Riley 1½ Falcon. (1936-37)

After falling sales through the 1936 season, the Falcon was relaunched for 1937 with the Briggs Body, used the previous year for the Merlin. However, despite using the narrow 12/4 chassis, rather than the smaller Melrin type chassis, and boasting higher specifications, the public were not convinced, and the Falcon, once the mainstay of the 12/4 range, slipped quietly away at the end of the year. Surprisingly, perhaps, it acheived nearly 600 sales during the year, but compared to the combined total of around 1200 for the Merlin and Falcon in the previous two years, this was not enough, especially as Briggs bodies started to build up at the factory.
For 1938, the Falcon was replaced by the new Touring Saloon, itself another version of the Briggs Body, hastily designed to try and shift more cars. Indeed, the model used the '28F' chassis prefix, indicating that Riley considered it to be a Falcon replacement - other versions used the 'B' or 'C' prefixes. Furthermore, many dealers sold it as a Falcon, partly in order to gain repeat sales, and partly perhaps through ignorance of the changes.

Chassis Types: (S/SS) 27F


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


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 23.33:1




Girling Mechanical rod wedge operated shoes
13" drums


0-50mph 17secs
Max speed 67mph
Fuel Consumption 27mpg


Wheelbase 9'1" (aprx 2750mm)
Track 4' (aprx 1200mm)
Length 14' (aprx 4250mm)
Width 4'11.5" (aprx 1480mm)
Wheels 3.0x18
Tyres 4.75x18
Weight 25cwt
Fuel Tank 10 galls


1936 £335; 1937 £315
Special Series +£27; Sprite +£48