Riley 12/4 Special

Welcome to our ‘Vehicle of the Month’ blog post series where we will be sharing some of the most fascinating and remarkable car and motorbike stories, restoration projects and travel adventures of our customers.

Last month we shared the restoration journey of Saddletramp, a 1968 Chevrolet C10 by Shawn Sherrill and John Meyer, the two hosts of the Get Out N Drive Podcast. This December we're continuing with our fifth 'Vehicle of the Month' story by Douglas and his 1934 Riley TT Racing Six 12/4 Special. 


Starting life in London, this Riley is a world traveller, having spent time in Holland before settling down in the lone star state, Texas, USA. You may have seen a cheeky preview of this majestic vehicle in The Vintage Sports-Car Club (VSCC) News Sheet a couple of weeks ago, but here is Douglas's full story:


"1934 Riley TT Racing Six 12/4 Special (chassis # 22T572)"



"Many Rileys were converted to race cars, as they had a strong engine for their size (in the 1500cc race class) and significant weight could be removed from the body to increase speed. When converted to a race car, the weight of this car was reduced by over 30%"



"The chassis, engine, gearbox and many other components are all factory original to this car"



"Original body style of this automobile: Riley Falcon 4-door Saloon. The price of a new Riley Falcon in 1934 was £335"



"ENGINE: 1,496cc OHV 12/4 engine (12 HP [RAC] and 4 cylinders) with dual SU H-type carburetors. GEARBOX: 4-speed Wilson Armstrong-Siddeley Preselector. BRAKES: hydraulic with Alfin drums. SUSPENSION: front dual Andre Hartford 506M friction dampers, rear custom adjustable Gaz shocks"



"Originally registered in London (Middlesex), little is known of this Riley prior to 1974. Above is a photo of this car (in obviously dilapidated condition) when moved from the UK to Holland by Arie van der Hoeve, where he did the first conversion to a Riley "MPH-styled" roadster"



"Arie van der Hoeve working on the Riley - referred to as “Arie’s Meccano box” (Meccano was a company that made toys similar to an “erector set”)"



"Arie in his Riley MPH Special"



"The Riley being driven by Bas de Voogd in Nieuwenhoorn, Holland. Bas was a friend of Arie's and next owner of the Riley. He drove the car in races and rallies in and around Holland during this time, including on the hard sand beaches. Bas Is shown above after a 2-hour rally in the driving rain!"



"In 1996 the car was purchased by Frans Diepeveen, also in Holland. Frans commissioned a new body for the car fashioned after the Riley TT Racing Six"



"Fabrication of the body by Bert Nijhof"




"Body completed - Frans owned the Riley from 1996-2003"



"It was featured in the automobile magazine: "British Car"




"Malcolm Schneer purchased the Riley in 2003 and had it shipped to Newport Beach, California.  After some preparation, in 2009 the Riley was presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance (shown above in the Pebble Beach driving tour)"



"On the field at Pebble Beach (2009)"



"Bob White (above right) of Scottsdale Arizona acquired the Riley in 2011. Bob is also the owner of the "Tom Mix Cord" as well as a number of other beautiful cars. Bob enjoyed the Riley until selling it in April 2019 to Doug Smith of Dallas, Texas (above left)"



"The Riley arriving in Dallas, Texas (April 2019)"




"2019 Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society Car Show: Best in Class and the Chairman's Award"




1 comment

  • Very nice Riley 12/4 Special. I am agreeably surprised that the car was accepted at Pebble Beach as it is a non original car or special. I have had a lot of grief over my rebuilding of a Riley 9 special in the form of an Ulster Imp from the remains of a Kestrel where there was absolutely no body left and remains about to be scrapped. It’s satisfying to see such a nice recreation appreciated.

    Mike Virr

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