One of the First Riley Cars

1905 Riley 9HP V-Twin

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 5, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

In 1896, William Riley Jr. bought and renamed the Bonnick Cycle Company and began building bicycles under his own name. In 1898, his 16-year-old son Percy built his first automobile, which is pretty incredible. William wanted no part of this, so Percy and two of this brothers started their own company in 1902. Four-wheeled vehicles first appeared in 1905, making this one of the first Riley cars ever built. The last Riley car was sold in 1969 and BMW owns the dormant marque today.

Powered by a nine horsepower, 1.0-liter V-twin, this early Riley is thought to have been sold new in New Zealand. It wasn’t until 2009 that it returned home to England. Its restoration was completed over a 30 year period (!) that ended in 2004.

Only three 1905, 9HP Rileys are known to exist and with the lack of records kept, this could be the earliest known survivor. It could even be the first Riley built. It does run and drive and is being sold with its own covered trailer included. It should bring between $57,000-$63,500. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,196.

DRA Special

1937 DRA 9HP Special

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | June 7, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Never heard of this car before? That’s okay, neither have I. But that’s because it’s a one-off special – not a car that ever entered series production. In fact, this car is made up of parts from many other cars – a number thought to be as high as 27!

The DRA (Doherty Racing Automobile) was built in 1937 by W.T. Doherty, a garage owner in Ireland. He built it to race in the 1938 Limerick Grand Prix. where he finished 8th, which happened to be a DNF. It also competed in the 1938 Irish Motor Racing Rally, where Doherty ended up 4th.

This special is built around a Riley Nine, but has bits and pieces from a bunch of other cars. The engine is a 1.1-liter straight-four making 9 horsepower. Mr. Doherty sold the car in 1945 and the current owner’s family acquired it in 1966. The restoration was completed in 1967 and the car has been parked for quite a while – meaning it will need freshening in order to be used. Still, this is a one-of-a-kind car that can be yours for between $59,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Oxford.

Update: Sold $58,056.