been carefully stored in a dry garage.

A restoration was started with the first step being to return the body to its original 2½ liter specification by fitting it to a RMB chassis and running gear. The chassis and drivetrain were thoroughly restored with the former being shotblasted and rebuilt and the latter being completely gone through with new pistons, rings, main bearings, and timing chain. The body, meanwhile, was stripped to bare metal and repainted in Old English White Cellulose with fresh chrome fittings and a newly reupholstered interior trimmed in rich Connolly leather and topped by a new Everflex convertible top.

Coming stateside two year in June of 1995, this lovely Riley has been carefully maintained an occasionally driven since its restoration. Still showing very well, this rare (one of only 502 built) drophead is a regal and stately conveyance for motoring through the town or country.

Footnotes

  • Please note that this car is titled with number 61S79876598.

    Proceeds from vehicles sold by the BHA Automobile Museum will be distributed to charities that benefit medical institutions (including Johns Hopkins Medicine), the arts, education and social services.
Contacts
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
1950 Riley RM Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 61S/7987 Engine no. 6598
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