Rileys 1945-57 - The Nuffield Era

The last true Riley - 1953-57

The history of Riley Cars between 1952 and 1955 is very muddled, there are lots of conflicting rumours and ideas, which unfortunately cannot be confirmed for sure. As was explained before, the RME and RMF were launched in 1952, being mechanical revisions of the RMA/B. However, before the formation of BMC in early 1952, Nuffield had already started the development of the next generation models. These were to be the RMH Pathfinder, and the possible RMG model. The former was based on the Wolsely 6/90, while the latter is thought to have been a Wolsley 4/44.

The plot thickens! With the formation of BMC, the RME/F had been hurried through without the styling revisions that were planned. BMC then hurried through the launch of the pathfinder, to try and counter the RMFs slow sales. However, in all this confusion, the rumoured RMG falls out. Whether it ever left the drawing board is unknown, but unlikely.
The new Pathfinder was essentially a Wolsley 6/90 with Riley Big Four engine and gearbox fitted. BMC also 'glued' a Riley grille on the front and fitted a Riley-style interior. It was jovialy known by it's owners as the Ditchfinder, and seemed to get off to a good start, but sales dropped away. BMC had launched the car after stating their engine policy, which consigned Riley's Big-4 to the graveyard. The fact that the Pathfinder still used it was an ongoing, expensive, problem.

At the same time, the RME recieved the long-planned facelift, with the Running boards being removed and some nasty spats being fitted on the rear wheels. The car was also laden with extra chrome and many 1950's design 'features', such as windscreen visors, although some later models did not have these fitted. The RME was discontinued in 1955, after disappointing sales, and eventually replaced with the all new one-point-five in 1957.
Meanwhile, the Pathfinder soldiered on until 1957, when it was also facelifted, with a slightly updated bodyshell, and BMC C-Series engine replacing the Riley big-four. The new car, named Two-point-six only displayed a traditional riley Radiator and badges to differentiate it from the Wolsley model. In a mere 5 years since the formation of BMC, they had effectively wiped out the marque, stripping it of all of its heritage. Therefore the Pathfinder was the last true Riley.

The End of a Great Marque 1957-1969.