1935 Riley 9hp Merlin Saloon

Make: Riley
Model: 9hp Merlin Saloon
Year: 1935
Registration Number: CKM 348
Chassis Number: 66M.548
Engine Number: M548
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Sold For: £8525
Road Tax Exempt

Lot No: 238

Designed in the main by Percy and Stanley Riley and produced in Coventry, the ‘Nine’ was probably the highest-selling light motor car in the inter-war period. The first models in the family were the fabric-bodied Monaco and a four seater tourer, both powered by a four cylinder 1087cc engine and produced from 1927. Due to demand, other body style options swiftly followed; Riley had obviously cornered the light-car market, offering vehicles that appealed to all motoring persuasions. An optional pre-selector gearbox arrived in 1934 and in the mid-Thirties, a deal was made with automotive body manufacturer Briggs to produce a standard steel body for an updated chassis in the series. The Merlin was the first to be clothed in the practical new saloon body and was equipped with Girling rod brakes.

Apart from re-upholstered front seats, this particular Merlin is a nicely matured example, complete with the original: instrumentation, dashboard, working sunroof, headlamps and side lamps. We understand that the pre-select gearbox is also in good working order. In 2005-06, Riley specialist Blue Diamond Services comprehensively reconditioned the engine; attention was also paid to the transmission, braking and steering systems, and suspension. A new battery has been recently fitted, the road wheels have been shot-blasted and stove enamelled, and the tyres refitted with new inner tubes. Your writer can confirm that the motor car drives and performs very well, and will be driven to the auction sale. However, it is worth mentioning that the petrol gauge works in reverse. 

The large history file includes invoices for amongst others, the aforementioned work, together with an original handbook, correspondence, data, a wiring diagram, a Riley Register membership list and Bulletins, a parts list, a quantity of MOT test certificates, the V5C registration certificate, old road tax discs and a history of former keepers, confirming that the motor car was in the previous ownership for some fifty-five years and has had just four custodians in total.

Auction Date: 3 March 2015