1948 Riley RMB - to RMD Drophead Coupe Specification
Chassis Number: 58S2879
Registration Number: JFJ 47
Recorded Mileage: 23,300
Riley became part of the Morris-MG-Wolseley Nuffield Organization in 1938. The RM was announced in 1945 and would continue to preserve the Riley character with its technically-advanced chassis and with coach-built body choices of sporting designs. Riley's successful pre-war engine design was carried over and featured hemispherical combustion chambers and twin camshafts operating valves through short pushrods. The four cylinder engines had a cubic centimeter displacement of 2443cc and were fitted with twin SU carburetors. The result was an impressive 100 horsepower and a factory advertised top speed of 100 miles per hour. The engine was coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox and the chassis was fitted with an independent torsion bar front suspension and live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs. The Riley RM-series cars are often called 'the last of the real Rileys', were among the first redesigned British cars to be introduced after World War II, the swansong of the marque before it was subsumed into the mighty British Motor Corporation. The model range was manufactured in Coventry until 1949, when production moved to the MG factory at Abingdon. The RMA/RME were large Saloons powered by 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines, while the 7-inches longer RMB/RMF models featured twin-cam 2.5-litre units. The RMC and RMD were limited edition soft-tops. While the latter was a conventional two-door Drophead Coupe, the RMC was a two-door Roadster version of the RMB.
This stylish and attractive RM was first delivered in RMB Saloon specification on March 1948 to Mr. Arthur Edward Langdon of Exeter in Devon, who owned the Riley into the 1960s before trading to a Mr. Slade of Weymouth. It is believed to have had just one further owner until latterly being acquired to be converted into the attractive two-door convertible form of the RMD model.
The body was stripped and dismantled, expertly converted to 2 door DHC configuration, and then completed to a high standard. The coachwork was very nicely finished in an attractive palette of dark green over cream, contrasted by a newly retrimmed cream leather interior. The chromework was refinished, and the car was treated to a new exhaust system.
Returning to the UK roads in 2016, at a later stage (and presumably due to an overheating issue) the coolant system was overhauled, and reassuringly the engine gained a top-end rebuild (a bill for a further c.£2,000 in the file supports this work).
The result of all of these efforts are a supremely stylish motor car, built and finished to a good standard, and ready to be enjoyed by its next owner. This charming example is offered with its original buff log book and a file of bills for various works completed.