Riley 4/72

Riley-badged version of BMC’s mid-sized Farina styled saloons were in production from 1959 to 1969 and blended the performance of the MG with the interior luxury of the Wolseley. The car was based on the MG Magnette so had cut-back fins from  1959 plus the same twin-carburettor, four-cylinder engine of 66.5bhp.This also had the  traditional Riley 'grille and whiskers' style front-end. Two-tone paintwork was also added to give the car a visual lift. The 'sporting' Riley variant had a few performance tweeks, including front and rear anti-roll bars and a twin-carburettor engine – and was as quick as the MG Magnette version. Optional automatic transmission – a Riley first – was offered from 1962, along with 1622cc (99 cu in) engine to replace earlier car's 1489cc (91 cu in) unit.

The 4/72 in 1961 put that figure at 68bhp; there was also a wider track, increased wheelbase and anti-roll bars to try and control the body roll all Farinas suffered from. The engine was now 1.6 L (1622 cc), and Riley again got the twin-carb version with 68 hp (51 kW). It also used an improved suspension with anti-roll bars. The wheelbase was 1 in (25.4 mm) longer, through the moving of the back axle rearwards, and the front track was increased by 2 inches (5 cm). These modifications to the wheel locations were made at the same time to all the BMC Farina saloons, and were seen as an answer to criticism of the indifferent road holding of the 1959 cars. Borg Warner automatic transmission became an option in the Riley at the same time, making the Riley the first mass-produced car in Europe to adopt the Borg-Warner 35 system following Borg-Warner's establishment of a plant at Letchworth to produce a transmission package that ten years earlier had been developed for US applications. Further modifications to the suspension a year later included 'recambering the rear springs' to improve ride and roadholding,but from the outside there was little to distinguish the later Rileys from the models as they had appeared in 1959, and the car continued very little changed until its withdrawal in 1969.

Factory Publicity Photographs

One owner 39 years, Clean 4/72 listed at pembrokeshireclassicinvestments