1937 Riley Kestrel Sprite - the last Works Demonstrator



Read more »

1937 Riley Kestrel Sprite – The last Works Demonstrator


A truly striking streamlined design, the Riley Kestrel was a sensation when first introduced and still looked modern many years later. The high performance ‘Sprite’ engine was offered as an option for 1936/7 on the Lynx and Kestrel and these models have always been keenly sought by Riley enthusiasts.


In late July 1937, the Riley Works registered a batch of cars with Coventry Local Authority, with the index numbers CVC 121 - 129. The car we offer here bears the number CVC 127 and was registered on 30th July that year and was allocated to a Mr Whittindale, a Sales team member and the car would have been used for demonstration purposes before being transferred to Lincolnshire Riley Distributor, A.R Hill of Monks Road, Lincoln in October 1937. No further Kestrel Sprite models were catalogued for the following season and this car is the last ever Works Demonstrator.


It is believed the car was sold eventually to an RAF Officer from Lincolnshire, who was then transferred to Scotland and there are further details in the file supplied. The RF 60 logbook supplied dates from 1950 when the car was in Arbroath in Scotland, prior to its move to Ulster from where the present owner - an eminent Riley historian - acquired it around 20 years ago following it being stored for some 50 years.


An extensive restoration was embarked upon, with work undertaken by a well-known restorer, which included much replacement of the body framing. Considerable attention was paid to retaining originality wherever possible and the brown leather interior trim has survived particularly well. Finished in black as it left the Works, the car has 16” wheels of wider section than standard - these likely to have come from the Riley Competition Department following its closure according to a former employee.


There is a substantial file of documentation detailing the car’s history along with numerous photographs of the restoration in progress.


Retaining all the correct original features so often missing from these cars, including Scintilla Vertex magneto, HV3 carburettors with the proper air silencer, along with the original tool roll, this Riley, with its excellent and fascinating history is sure to appeal to a connoisseur of the marque.


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