Riley 1½ Merlin. (1935-36)

The 1½ Litre Merlin was the first new body on the new 1936 12/4 chassis. It shared its Briggs-built body with the new Merlin 9, the two models being the new bottom of the range. The body was modelled on the previous years Falcon, albeit on a smaller chassis with narrower track, resulting in poorer handling characteristics. The 12/4 Merlin was only available for one year (a few may have been sold in 1937), bur proved popular with sales of between 400 and 500. For 1937, it was rather confusingly replaced by the Falcon, which no used the Briggs body on the old Falcon chassis.
The design of the body was closely based on the 1935 Falcon, with the same sweeping tail enclosing a small boot and rear-mounted spare wheel. Bumpers were fitted to most cars, with a dip around the rear wheel. All cars were fitted with top-mounted wipers and the standard 1936 Black radiator. The interior trim was to a lower standard, to keep the price down and so allowing the Merlin to become the base model in the range.

Chassis Type: 26M


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 7.44:1
2nd G/r 11.05:1
1st G/r 19.07:1
Reverse 23.91:1




Girling Mechanical rod with wedge operated shoes
13" drums


0-50mph 17secs
Standing Quarter Mile 24secs
Max speed 70.5mph
Fuel Consumption 26mpg


Wheelbase 8'10" (aprx 2670mm)
Track 4' (aprx 1200mm)
Length 13'10.5" (aprx 4210mm)
Width 4'10" (aprx 1450mm)
Wheels 3.0x18
Tyres 4.75x18
Weight 23cwt
Fuel Tank 9.5 galls


Special Series £335