1937 Riley 'Sprite' Evocation
1937 Riley 'Sprite' Evocation
(Riley 12/4 Kestrel - Chassis Number: 27K5622)
When Riley announced their new ‘Sprite’ model in 1935, they stated “The new Sprite Series of Riley Cars marks a definite forward step in the provision of cars of high performance for the enthusiast”. The Sprite followed on from the illustrious 9hp ‘Imp’ and 6 cylinder ‘MPH’ models, which had proved their mettle on road and track.
The Sprite was, in fact, rather an exclusive motor car, with just 55 examples built, according to the received wisdom, between 1935 - 38. Riley’s competition success did much to ensure these cars were always so highly regarded and it is little wonder that quite a number of replicas have been built.
The striking red car we present for sale has been constructed by a highly skilled engineer and Riley aficionado over a number of years. The basis was a 1937 12/4 Kestrel chassis from a car in very poor condition, acquired by the owner in 1971.
Although not an exact replica in the true sense of the term, this motor car is an excellent ‘evocation’ and captures much of the essence and character of the original iconic Sprite - which without doubt is one of the best-looking sports cars of all time.
The impressive specification makes for a car with very good performance, which is assisted by the fitment of a 4.6:1 final drive, giving longer legged cruising.
The body frame was crafted by Mike Stubbings, being an exact Sprite replica, except for a removable cross-brace behind the seats, which allows for adaption for taller drivers. The front cycle-type mudguards are to TT Sprite pattern and help give a very purposeful appearance.
The cockpit is trimmed in black hide and the carpets are also black. The fuel tank is to original pattern, but in stainless steel.
The engine has been rebuilt with new white metal bearings, Arrow conrods with shell bearings, new high compression Omega pistons and a rebuilt oil pump. The camshafts are Newman items with 26/67 profile. A Sprite crossflow cylinder head is fitted, as is the correct water pump.
Reconstructed as per Sprite specification.
Correct Riley narrow-track axles
large lightweight Hartford friction dampers
Brakes are original Girling rod system with 13-inch drums
Blockley tyres all round
The original 12/4 engine was rebuilt with new white-metal main bearings – Arrow con-rods with shell-bearings
New high compression Omega pistons
Rebuilt oil pump
Reground cams by Newman with 27/67 profile (give perky performance)
Sprite cross-flow cylinder head is fitted
Twin 1.25-inch SU carbs
Correct Sprite Water pump
Pre-selector gear box rebuilt
4.6:1 rear axle ratio
Body frame by Mike Stubbings an exact Sprite replica except for a removable cross-brace behind the seats which allows easy adaption for taller drivers
Body is panelled in aluminium except for the period steel rear wings which are believed to be from one of the first 4 Sprites built
Double-duck split tonneau cover
Correct hood frame (no hood currently fitted)
Interior trim mainly black leather
Fuel tank original type but stainless steel
Flashing direction indicators and electric cooling fan
Offered at a fraction of the cost of an original Sprite, this motor car is worthy of serious consideration and should prove ideal for road use, sprints or hill climbs. Part-exchange considered.
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