1948 Riley
RMC Roadster

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100hp 2½-Litre Open Sports 3-Seater


This rare and highly prized collector car underwent an authentic ground up restoration here in our own shop less than two years ago and has been driven less than 500 miles since. Completely disassembled down to the smallest component, everything was rebuilt, restored, or replaced. The car features a traditional steel panel body over wood-frame construction and was restored by our skilled craftsmen employing period processes and tooling. The result - a sporting three seat roadster representing the life of elegance and luxury.

Engine: 2,443cc twin cam Riley 'Big Four' engine, develops 100hp with 4-speed gearbox.

Chassis: Torque tube drive with torsion bar front & rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.

Dimensions: Wheelbase 9'11";front track 4'4.25"; rear track 4' 4.25"; length 15' 6"; width 5'3.5"; height 4'11". Unladen weight approximately 3,135 pounds.

Typical Performance: Maximum speed 94mph; 0-60 mph 16.4 seconds; standing 1/4 mile 20.8 seconds; overall fuel consumption 21mpg.

Asking Price: $124,000  Contact Kip Motor Company (888) 243-0440






About the 1948 2½ Litre Riley Roadster

A result of the British government's "Export or Die Policy", Riley Motors designed the 100hp RM 2 1/2 litre open Sports 3-seater, later known as the Roadster, for the post-war American market. Of the 507 cars produced in a two-and-a-half year production run, 313 were exported, of which only 50 crossed the Atlantic for the North American market, with 11 of those destined for Canada. The Roadster was considered a marketing failure mainly due to the lack of actual market research, as the car was made to fit was was "thought" to be the desires of the growing American middle class.

While it has the traditional roadster elements - a fold flat windscreen, cutaway top of doors and the exposed spare wheel - the low slung, two-door three-seater's performance was just shy of its sister, the RM 2 1/2 litre Saloon. With that being said, no other pre-war Riley had enjoyed the styling of the long-bonnet, long-tail look with wraparound fenders and the cockpit type passenger compartment that came together to create the impression of a high-performance, carefree motoring sports car and that answered the demands of the fastidious driver.

Unique to this model were the four overriders, a huge 20 gallon fuel tank, an enormous boot and wraparound bumpers all designed to please the American market. With a dry weight of just over 3,000 pounds and good  aerodynamics, the Roadster's handling and performance was comparable to the RM 2 1/2 litre Saloon. The Autocar's original road test commented enthusiastically that the Roadster "feels every bit as solid on the road as the closed car". Moreover, "it sits firm and square on the road, takes corners on an even keel even when high speeds are being held, and the driver is able to put it just where he wants on the road". The road test also showed a 0-60mph acceleration time of 19 seconds with top speeds of 94 mph just a bit shy of the 100 mph stated in the sales literature.

Source: Riley RM-Series, James Taylor & Motor Racing Pulbications Ltd, 1990

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