Classic Car Catalogue

Riley 1938

Nine - discontinued
1½-Litre - discontinued
Fifteen-Six - discontinued
Blue Streak 16 h.p. - discontinued
8-90 - discontinued
Sprite - discontinued

Great Britain

In November 1937 it has been announced that the accounts for an eighteen month period ending 31st July 1937 would be made available and that they would reflect a trading loss. It had been hoped that the profits placed in reserve in previous years would cover that loss, but this proved insufficient. On 24th February 1938, Sir W. H. Peat K.B.E. was appointed Receiver and Manager of Riley (Coventry) Limited and continued to run the affairs of the Company. Attempts had been made to merge Riley with another Coventry car maker, Triumph, but with no success.
In the meantime cars continued to be produced with the Victor offered with preselector gearbox now in both variants, 1½ litre and 9 h.p., priced at £325
In September of that year the company was sold to Lord Nuffield. The Riley (Coventry) Limited become Riley (Coventry) Successors Limited under the Nuffield banner. Assurances were given by Lord Nuffield that the characteristics of the Riley cars would be retained'. Lord Nuffield sold Riley to Morris Motors Limited and the 1939 models were announced: a six light saloon and a two door four seat drop-head with choice of four-cylinder 1½- and 2- litre engines only.
Przejęcie przez Nuffield Group w pażdzierniku, ograniczenie oferty do 1½-litre 12 HP w wykonaniu standard lub "Spirit" i 2443 cm³ 16 HP również w dwóch wykonaniach.


wb: 8ft 10½in 4 cyl. 2 ohv
1087 cc
9.01 HP
Saloon Victor - discontinued


Nine Victor
The only Nine for 1938 it the Victor Saloon. Despite competitive price of &299 it did not enjoy much success.

12/4 hp

  wb: 4 cyl. 2 ohv
1496 cc
11.9 HP
Saloon 9ft 4½in Kestrel  
Saloon 9ft 4½in Adelphi  
Tourer 9ft 1in Lynx  
Saloon 9ft 1in Touring  
Saloon 8ft 10in Victor  


12 h.p. Kestrel
The new cars for 1938 are the Victor Saloon and the Touring Saloon.
The Victor is an all-steel saloon, similar to its predecessor, the Merlin. Indeed, it is basically the same 8 ft. 10 in. wheelbase chassis. It was originally offered at the Motor Show with the options of 1½-Litre engine and dual overdrive gearbox or 9 h.p. engine and preselector gearbox. It has leather upholstery and the interior is trimmed with wooden door cappings and dashboard and costs £299.
The Touring Saloon is built, like the Victor, by Briggs Motor Bodies Limited. It has the short chassis of 9 ft. 1 in. wheelbase which is also used for the Lynx. Basically, the new car is a Falcon with a boot accessible through a top-mounted lid. The spare wheel is mounted on the rear panel and is enclosed inside behind a metal cover. The price of this model is £345.
The Adelphi, Kestrel and Lynx models all continue in production. The price in standard form are £375 for the Adelphi and £385 for the other two. Special Series and Sprite versions are still available at extra cost of £27 and £48 respectively. All of these models are available with a choice of preselector or dual-overdrive gearboxes at no difference in price.
All the 1938 models use vertical chrome plated slats in the radiator shells, replacing the earlier honeycomb and the bonnet-side louvres has been deleted.

12 h.p. Lynx

12 h.p. Touring Saloon


  wb: 6 cyl. 2 ohv
1726 cc
14.3 HP
Saloon 9ft 8½in Adelphi  


Adelphi Saloon

Blue Streak 16 h.p.





Close-Coupled Saloon

Touring Saloon

The Big Four Lynx Tourer photographed during the war.

19 h.p.

wb: 9ft 8 ½ in V8 cyl. 3 ohv
2178 cc
18.05 HP
Saloon Adelphi - discontinued




wb: 8ft 1½in 4 cyl. 2 ohv
1496 cc
11.9 HP


The Sprite Two seater price has been increased by £25, putting it up to £450 with the choice of the standard preselector gearbox or the optional manual unit. Vast majority of the customers bought their Sprites with preselectors.



  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
South African Grand Prix             1st
International Trophy Brooklands             1st
British Empire Trophy             Class B 1st
18.06.1938 24h Le Mans           failure
03.09.1938 RAC Tourist Trophy           1500 cc 1st
                1500 cc 2nd
                1500 cc 3rd
                1100 cc 3rd

TT Sprite #29 (Raoul Forestier / Roger Caron) at Le Mans.

Le Mans.
  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
25-30.01.1938 Rallye Monte Carlo     1 39 Halliwell   74th (->1500 24th)