1937 RILEY BIG 4 SUPERCHARGED 'BLUE STREAK' SPECIAL

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Dealer

OLDTIMER GARAGE AUSTRALIA P/L

By Appointment

Northgate, QLD

OLDTIMER GARAGE AUSTRALIA P/L Visit website

Features

Title 1937 RILEY BIG 4 SUPERCHARGED 'BLUE STREAK' SPECIAL
Make RILEY
Sale Price $299,950
Listing Type Used
Stock Number 0777
RefCode TA1223445
Body TypeRoadster
No. of Doors0
No. of Cylinders4cyl
Capacity - cc2443
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded
TransmissionManual
No. of Gears4
Drive TypeRWD
Odometer02,434 miles
ColourAluminium

Description

Details:

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale this absolutely fabulous 1937 Riley Big 4 Supercharged Blue Streak Special.

This magnificent Riley Special was built from an original Riley Kestrel that was delivered to New Zealand. According to the Riley Register this car was most likely built in December 1937. The Register also notes . . . New Zealand. Ex relation of New Zealand distributors in Palmerston North.

The subsequent New Zealand history of this car is not known. The current owner purchased the car in New Zealand in 2004 and imported it into Australia. There is an Import Approval on file dated 24th June 2004.

The car was in a very poor state and what was left of the original body and interior was beyond saving. This created a blank canvas for the current owner to build the car of his dreams. Whilst there was plenty of scope for creativity, everything had to be period correct and where possible Riley parts were used

The owner engaged the services of highly regarded vintage car specialists Historic and Vintage Restorations (HVR) in Melbourne to build the car.

The chassis was shortened and shaped to accommodate a completely new and beautifully crafted hand built all aluminium two seater sports body. The body is a work of art, so much so the owner decided to leave it unpainted which creates a very unique look and it highlights many of the cars features, including the waterfall radiator, the louvered bonnet & sides, the twin aero screens and the side exhaust. This is a car that the more you look at the more detail you will see. Do study the photos!

As an example of the level of detail gone to for this restoration, the wheels were made in Australia and then sent to the UK to be wired to the correct Riley pattern.

The restoration was completed in late 2016 and the car was first registered in January 2017. Since then, this mighty machine has been regularly used and enjoyed. At the time the car was photographed the odometer read 02,434 miles, which is the mileage travelled since the car was restored.

The project was a labour of love and the end result is something special and a credit to all involved. Powered by the rare and desirable prewar two and half litre Riley engine fitted with a modern supercharger, this car is frighteningly fast.

Today this car presents very well and it drives superbly. The aluminium bodywork is in good condition with no blemishes or defects evident. The car is running massive 18 wheels that are shod with Excelsior Racing Competition 5.50-18 80V tyres all around. The wheels have been painted blue, which was a bold yet absolutely perfect choice for this car. They remain in very good condition. The wheels along with the Riley badge, the rear lights are the only colour on the car. The minimalistic external trim, including the waterfall grill, Riley front badge, light and lenses all present very well.

Inside the cabin is simple yet functional. There is a surprising amount of room for the driver and passenger. The only upholstery you will find is on the seats, which are firm, supportive and in excellent condition. There is a large speedo and tacho in front of the driver, with other instruments spread out along the dash. Seat belts are fitted for driver and passenger safety.

The driving experience of this Riley Big 4 Supercharged Blue Streak Special is something else . . . it is extra sensory overload!

Once behind the wheel you fire up the 2,443cc engine. It is loud and the exhaust note reaffirms that this car means business . . . but this is nothing compared to when this thing is driven in anger.

Out on the open road it soon becomes apparent this car is raw, but in such a wonderful and visceral way. You can feel the power through every bone in your body and under hard acceleration you are pushed back firmly in your seat. The owner says it will easily spin the wheels when going up through the gears! The view through the aero screens looking out over the massive louvered bonnet at the spoked front wheels and huge drum brakes tucked under the cycle guards takes you back in time to the glory days of motor racing. The experience is magnified as you have the wind rushing through your hair as the car powers up through the gears.

This is not a small car and it has an incredible presence.

After turning his vision into a reality and subsequently enjoying his dream car, the owner has decided it is time to handover the keys to the next custodian.

Highlights:

- A magnificently restored and constructed car.
- Built by highly regarded Historic and Vintage Restorations (HVR) in Melbourne
- Powered by Rileys prewar two and half litre engine fitted with a modern supercharger.
- A beast to drive.
- Ready for its next owner to use and enjoy.

Price $299,950.


Background:

The Riley story began in the late 1800s when industrialist William Riley began making cycles. It was William Rileys sons who were fascinated by engines and indeed motor cars. The cycles became motor cycles and the Rileys also built and sold engines. In 1912 the Riley Cycle Company changed its name to Riley (Coventry) Limited to focus on the manufacture of wheels for the booming car industry. The attention soon turned to building cars, however, it was post the first World War that Riley really made its name in the car industry.

It was in 1926 that Riley introduced the Riley 9, a car that was to be the most popular early Riley produced with some 30,000 cars built over a ten year period. Many different models and body styles were built. Most were powered by a 1,097cc four cylinder engine that was considered quite revolutionary in the day. Riley enjoyed significant success in motorsport throughout the 1920s and 1930s which further enhanced the reputation of their cars.

At that time Riley was booming and they produced many different model cars, including:

- Saloons: Adelphi, Continental, Deauville, Falcon, Kestrel, Mentone, Merlin, Monaco, Stelvio, Victor
- Coupes: Ascot, Lincock
- Tourers: Alpine, Lynx, Gamecock
- Sports: Brooklands, Imp, MPH, Sprite
- Limousines: Edinburgh, Winchester

Mechanically the cars evolved, initially powered by Rileys 14/6 1,633cc 6 cylinder engine, then the 12/6 1,458 cc 6 cylinder engine, then the 12/4 1,496 cc 4 cylinder engine, then the 15/6 1,726cc 6 cylinder engine and finally the 16/4 2,443 4 cylinder engine. There was also a V8 engine introduced, which did not succeed.

The 16/4, otherwise known as the Big 4 or Blue Streak generated 82bhp, which was very impressive back in the day and it was perhaps Rileys finest achievement.