Riley Ulster Imp

1934 Riley Nine Ulster Imp

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 17, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

The Riley Nine is one of those British cars that pops up everywhere in a variety of forms. They were successful sports cars in their day, with the production run of the Nine lasting from 1926 through 1938. No less than 19 factory styles were offered in that period.

In 1927, Riley introduced a sporting, or speed, model called the Brooklands. It featured a low chassis and cycle fenders. Development continued through 1931, at which time they sort of hit a wall before shifting to a new sports model, dubbed the Ulster Imp, after the car’s success in the Ulster Rally. One such car also finished 13th at the 1934 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Imp featured a short-wheelbase chassis and is powered by a 1.1-liter inline-four. It retained the sporty narrow body, tapered tail, and cycle fenders of its predecessor. Imp production lasted from 1933 through 1935. The cars were capable of about 75 mph. This particular car was purchased new by a one Freddie Clifford, who raced it at Ulster. It then was relocated to South Africa with its second owner. Competition history from that point includes:

  • 1937 South African Grand Prix – 2nd (with Buller Meyer)
  • 1938 South African Grand Prix – 3rd (with Ronnie Richardson)

The car was returned to the U.K. in 2008 for use in historic events. It’s now estimated at $185,000-$210,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Riley Nine Gamecock

1932 Riley Nine Gamecock

Offered by H&H Auctions | Duxford, U.K. | April 15, 2015

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

The Riley Nine was a very successful car built by Riley Limited between 1926 and 1938. I’m not quite sure what the American equivalent of this car would have been as the Ford Model A is a little too prevalent, but nonetheless, this was one of Britain’s most successful pre-WWII automobiles.

This car is powered by a 1.1-liter straight-four that was powerful enough to propel it car up to 70 mph. This is the Gamecock model and it was only produced between 1931 and 1932 in two-seat roadster form, although Nines were available in a variety of body styles.

This car is one of about 52 Gamecocks known to have survived. It has had over $10,000 worth of work done in the past year and is presented in bare metal, which actually looks pretty good. It is expected to sell for between $48,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of H&H’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $47,144.