Riley RM

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Riley RM Series
Overview
Manufacturer Riley
Production 1945–55
Dimensions
Wheelbase 1.5 L cars – 112 in (2,845 mm)
2.5 L cars – 119 in (3,023 mm)
Length 1.5 L cars – 179 in (4,547 mm)
2.5 L cars – 186 in (4,724 mm)
Width 63 in (1,600 mm)
Height 59 in (1,499 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Riley 12hp, 16hp

The Riley RM Series was the last automobile series developed independently by Riley. RM vehicles were produced from 1945, after the Second World War, through the 1952 merger of the Riley's Nuffield Organisation with Austin to form BMC. They were originally made in Coventry, but in 1949 production moved to the MG works at Abingdon. The RM models were marketed as the Riley 1½ Litre and the Riley 2½ Litre.[1]

There were three types of RM vehicles produced. The RMA was a large saloon, and was replaced by the RME. The RMB was an even larger car, and was replaced by the RMF. The RMC and RMD were limited-production roadsters.

All of the RM vehicles featured the pre-war Riley designed 1.5 L (1496 cc) 12 hp (RAC Rating) or 16 hp (RAC Rating) 2.5 L "Big Four" straight-4 engines with twin camshafts mounted high at the sides of the cylinder block and hemispherical combustion chambers.

Riley RMA[edit]

Riley RMA
Riley RMA BW 1.jpg
Overview
Production 1945–52
10,504 produced.
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Powertrain
Engine 1.5 L Straight-4
Chronology
Successor Riley RME

The RMA was the first post-war Riley. It used the 1.5 L engine and was equipped with hydro-mechanical brakes and an independent suspension using torsion bars in front. The body frame (not to be confused with the chassis) was made of wood in the English tradition, and the car featured traditional styling. The car was capable of reaching 75 mph (121 km/h). The RMA was produced from 1945 until 1952 when it was replaced by the RME.

Riley RMB[edit]

Riley RMB
Riley 2,5-Litre Saloon 1950.jpg
Overview
Production 1946–52
6900 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Powertrain
Engine 2.5 L Straight-4
Dimensions
Wheelbase 119 in (3,023 mm)[2]
Length 186 in (4,724 mm)[2]
Width 63.5 in (1,613 mm)[2]
Height 59 in (1,499 mm)[2]
Chronology
Successor Riley RMF

The RMB was an enlarged RMA and was launched a year later in 1946. It used the 2.5 L (2443 cc) "Big Four" engine with twin SU carburettors, starting with 90 hp (67 kW) but increasing to 100 hp (75 kW) for 1948 with a 95 mph (153 km/h) top speed. The RMB was replaced by the RMF for 1952.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1949 had a top speed of 90 mph (140 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 16.8 seconds. A fuel consumption of 19.6 miles per imperial gallon (14.4 L/100 km; 16.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1224 including taxes.[2]

Riley RMC[edit]

Riley RMC
Riley Roadster 2500ccm100PS 1949 1.JPG
Overview
Production 1948–51
507 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door 3 seat convertible
Powertrain
Engine 2.5 L Straight-4

The RMC was a 3-passenger 2-door convertible version of the RMB with a large rear deck area and fold flat windscreen. It shared that car's 2.5 L 100 hp (75 kW) engine and could reach 100 mph (161 km/h). The car was primarily designed for the North American export market, and just over 500 were built from 1948 until 1951. The gear change lever was moved to the steering column on left-hand-drive models.

Riley RMD[edit]

Riley RMD
Riley RMD front.jpg
Overview
Production 1949–51
502 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door convertible
Powertrain
Engine 2.5 L Straight-4

The RMD was a traditional 2-door drophead coupé, the last convertible to wear the Riley name. It used the same 2.5 L 100 hp (75 kW) engine as the RMB, on which it was based. Just over 500 were produced between 1949 and 1951.

Riley RME[edit]

Riley RME
Riley Saloon 1953.jpg
Overview
Production 1952–55
3446 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Powertrain
Engine 1.5 L Straight-4
Chronology
Predecessor Riley RMA
Successor Riley One-Point-Five (1957)

The RME was an updated RMA. It still used the 1.5 L four and featured a fully hydraulic braking system. The body had an enlarged rear window with curved glass and from 1954 no running boards. To improve acceleration the rear axle ratio was changed from 4.89:1 to 5.125:1.[3]

Produced from 1952, it was discontinued in 1955 and ultimately replaced by the Riley One-Point-Five in 1957.

An RME tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 24.2 miles per imperial gallon (11.7 L/100 km; 20.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1,339 including taxes.[3]

Riley RMF[edit]

Riley RMF
Riley RMF 2,5-Litre Saloon 1953.jpg
Overview
Production 1952–53
1050 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Powertrain
Engine 2.5 L Straight-4
Chronology
Predecessor Riley RMB
Successor Riley Pathfinder

The RMF replaced the big RMB limousine in 1952. It shared that car's 2.5 L "Big Four" engine as well as the mechanical updates from the RME. The RMH Riley Pathfinder, the last automobile to use the Riley "Big Four" engine, and thus considered to be the last "real" Riley by purists, took its place after 1953 and continued in production until 1957.

Riley 2½-litre Big Four
Overview
Manufacturer Riley Motors Limited
Production 1937 to 1957[4]
Combustion chamber
Configuration straight four
Displacement 2.443 L (149.1 cu in)[4]
Cylinder bore 80.5 mm (3.17 in)[4]
Piston stroke 120 mm (4.7 in)[4]
Valvetrain high-lift camshafts, push-rod operated 90 degree angled overhead valves[4]
Compression ratio 6.9 : 1[4]
Combustion
Fuel system Twin H4 SU carburettors[4]
Output
Power output 106 bhp @ 4,500 rpm
Tax rating 16hp[4]

Riley RM car models[edit]

Modern day support for the Riley RM series; The Riley RM Club[edit]

The Club for the Preservation of all Rileys from 1945-1957 If you are already the proud owner of, or are thinking about buying, a Riley RM then this is the Club for you! The Riley RM Club caters for all RM series Rileys (including Pathfinders).

Information on how to join the Riley RM Club can be found at http://www.rileyrmclub.org.uk/index.htm

Find out more about the Club's Heritage Approved spares service along with all other aspects and functions within The Riley RM Club at http://www.rileyrmclub.org.uk/members.htm#spares

The Riley RM Club also has a Facebook page where Riley RM owners share pictures and information about their Cars and the enjoyment they bring.

Scale models[edit]

  • Meccano Dinky Toys; No. 40a (production 1947–1955), Riley Saloon, approx "O" scale (1/44).[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Riley advertisements 1931 - 1955, www.car-brochures.eu Retrieved on 7 February 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Riley 2.5 litre Road Test". The Motor. 1949. 
  3. ^ a b "The Riley 1.5 Litre Road Test". The Motor. December 10, 1952. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Rileyrob. "Healey Silverstone (1949-51)". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Ramsey, John. The Swapmeet and Toyfair Catalogue of British Diecast Model Toys. Swapmeet Toys and Models Ltd. p. 29. ISBN 095093190X. 
  • A-Z of Cars 1945–1970. Michael Sedgwick and Mark Gillies. Bayview Books. 1989. ISBN 1-870979-39-7