Riley traced its history to the earliest days of the automobile in Great Britain and in 1926 introduced the Riley Nine with an innovative pushrod and rocker arm overhead valve hemispherical combustion chamber cross flow head with dual camshafts placed high on each side of the cylinder block.
The company would continue to exploit the advantages of this free-breathing design into the mid-Fifties. After the war, the company offered two four-cylinder engines of 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 liters displacement using this cylinder head design.
This 1949 Riley RMC roadster uses the 2 1/2 (2,443cc) liter Riley engine with dual SU carburetors and 100 brake horsepower. The bodywork is an attractive evolution of prewar designs with significant streamlining, cutdown rear-hinged doors, rear mounted spare and a large luggage compartment under the hinged rear deck.
It is finished in black with maroon leather upholstery and interior trim, a black cloth convertible top, has blackwall tires on black steel wheels with chrome hubcaps, a beautiful birdseye wood dashboard and instrument panel, 3-banjo spoke steering wheel, two Lucas driving lights and bumper overriders.
A sound, tidy older restoration, the engine compartment is freshly detailed and the paint and chrome are good. The bench seat interior has begun to mellow with a pleasing patina that invites further use and sympathetic preservation.
It is believed that just 507 Riley RMC roadsters were built during the style's four years in production, a car that has style, rarity and 90+mph performance that is rarely seen and will be appreciated by connoisseurs of imaginative, technically intriguing engines.