Rob's Riley Pages 1996-2016
as Old as the Industry, as modern as the Hour
RILEY MOTOR CARS 1896-1969
Twenty Years on the Web
HistoryIn the autumn of 1996, coincidentally Riley's centenary year, when the internet was still in its relative infancy, I discovered that there was very little on the web about Rileys. A few sites, mostly relating to clubs, had limited information and a few photos, and Martin Frankford's Team.net site had a more comprehensive amount of information, but largely related to post war models, in particular the one point five, of which he owned an example.
I therefore decided to use the small amount of webspace that Bath Uni allocated to me to create a Riley website. In conjunction with Martin, we developed parallel 'mirror' sites providing the same basic range of information and pictures on either side of the Atlantic, to combat the slow download speeds often encountered with transatlantic data transfer. Later a further mirror site was developed in Australia.
Over the next 4 years, the site grew, and whilst the history pages are largely unchanged to this day, little else survives of that first site. In 2000 I left Uni, and transferred the site to UKOnline, where it grew and developed, with more and more information on individual models, but still keeping the specifications and image library separate.
UKOnline hosted the site for 8 or 9 years, but from 2005 I could no longer access the site, as it required dialup and I had transferred first to mobile data and then broadband, without a modem. However, in 2009 rileyrob.co.uk was born, with the site largely as you see it today going online.
What's NewWith the exception of the history pages almost every page has been / will be reviewed and updated as necessary. In particular, the following have been done (italics identify work in progress):
- My database of prewar car records has been error-checked for the first time since I started to create it in 1998 and all of the extrapolated production figures on the site have been recalculated (even if there was no resultant change).
- Two whole new sections have been created to fill some huge gaps in the Riley Story. Firstly, Riley's Motorsport acheivements are now noted, although this is only a summary at present. Secondly, a Riley Miscellany has also been added to bring together all the odd facts and figures relating to Riley. These two sections will hopefully continue to expand in the coming months.
- Text has been revised to paint a slightly more positive view of the Nuffield - BMC cars in particular. Much of the old text dated back to c2000 and an older more mature me has taken a different view when re-reading the literature available on these models.
- A few new models, such as the Riley Riviera have been added, and others separated out where there is a need.
- Text descriptions of individual models has been expanded where possible, and created for those pages which were blank. Yes, a lot is a copy and paste job, but it is still better than the blank space it has replaced. Similarly, the general specifications for each chassis page has been expanded / created as necessary.
- New photos have been added, and a lot of the old ones re-uploaded as larger images. Download speeds have increased dramatically in the last 20 years, and the former 640x480 (max) images look very small on modern monitors. Also, grainy images scanned from books have been replaced as much as possible, even if just utilising other, identical but better quality, images from the web.
- Many spelling, grammar and formatting errors have been fixed - doubtless many remain, but no one is perfect.