Riley was a British motorcar and bicycle manufacturer from 1890. Riley became part of the Nuffield Organisation in 1938 and was merged into the British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968. ln July 1969 British Leyland announced the immediate end of Riley production, although 1969 was a difficult year for the UK auto industry and many cars from Riley’s inventory may have been first registered in 1970. Today, the Riley trademark is owned by BMW.
In early 1913, Percy was joined by three of his brothers (Victor, Stanley, and Allan) to focus on manufacturing entire automobiles. The works was located near Percy’s Riley Engine Company. The first new model, the 17/30, was introduced at the London Motor Show that year. Soon afterwards, Stanley Riley founded yet another business, the Nero Engine Company, to produce his own 4-cylinder 10 hp (7.5 kW) car. Riley also began manufacturing aeroplane engines and became a key supplier in Britain’s buildup for World War I. In 1918, after the war, the Riley companies were restructured. Nero joined Riley (Coventry) as the sole producer of automobiles. Riley Motor Manufacturing under the control of Allan Riley became Midland Motor Bodies, a coachbuilder for Riley. Riley Engine Company continued under Percy as the engine supplier.
At this time, Riley’s blue diamond badge, designed by Harry Rush, also appeared. The motto was “As old as the industry, as modern as the hour.”
Riley grew rapidly through the 1920s and 1930s. The Riley Engine Company produced 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines, while Midland built more than a dozen different bodies. Riley models at this time included:
- Saloons: Adelphi, ‘Continental'(Close-coupled Touring Saloon), Deauville, Falcon, Kestrel, Mentone, Merlin, Monaco, Stelvio, Victor
- Coupes: Ascot, Lincock
- Tourers: Alpine, Lynx, Gamecock
- Sports: Brooklands, Imp, MPH, Sprite
- Limousines: Edinburgh, Wincheste
This specific car was used in the television serie Foyle’s war where Foyle himself drove this car.