Riley 1½ Continental. (1937-38)

The Continental (officially Close-Couple Touring Saloon, following a legal challenge from Bentley) was a short lived model on the 1½ Litre chassis, only being offered for the 1937 model year. A few were registered into 1938, but they were generally residual stock. The body did, however, continue, being redesigned to fit the new Big 4 chassis in 1938. It was never a hugely popular model, but sold better than some of the other bodystyles on offer. Very few were built with the Sprite Series engine, and the Special series engine seems to have been no more popular, approximately 120-150 were built in total.
The general design of the body did, however, continue after the war as it formed the starting point for the post-war RM cars. It was perhaps the first real 3-box saloon Riley had built, with the rear seat moved forward (whilst not significantly compromising the accommodation) to provide a longer tail with a sweeping boot starting under the rear window, rather than from the roof as with many of the earlier saloons. The rear boot had a two-part lid, but was itself compromised by the inclusion of the spare wheel, making the luggage space rather limited, especially for cross-continent touring!

Chassis Types: (S/SS) 27C


4cyl ohv
RAC Rating 11.9hp
Bore 69 Stroke 100
Capacity 1496 cc
51bhp at 4800rpm
Carburation 1 or 2 Zenith or 2SU


Armstrong Siddeley Preselector 4-speed gearbox.
Top gear ratio 5.22:1
3rd G/r 7.39:1
2nd G/r 10.91:1
1st G/r 18.79:1
Reverse 23.91:1





0-50mph 23.1secs
Max speed 73mph
Fuel Consumption 27mpg


Wheelbase 9'4.5" (aprx 2840mm)
Track 4'3" (aprx 1280mm)
Length 14'6.5" (aprx 4430mm)
Width 5'1.5" (aprx 1530mm)
Wheels Dunlop centre lock wire 3.0x18
Tyres 4.75x18
Fuel Tank 11.5 galls
Weight 25cwt


1937 £350
Special Series +£27; Sprite +£48