1956 Riley Pathfinder

Make: Riley
Model: Pathfinder
Year: 1956
Registration Number: 956 LMX
Chassis Number: MAC13/5083
Engine Number: DP25R2/SM4
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Mileage: 51695
Sold For: £7700

Lot No: 217

Considered to be the last of the true Rileys, the Pathfinder was produced from 1953 to 1957. The all steel body was formed on a separate chassis and was equipped with a brake servo. The 2.5 litre twin cam engine, known as the Big Four, was fitted with twin SU carburettors and gave a top speed of just under 100mph, very respectable for a full four seat family car of the period. The Pathfinder was very well appointed with comfortable leather seats and a well-equipped instrument panel. The manual gearbox version boasted a right hand change, with lever neatly tucked into the side of the driver’s seat, as in certain Bentleys of the period and various vintage vehicles.

This particular Pathfinder was dispatched from the factory on the 6th of June 1956. It spent much of the 1980s in Southampton, and then moved to Hertfordshire in 1989, where it remained at least to 2011. During the current ownership, the Riley has been well maintained mechanically; we are told that in last year, a lubrication service was carried out, together with a new thermostat, five new tyres and a replacement radiator cap etc. The starter motor was cleaned and refitted, the water pump overhauled, the engine flushed through, as was the heater matrix, the wheels were repainted, an oil change carried out, the speedometer lubricated and refitted, and the rocker box covers removed, polished and refitted. Work to the cylinder head has also been carried out, the braking system has been checked and adjusted, the prop shaft reconditioned and the motor car has been tuned on a rolling road.

The Pathfinder was driven down to Dorset in readiness for the auction from the Romsey area and we have it say it runs like a sewing machine, with no known mechanical faults. It was probably the subject of an older cosmetic restoration and today, the body, paint and interior are all serviceable, but the paintwork could be improved.

The history file contains a BMIHT certificate, old tax discs, MOT test certificates, a typed itinerary of work carried out in January 2022, invoices from current ownership, tuning information, Riley RM Club Memoranda magazines, two original Pathfinder adverts from the Autocar in 1956, a factory workshop manual, a factory service parts list, an original Pathfinder instruction book, a V5 document and the V5C registration certificate.

Auction Date: 9 March 2023