Riley Elf. (1961-69)

1969 Riley Elf MkIII (YHV396G)

1969 Riley Elf MKIII (YHV396G)

1968 Riley Elf next to a 1969 Riley 1300.

1969 Riley Elf in Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford.

Riley Elf MkIII
Photo courtesy of Peter McCarthy

1968 Riley Elf next to a Riley Two-point-six.

After the Mini was launched in August 1959, BMC started work on an upmarket 'booted' saloon version. This was first seen in 1961 as the Wolsley Hornet, and Riley Elf, as before the Elf was the sporty version.

Over it's 8 years, it had 2 minor facelifts, the first of which, in 1963, saw the original Mini 850 engine replaced by the Cooper's 998cc. This gave added speed, and better performance. The Mark III, launched in 1966, featured wind-up windows, and integral Door hinges - features not seen on the Mini until 1969.
The car was killed off, in both guises, with the axing of all Riley Models in 1969, and was indirectly replaced by the Mini Clubman Models. In total, 30,912 Riley Elves were built.


4 cyl ohv
Bore 62.9mm (Mk1) / 64.6mm (2/3)
Stroke 68.3mm / 76.2mm
Capacity 848cc / 998cc
34bhp at 5500rpm (Mk1)
38bhp at 5250rpm (2/3)
Compression ratio 8.3:1
Carburation SU HS2


Overall gear ratios.
2nd 8.18
3rd 5.32
4th 3.77
Reverse 13.66


Mk I & II: Independent Rubber Cone
Mk III: Independent Hydraulastic all round.


Lockheed hydraulic brakes with wedge operated shoes
7in front and rear.


0-50mph 18.3secs (Mk1) 15.2 (2/3)
Standing ¼mile 23.7 / 22.9secs
Top Speed 70 / 75.7mph
Fuel Consumption 32.9 / 35.7mpg


Wheelbase 6'8.5" (aprx 2020mm)
Track 3'11.5" (aprx 1220mm)
Length 10'9" (Mk1) / 10'10" (2/3) (aprx 3270 / 3300mm)
Width 4'7" (aprx 1400mm)
Tyres 5.20x10 or 145x10 radial
Weight 12.5cwt (Mk1) / 13cwt (2/3)
Fuel Tank 5.5galls


1961-5 £475 + £99 10s5d tax = £574 10s5d
1965-6 £493 1966-8 £525 (exc. tax)
1968-9 £550 Auto +£75 (exc. tax)