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Alfa Romeo
Riley 9
Riley 12/4
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The Riley has been a bit of a love hate relationship over the years. When it was fully on song it was fantastic, good performance ( for a 1928 car) excellent handling and great fun.

In the beginning the car was a well sorted very competitive vintage car, but as with all things that are highly strung a lot of TLC was required to keep things together. It was fitted with a Phoenix crankshaft and rods which gave good strength to engine , even though it is only a two bearing crankshaft.

It would be difficult to list all the issues but some that come to mind were , Magneto , Propshaft and differential. These were really quickly sorted but more was to come.

It was decided that more power was required and so the idea of fitting a supercharger came about.

Most 'blowers' on this engine have been fitted to the front of the engine and driven at crankshaft speed but we decided that we should drive the blower at around 10% above the crankshaft speed. Here started the problems as to be eligible for VSCC vintage class the blower had to be chain driven , belts are not allowed.

So a design was sorted parts were collected ,a suitable blower was sourced and refurbished and the work started.

In will not go into all the detail but there were many issues, mainly getting the right gearing and keeping the chain in the right position with the correct tension.

While we were at it the engine was stripped down , new rings and shells fitted and a better , external, oil feed was incorporated together with a modern pressure relief valve.

Eventually it was done and the trials seemed very promising, much more torque and a more drivable car.

The success was short lived and reliability became a major problem. I believe the increased performance and greater enthusiasm by the driver resulted in 3 big end failures. Despite modifications to the sump ( the oil pump had already been uprated) and rechecking the oil to the bearings , no direct cause could be established.

After the last re build and attention by a 'marque expert' I decided that it was time to say goodbye to the Riley.

A very good offer was made and I believe the car is now in Holland.

I hope that it proves to be great fun for the current owner

As Purchased

Bottom End

New Oil Pipes

New oil pipes


Top of Block

Timing Marks

Bell housing

front Dynamo

Goodwood 2004

Mallory 2004


Angouleme Sept 2003

Prescott 2003





Loton Park

Loton Park

Wiscombe 2005

Wiscombe 2005

With Supercharger

With Supercharger

With Supercharger

With Supercharger

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