Clothed in stylish bodywork by Stanley Riley, the Coventry marque's pre-war offerings were among the world's finest small-capacity sporting cars. This was due in no small part to Percy Riley's 9hp engine. Introduced in 1926, this 1,087cc twin-camshaft four was an outstanding design by any standards, various versions powering Rileys until 1957. Right from the start, it was obvious that the 9hp Riley engine possessed enormous potential as a competition unit, and at Brooklands J G Parry-Thomas and Reid Railton were the first to demonstrate just how good it was. The success of their racer led to a production version, the Speed Model, which would turn out to be merely the first in a lengthy series of memorable Riley sports cars. 1929 saw the introduction of the MkIV chassis featuring wider front/rear track and much larger brakes than hitherto. Models available were the Monaco saloon, Biarritz saloon, fabric-bodied four-seat tourer and a brace of coachbuilt tourers. The next significant step forward was made for 1932 with the introduction of the 'Plus Ultra' dropped chassis frame, which increased the body's interior space and improved ingress/egress for both driver and passengers. Priced at £298, the stylish Gamecock sports two-seater made its debut on this new frame.
One of around 40 surviving, this Riley Gamecock was purchased at an auction in 2011 as a mostly complete restoration project having been off the road in storage for many years. The vendor then commissioned a full no-expense-spared restoration to original specification, which was entrusted to marque specialists Blue Diamond Riley Services (Ian Gladstone) and coachbuilder Ian Pitney. The rebuild commenced with straightening and repainting the chassis, which was then despatched to Blue Diamond while Ian Pitney constructed a new body.
A new windscreen and bonnet had to be made, but the rest of the body was copied from the original components. Trimmer James Sexton built new seats, glove boxes, interior, boot, etc. The original magneto ignition and Rotax electrics were reinstated, with many of the parts required sourced via Ashridge Automobiles. Restoration photographs and related bills totalling circa £64,000 are on file together with a Riley Register report stating that the chassis, gearbox, axles, and steering gear are of correct pattern and that the new body is to the manufacturer's original specification. Of correct type, the replacement engine dates from 1931 and has been rebuilt around a new cylinder block. Expertly restored to the highest standards and MoT'd to September 2020, this beautiful Riley Gamecock is ready to enjoy
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