Sporting & Coachbuilt Rileys

Riley, had many of its bodies made by an associated body factory, known from 1919 to 1931 as the Midland Motor Body Company. The small Coventry firm of Hancock & Warman also produced a wide range of Riley bodies including many fabric ones until a fire forced it to close down in 1930.  Riley gradually embraced pressed steel bodywork in the mid to late 1930s, though there were still special bodies from firms such as Arthur Mulliner and Grose, both of Northampton.

As and when data is found this will divide into separate pages on each as per the RM estates and other special bodied projects all linked individually

1. Holbrook  three of the five have some history/images surviving which is remarkable

picture and additional information by Alex

1932 Riley 9 4-seat tourer by Holbrook,  GT 7937 is one of five known to have been built and the only one presently on the road . They are known to have made a two seater  3 . 5 litre Bentley, some Weymann type  and sporting bodies for Hillman (mainly 1927) , Armstrong Siddeley, Alvis, Standard (51 recorded), and Triumph using Eric Neale from 1929 ( ex Mulliners amongst others.. .). The company worked on rolling chassis bought from the factory at Holbrook Bodies, Holbrook Lane, Coventry, UK . From at least 1920, the coach building firm at Holbrook Lane was  called Motor Bodies (Coventry) Ltd. By 1926 they had  been renamed Holbrook Bodies Ltd, run by a Captain Stonehouse and backed by William Oubridge of the nearby British Piston Ring Company, which had began in 1909. By 1927 the Swallow Sidecar & Coachbuilding Company relocated from Blackpool to Holbrook Lane, Coventry, and when Holbrook Bodies went bust in 1933, Swallow took over their premises and  extended their own. Swallow eventually became Jaguar Cars Ltd., and the rest is history, but significantly this 1933 takeover may have paved the way for Motor Panels to fully make the move from George Street to Holbrook Lane.

There is confusion re the company dates as Nick Georgeano, Coventry Archives and others all list differing dates:-

1.Nick Georgano, editor. The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding. Routledge, 2002.
2.Historic Coventry
3.Coventry Archives and Research Centre Holbrook Bodies Ltd, Holbrook Lane, Coventry, 1929-1930
4.Nick Walker: A–Z of British Coachbuilders, 1919–1960. Bay View Books, Bideford, Devon 1997

For  a video click here




AXA 317 another known /missing Holbrook Riley

 Pre Restoration photographs of GG 590* a 1931 Holbrook owned by a Register Member
 Showing construction methods for the early wooden frame cars as often poorly car pics are much more informative and show history and development rather than shiny side views








GG afterwards ! and below, now retired to sunnier climates




Ron Laws  at the wheel of GT when he first owned the car


Horn ! plus a magnificient hare or rabbit mascot




Pictures and information from The Motor Shed Ltd at Bicester Heritage