1918-1922  . . .10.8hp side valve, 11hp,Tourers

..and the blue diamonds are worn on all


Rileys produced after the First World War were the 11s, with side-valve 1½ litre engines, alloy pistons and full electrical equipment, spiral-bevel final drive being added by 1921. In 1918,  the Riley companies were restructured. Nero joined Riley (Coventry) as the sole producer of automobiles. Riley Motor Manufacturing under the control of Allan Riley became Midland Motor Bodies, a coach builder  supplier for Riley. Riley Engine Company continued under Percy as the engine supplier. At this time, Riley's blue diamond badge, designed by Harry Rush, also appeared.

Riley appeared at the first postwar motor show at Olympia in 1919 with completely new Rileys having little in common with the 17hp still for sale and the Torpedo ( both not included here). The stand featured just the stripped 11hp chassis, a standard four seater version and a coupe although as in anything Riley it later included a 'family' version etc.This new car was an 11hp totally designed for ease of maintenance only six  parts now needed lubrication and then only twice a year. (For details A.T.Birmingham p40 onwards)  Standard 4 seater £550, Family body £550, Two seater £520, Coupe £600. One owner used his car for over 4,000 in 1920 achieving 35mpg on short runs and 38mpg on long runs running on a 50/50 petrol Benzole mixture. He recorded it as using half a pint of oil every 150 miles and complained of a rear axle hum over 25mph ( hence the good fuel consumption, on modern roads/speeds more like 24mpg now)As always with a successful design, the 11hp Riley was subject to develop- ments to keep it abreast of progress. By 1922, spiral bevel rear axle gears arrived, and at the 1922 Olympia Show, the starter motor and the dynamo were relocated from chassis-mounting to opposite sides of the crankcase. The following year, the ‘Eleven’ was renamed the ‘11/40hp’. Another 12 months saw the arrival of the 1645cc side-valve ‘Twelve’, which brought more major alterations seen on the Tourers and Redwing.

For further technical information check out the Register PDF on these early cars click here




1920 11hp Riley often sold with the wheel covers then fashionable as in the advert below

Riley grew rapidly at the beginning of the  1920s with the Riley Engine Company producing 10.8 side valves and 11.9 hp engines, while Midland built  bodies mainly in 'Tourer' format according to the buyers wishes . Until 1926 the two engines were used, the 10.8hp and the 11.9hp before being superseded by the  "Riley 9" series.




Riley Torpedo 1921 pictures by Gustavo Gomes The name was also used on later re structured models



 from the Bystander February 1st 1922



10.8 side valve