Riley 2.6

The Riley Two-Point-Six  was produced by Riley from 1958 to 1959, replacing the Pathfinder as Riley's top-line automobile when it was announced on 23 August 1957. 

Once production of the Pathfinder had slowed, Cowley directors instructed Syd Enever to produce a prototype Riley 2.6, using the Wolseley 6/90 body and engine then in production at Cowley, and commonise everything where possible. A new fascia panel was needed to house Riley instruments and identify the marque differences from Wolseley.  Designed and detailed by Don Hayter with the new fascia panel  made in burr walnut by Awson Carriage Company in Baginton, Coventry. This company had previously worked with Riley, when Riley was still based in Coventry. A Wolseley 6/90 production car was obtained from Cowley, and a new radiator grille and bumper assemblies (front and rear), plus new trunk lid motif, headlamp rims and tail lamp groups to differentiate the proposed 2.6 Riley from other models. A new side moulding was proposed to enable the then fashionable two-toned colour scheme be applied to order. ....The original Pathfinder rear axle was controlled via a torsion bar and panhard rod design due to the side mounted gear change, on the 2.6 this was altered to semi elliptical springs and central gear change as in the Wolseley. The prototype was driven to Coventry to Experimental Bodies Branch  to be stripped and checked with the rear wings being a problem later resolved by being manufactured by Pianoforte supplies of Northampton. . . . This completed prototype was sold as the 2.6 in two tone paint and matching leather

**Additional info and picture from Don Hayter's MGB Story: The Birth of the MGB in MG's Abingdon Design ... By Don Hayter

While its predecessor retained the renowned Riley 4 cylinder twin cam, cross flow engine, Riley suspension and gearbox with its almost unique right hand gear lever, the Two-Point-Six was virtually identical to the Wolseley Six-Ninety Series III. It featured both monotone and duotone paintwork, as did the last of the Pathfinders. Externally the most obvious differences from the Pathfinder were the bonnet arrangement – while the Pathfinder's grille lifted with the bonnet, the Two-Point-Six, in common with the 6/90, had a fixed grille – and the wheel arches having a raised edge. It used the BMC C-Series straight-6, an engine that produced 101 hp . This was actually less than the 2½ Litre Riley "Big Four" straight-4 engine it replaced. The Two-Point-Six was a commercial failure and was withdrawn from the market in May 1959, the last large Riley. Engine: 2.6 L (2639 cc) C-Series straight-6, 97 hp

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