RM Drophead

From 1948 two new body styles were available on the 2½ litre models. These were the Roadster (RMC) and the Drophead Coupe (RMD) and these remained in production until 1950 .The RMC and RMD were limited-production cars, an open 2 or 3-seater Roadster and a 4-seater Drophead.The  Drophead Coupe (convertible in the U.S.) model. Forty-nine Rileys were imported into the U.S. during 1949, followed by 117 more in 1950. Only 502/4 RM Dropheads total were produced, for both home market and export. No wonder the  Riley RM Drophead  and Roadster are both now rare as most were sold to export. Oily rag info:-2,443cc DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine, Twin SU Carburetors, 100bhp at 4,400rpm, 4-Speed Manual Transmission, Torsion Bar Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle, 4-Wheel Drum Brakes

**Do check if offered one as most if not sold via the clubs are chopped up healthy saloons sold to the unwary often arriving via the Eastern Bloc at vast expense. If in doubt ask the clubs either on facebook or via the links pages ( contact page) also check the data page  for the chassis plate or registration number click here
Numerical prefix were added to the   diamond bulkhead  plate  for RMs  as in pre war cars until 1952 when it stopped and can be checked via the chassis number held by the club held by the clubs see below as RM club has detailed archives
36S=1946 RMA; 37S= 1946 RMA;  38S= 1948 RMA; 39S= 1949 RMA;  40S= 1950 RMA;  41S= 1951 RMA; 42S= 1952 RME; etc
56S=1946 RMB; 57S= 1946 RMB;  58S= 1948 RMB; 59S= 1949 RMB;  60S= 1950 RMB;  61S= 1951 RMB; 62S= 1952 RMF; etc

Riley Drophead pics from Bonhams sale showing the parts of a correct original drophead click here for Bonhams sale click here

Production Figures :- Figures for this are suspect as conflicting reports are + up to 4 on present information

Chassis numbers start at 59D 5201

1949 Coventry no specific info (2 total)

1949  Abingdon 0 UK; 17 RHD export; 1 LHD export; (18 total)

1950  52 UK; 127 RHD export; 196 LHD export; (375 total)

1951  30 UK; 28 RHD export; 47 LHD export;  (105 total)

Exported 416 out of around 503 bodied  cars One is known to have been fitted to an RMA and one to an RME

Coachbuilt dropheads and special bodies :- Swiss  Reinbolt & Christe',Netherlands  Verheul Carrosseriefabriek Uk:- Bonallack, Epps ; Other makers Princess,Trent etc

Polish constructed chop top dropheads/convertibles that originated as saloons etc:- JYV 824 ; FAG 199; MNO 944; JFJ 47; EAP 801( Harvey's Hearse); USY 805; MKV995; RKL 872;     These cars are listed here as although sold legally as convertibles  they are NOT RM dropheads and should not be sold as such.



Original Factory Photograph check external Wilmott Breedon hood irons missing from fakes




1951 RMD Riley drophead coupe. 504 built but only aprox.50 known to exist.  This is in Australia  for sale 2017

Bonhams had this car for sale with a genuine body that has played chassis hopping before a rebuild.The body was removed for a restoration then later added to a 1.5 chassis and running gear. Next rebuilt back to 2.5 all honestly detailed at Bonhams who sold it with a stunning range of pictures 

Check hood irons/hood alignment above on a real car are very distinctive


Fake drophead was an RME bought in the Uk butchered in Poland and sprayed/polished/chromed to sell quickly. Check hood irons as the roof is always the 'epic fail'  area etc In the original seats fold external chrome hood irons fold neatly and that unsprung bonnet mascot is actually illegal and over tarting the car. Buying these may be cheaper than a genuine Drophead but is contributing to healthy cars destroyed for profit. **Sorry to sound cruel but the pre war cars are butchered specifically for racing specials ( different to the wooden+ fabric cars rebuilt as specials) and  cheaper RM saloon's now for 'Dropheads' More importantly they are overpriced as when you resell they are still saloons minus a roof in a wet country**


Real Anorak info, Riley RMF's in Films/TV:-
1950 Riley 2½-Litre RMD in Love at First Bite, 1979 *
1950 Riley 2½-Litre RMD in Safety Fast, 1950 * = car in background
1950 Riley 2½-Litre RMD in A Place To Call Home, 2013-2018 **** = car used in a lot of the film LZ 854 (OZ)

Clubs in the Uk catering for this model:-

All other countries on the contact page. Due to public liability laws spares can only be sold to current club members. Both clubs have a considerable spare parts supply  so best join at least one to gain information, help, and  information from the experts who have already 'been there' . Cars are also cheaper with known histories sold via the clubs than ebay etc.
Riley Motor Club    rileymotorclub.org/  for all ages inc pre war cars originally a gents club of owners 

The Riley RM Club      https://www.rileyrmclub.org.uk  Started in the 70's to cater for the RM's only with large spares department