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#1 David Beard

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 19:47

I think this might be too obscure even for TNF...but does anyone know anything about this Riley Special? The chassis seems far too big for the engine...gawd knows what the bodywork was going to look like. Cooper front suspension? (L.J.Braithwaite collection)

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#2 humphries

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 23:30

Any dates for this car? Location?

#3 dbw

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 00:01

the front wheels certainly look like riley...but unless i'm totally senile[possible] the exhaust ports are on the wrong side..[flipped negatives?] and weren't there 4 exhaust ports?...didn't early rileys have torque tubes? i dunno....

#4 2F-001

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 06:44

An indication of whether or not the negs might be flipped, could be had from studying the fastenings on the gentleman's attire - not too clear on screen though.

#5 dbw

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 07:11

if the car is actually right hand drive then the negs are not flipped...on the pre-was rileys i've worked on the exhaust was on the opposite side of the car from the driver...

#6 dbw

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 17:03

this is fun...i'll bet there's a wilson pre-selecter in there somewhere....the funny lump under the driveshaft looks like a generator[dynamo] belt driven off the front end of the propshaft...the top view is so fuzzy it's hard to tell if there's a gas tank....so...next question..had this creation ever run by the time the photos were taken??

#7 David Beard

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 17:25

Originally posted by soubriquet
The front suspension appears to be of sliding pillar type, but the thumbnails are too pixellated to be of much use. Definitely only two (siamesed?) exhaust pipes.

What is the cylindrical device sitting behind the gearbox and below the front drive shaft section? Note that the drive shafts seem unsupported. Is this a wind-up?;)


I'm struggling to answer some of these questions...the lady who loaned me the photos might perhaps contribute?

The original photo seemed to show a transverse leaf spring at the front though, connected to a Cooper looking upright. (Not a Morgan type sliding pillar arrangement)

#8 David Birchall

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 18:29

Originally posted by 2F-001
An indication of whether or not the negs might be flipped, could be had from studying the fastenings on the gentleman's attire - not too clear on screen though.


Having studied the gentleman's crotch area at some length (!!?) I concluded that the fly on his trousers is normal therefore the neg is not flipped!

I agree with dbw, the exhaust is wrong for a Riley and the engine looks too low also. The rear wheels look like Ford Popular-could the engine be a side valve Ford? That gearbox does have the look of a preselector though and who would link up a Ford Sv to a preselector? There is an attempt to triangulate the frame which would suggest post war construction, wouldn't it?
I would suggest it is a post war racing special built by A.N. Other that did not suffer any great success.
Regards, David B

#9 Peter Morley

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 18:41

John Treen built several tubular framed Riley engined specials in the 50's.

Steering column looks to be Riley, with the advance/retard rod running along the top.

If the front wheels are Riley they must be very early ones (pre-1930), later Riley wheels were knock ons (didn't Riley invent the knock on hub?).

But there was also the Riley tuning company in America who produced tuning parts for Model T Fords, and possibly others.
Given the exhaust is on the wrong side, and too few ports, for a British Riley engine, is it possibly an American 'Riley' engine?

#10 David Beard

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 18:50

A photo of another strange special from the same source. Just how common were Shelsleyesque GN contraptions?

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This GN chassised contrivance is photographed outside Walker’s garage in Ambleside, Cumbria (circa 1958).
If I understand correctly it was owned by one Peter Airey, who when contacted very recently,
recalled that it was fitted with water cooled marine engine! Apparently, it was bought by a chap from Glasgow shortly after this photo was taken.

#11 Gary C

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 22:42

Davuid, just where ARE you getting these pictures??

#12 eldridge

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:47

It looks very similar to the "Wharton Special" - If I can figure out how to post an image, I will do so.

#13 eldridge

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:48

I hope this works.

This image was taken from the John Bolster Book "Specials"


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#14 eldridge

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:49

No is the answer - Help Please?

#15 David Beard

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 14:22

Originally posted by eldridge
No is the answer - Help Please?


They were just a little small....I usually set them to be about 640 pixels wide.

From my Bolster book...but it's the Wilkes-GN, not the Warton Special. Yes, it looks similar to the contraption in my photo, but with a different motor..

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#16 eldridge

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 15:08

Thanks for that.

Yes = my mistake it is the wilkes special.

According to the book it started life with a different engine so maybe...