1937 Riley 15/6 Kestrel


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 1937 Riley 15/6 Kestrel 


Always a sought-after model, the six light Kestrel is one of those cars that just looks ‘right’ from every angle. Streamlined and elegant, the Kestrel was available in 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder versions. The 15/6 engine was Riley’s last six-cylinder power unit and today, there are only around nine Kestrels known to survive with this engine as so many have fallen prey to special builders over the years.


This late example, dating from 1937, left Southern England sometime around the late fifties/early sixties, bound for South Africa. By 1982 it had been acquired by a new owner in a derelict state. The new custodian wasted little time and commenced a total restoration, enlisting the help of skilled members of the S.A Veteran Car Club who pooled their individual expertise. The body frame was tackled by a master craftsman who used mahogany for the new frame, due to its abundance locally - this is probably the only Riley in existence with a mahogany body frame!


The chassis was stripped and blasted then fully renovated, with all worn components rebuilt. The floor pans and inner wings were newly made and the aluminium body fortunately was in good shape and was fitted to the new frame as the car began to take shape. The leather interior trim was entrusted to a renowned trimmer, who used the finest Argentina hides. The many years in South Africa’s climate ensured the car remained in excellent order having been completed to a very high standard. 


The car returned to the U.K during 2008/9 and was delivered to Blue Diamond Services where it underwent a full engine rebuild, along with much additional work. A full repaint was also carried out and the wheels were repainted in cream, whilst a matching coach line was applied.


During the past few years the car was fitted a 4.78 CWP, ensuring far more relaxed cruising. The gearbox has also been rebuilt and the gearbox universal joint renewed. Sitting on Blockley tyres, this Kestrel is of very smart appearance in all respects. 


Offered with several files of paperwork, photos of the car as found and showing the rebuild progressing, plus numerous other items of interest, this represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of these fine models that seldom come to market.

For initial enquiries and to arrange your appointment to view please call us on 01420-474919 or 07710-364945