Riley Adelphi, Monaco (1937)


  • 12/4 1936-9
  • 12/4 Sprite 1936-8
  • 15/6 1935-8
  • 16/4 1937-9
  • 8/90 1936-8

  • Monaco 1936-7
  • The Adelphi was designed as a new 5 seater to replace the Falcon and Stelvio at the top of the range of Riley Saloons. It proved an overnight success, and was the most popular body in the last few years of the family company

    Riley Archives Project: Riley Adelphi

    The Adelphi was a new model for the revitalised Riley range in the summer of 1935. Replacing a whole host of assorted saloon models on the earlier 6-cylinder and 12/4 chassis, the Adelphi was an immediate success. It sat above the basic Briggs-bodied models, and below the Kestrel with it's sporting pretensions. Nevertheless, the 12/4 model included a Sprite engined version.
    The Adelphi was, after all, a spacious six-light, five-seater, with fresh and stylish looks. Indeed, it was the basis of the Nuffield Saloons that arrived in 1939 on the 12/4 and 16/4 chassis. However, it was overlooked when it came to designing the post war RM series, as Riley tried to return to it's sporting heritage.

    The Adelphi body initially fitted to the 12/4 chassis seems to have been essentially the same as that later fitted to the bigger chassis. Minor developments were done over the 3-4 years of production, but there seems to have been little differentiation between the bodies fitted to different chassis. Indeed, the V8 Adelphi body seems to have been largely similar to that on the 12/4. The interior trimming did, however, differ, with a steady increase in opulence with the bigger engines. However, as the 16/4 effectively replaced the 15/6, the two shared similar trim levels, and later 16/4 models seem to have taken on some of the abandoned V8 car features.


    The New Monaco launched in 1936 was essentially a scaled down Adelphi. Owing to that models success, Riley decided that they would put it on the nine chassis, and resurrect the ever popular Monaco Name. This, of course, pulled the Monaco upmarket, above the new Victor model which was launched at the same time. The body was noticeably different from the larger Adelphi, but shared many similar design cues.