This supercharged 1 ½ Litre Riley 12/4 engined MPH bodied special is indeed a very special motor car which looks superb and is really very rapid. Its stiff underslung chassis, precise steering, good handling on firm but pleasant springing and hydraulic braking gives all you the performance you might expect of a properly sorted post-vintage sports car and I think it will give a lot of much more expensive machinery a serious run for their money!
I have been in contact with the Australian restoration company who built it between 1999 and 2002 for of their customers who, I understand, commissioned it for his daughter – as far as I can see money was clearly no restriction as the build quality is of a very high standard indeed!
Many of its mechanical components come from a Riley Merlin and it has a twin cam 1.5 litre Riley 12/4 twin cam engine which the restorers tell me has been rebuilt incorporating using the following components:- shell big end and white metal crankshaft bearings on an original steel crank, forged type pistons and rings and a Toyota supercharger.
It also has a heavy duty diaphragm clutch driving a gearbox fitted with MG TC gears and an MG Magnette differential fitted in a Riley back axle casing.
The body is clearly styled on an MPH and once again the build standard and quality of fittings and paint finish is very high as is the interior trim and instrument panel.
Out on the road the car feels incredibly well put together with a good stiff chassis and firm but comfortable suspension. There is no play whatsoever in the steering and the vented hydraulic brakes are well up to the performance – talking of which the effect of the supercharger on the Riley engine is quite remarkable and you will have very little difficulty keeping up with modern traffic (and passing it if required!).
This is a really super motor car the like of which you will not often see and I recommend that you come and see it for yourself but be please do prepared to find yourself wanting to buy it!