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1929 Riley 9 Mk IV Monaco Fabric Saloon
Registration No. UP 3557
Chassis No. 606944
Engine No. 17170
Hammer price:£ 12500
The Riley Nine was introduced to huge acclaim in 1926 and featured a very advance four-cylinder 1100 cc engine with overhead valves operated by short pushrods from two camshafts set high in the block. This proved very powerful and efficient, and with the new advanced chassis moved Riley into a higher league and gave rise to a series of superb sporting cars.
The low build of the chassis and the design incorporating the rear seats within the wheelbase allowed a relatively low body line and the resulting radical new saloon, now called the Monaco, was at once a style leader, and sold very well at a price of £298. The saloon was available with aluminium panelling, or as here with a sporting lightweight fabric body on Weymann principles. The forward opening front doors, high waisted body, narrowing significantly towards the chassis, with low seating and narrow roof made these cars very appealing, and the fabric saloons are probably one of the most attractive designs of the period. Certainly the later cars lost much of the light appearance of the Mk IV whilst the earlier cars were generally more angular and boxy in design.
UP 3557 was first registered in Durham on 29 October 1929, and has been restored at some period with the fabric replaced with blue grained material, the seats reupholstered in blue leather to the correct pattern without pleats, and the bonnet and wings finished in black cellulose. All the correct Rotax lamps and fittings are present, though now chrome plated rather than the more correct nickel finish.
The car then appeared in several films, including ‘Love on the Dole’, ‘Champion Family’ and ‘Hindle Wakes’, before spending over 30 years as part of a large vintage collection in a heated and dehumidified motor house. UP 3557 then passed to the present owner in 2005 and now has a current MoT certificate, though it is currently on SORN.
This is an exceptionally original and tidy vintage Riley Monaco of a type now becoming increasingly rare as so many saloons have been converted to ‘racers’. A V5c protecting the original 1929 registration number and a buff log book detailing owners back to 1944 are included, together with a period handbook.
As the car has covered very few miles in recent years, gentle recommissioning is recommended to then provide a superb and very usable car for vintage events or year round touring in comfort.