The Riley Company began its humble beginnings as a motorcar and bicycle manufacturer in the late 1800s. In 1938 the Riley
Company became part of the Nuffield Organization and was eventually merged into British Leyland. By 1969 British Leyland announced the end of Riley production and today the prestigious company BMW owns the Riley trademark.
The Riley RM Series was the final automobile series developed independently by the Riley Company, introduced in 1945. The RM cars were produced after WWII, and during the merger of the Riley's Nuffield Organization with Austin to form BMC. At first the RM series were produced in Coventry, but by 1989 the production was relocated to the MG works at Abingdon. The Riley RM models were advertised as the Riley 1½ Litre and the Riley 2½ Litre.
The RM stood for R for Riley, and M for Motors, and was a truly beautiful series with graceful English design and character. The interior of the RM was similar to an elegant British gentleman's club with copious amounts of timber and leather used. The front doors of the RM were hinged off the B-pillar, which made them suicide doors. The RM front featured a bold design with a long vertical grille and a strong hood line. The headlights were large and prominently displayed from the inside of the mudguards and the front and rear mudguards that stretched over the wheels. Some models featured contrasting paintwork, with the hood, mudguards, trunk and running board all the same color, while the hood sides and doors featured another color, all topped with a black roof.
Three types of RM vehicles were produced, the RMA which was replaced by the RME, the RMB replaced by the RMF, and the RMC and RMD which were limited-production models. The RMA was a large saloon and the RMB was even larger. The RM models were powered by the pre-war Riley designed 1.5 L 12 hp or 16 hp 2.5 L 'Big Four' straight-4 engines with twin camshafts that were placed high at the sides of the cylinder block and hemispherical combustion chambers.
The Riley RMA was the first post-war model and a total of 10,504 models were produced from 1945 through 1952 before it was replaced by the RME. The 4-door saloon was powered via the 1.5 L engine and featured an independent suspension that used torsion bars in front. In the English tradition, the body frame was composed of wood and featured traditional styling and had a maximum speed of 75 mph.
With a total of 6,900 models produced, the Riley RMB was the first 4-door saloon powered by the 2.5 L Straight-4 engine. Riding a 119-inch wheelbase, the RMB measured 186 inches in length, was 63.5 inches wide and had a height of 59 inches. Introduced in 1946 through 1952, the Riley RMB was an enlarged RMA model that featured twin SU carburetors that at first produced 90 hp before increasing to 100 hp in 1948. The RMB had a top speed of 95 mph and was eventually replaced by the RMF for 1952.
The Motor magazine in 1949 clocked a Riley 2.5 liter and noted a top speed of 90 mph and could achieve 0-60 mph in just 16.8 seconds. The magazine estimated a 16.3 mpg-US fuel consumption for the Riley RMB and the test car cost £1224 including taxes.
Launched in 1948 the Riley RMC roadster was introduced. A total of only 507 models were produced during its three-year production span. Only 507 of the 2-door, 3 seat convertibles were produced and powered by the 2.5 L 100 hp engine that could reach speed up to 100 mph. The RMC was the convertible version of the RMC with a fold flat windscreen and a large rear deck area. The RMC was intended for the U.S. export market and as such the gear change lever was relocated to the steering column on left-hand-drive models.
The Riley RMD was the final convertible to carry the Riley name. A traditional two-door drophead coupé, the RMD continued to be powered by the same 2.5 L 100 hp engine as the RMB on which it was based. Only 502 models were produced during its short production span from 1949 through 1951.
With a total of 1,050 models produced, the Riley RMF 4-door saloon was introduced in 1952. Replacing the large RMB limousine in 1952, the Riley RMF was once again powered by the 2.5 L 'Big Four' engine and also shared the mechanical updates from the RME model. After 1953 the Riley Pathfinder replaced the RMF and continued in production until 1957, and was considered to be the 'last real Riley' by diehard fans.
Descriptions & pictures by wikipedia & conceptcarz & bonhams