RILEY - CHASSIS NUMBERS

as Old as the Industry, as modern as the Hour
This page is intended to explain how to Decipher the Chassis Numbers used by Riley.
I have taken the following Data from David Styles excellent book, 'As old as the Industry', and hope I haven't breached any copyright! If anyone knows any different to what is set out below, I would be grateful if they could correct me!
Early Rileys
DatesChassis NumbersNotes
1896-1907100-?? Bikes, Tricars and Quads.
The Frame Number was stamped on the frame, and ran sequentially, without any model differentiation.
1905-14?all V-Twin and 17/30hp cars.
Again, it appears that all models had sequential numbers, probably continuing with the series from above.
Sidevalve (10.8, 11/40 & 11.9) Cars.
1919
1920-28
100-C285
C286- (3/4 digit)
10.8 and 11/40 cars.
After 1922 a Letter suffix was added to the engine number showing the bodystyle the engine originally powered!:
  • T = All Tourer Cars
  • S = Standard & De-luxe Saloons as well as Coach.
  • C = Coupe and Cloverleaf.
  • 1925-28 69xxxx All 11.9 Cars (69mm=cylinder bore).
    The engine numbers are again thought to all have a model suffix, as above, with one addition:
  • W = Wentworth.
  • With the Launch of the 11.9 in 1925, and the 9 in late 1926, Riley Chassis Numbering started to get more organised, with at least a differentiation of which engine the car used. With the Riley 9 Chassis, there are also enough cars and records surviving to be able to provide an approximate yearly breakdown:

    Riley 9's. July 1926 -- Aug. 1935

    DatesChassis NumbersNotes
    July 1926 - Oct. 1930600001-601000 MkI Chassis, RH Gearchange, Cone Clutch.
    (60mm=cylinder bore)
    601001-602964 MkII Chassis (MkI body)
    602965-604293 MkIII Chassis (MkI body)
    604294-6011012 MkIV Chassis - MkII bodies on all except Monaco.
    Monaco II body from C/No 606770
    1927-28 60/1 - 60/? First 9hp Speed models (Brooklands) built by Thompson & Taylor Ltd.
    1928-32 8001-8093?Brooklands Speed Model.
    There are suggestions that the last Brooklands Chassis Number was 8098, but evidence to date only goes as far as 8093.
    Oct. 1930- 6011013-6014999Plus Series. Internal rocker oil feed from C/No 6012013. Long Shank Pinion from C/No 6013196.
    Oct. 1931- 6015000-6018999Plus Ultra Series
    Oct. 1932- 6019000-6019799 Silent Third Gearbox & Magneto Ignition.
    6019800-6022600 All Helical Gearbox & Coil Ignition.
    Oct. 1933- 6022601-6023600 1934 models with all Helical Gearbox.
    6023601-6025048 ENV Preselctagear & 1st Type Centrifugal Clutch. Imps fom C/No 6025044 had external Rocker-Oil feed.
    6025049-6025600 ENV Psg & 2nd Type Clutch.
    6025601-6027000 1934 models with All Helical Gearbox.
    Oct. 1934- 6027001-6027030 1935 models with ENV Psg and external rocker oil feed.
    6027031-6027900 Armstrong-Siddeley Psg & Luvax shock absorbers.
    Imps contnued as before with ENV Psg, and Hartford Shocks.
    Riley 14/6, 12/6 & 15/6 Oct. 1928 -- July 1935
    DatesChassis NumbersNotes
    Oct. 1928- 14/14S 200-699consec.
    & blocks to 1120
    14L up to 1117
    No letter prefix for 5-seater Tourer or Deauville. S=Stelvio (to 1935). L=Light Six / Alpine Saloon.
    Internal Rocker oil feed on 14/14S (LWB) models from C/No 369 and on 14L (SWB) from C/No 567.
    Oct. 1932- 88E up to 263 Edinburgh Saloon / Limousine
    88E264-? Winchester. Numbers were taken in sequence with 14- models.
    14S700-799Stelvio 14/6 Saloon
    14L series Very small number of Alpines built.
    44T 101-1300 Ascot, Kestrel, Lincock, Lynx, MPH, March 12/6, Mentone 12/6. All Helical Gearbox from Dec. 1932.
    Oct. 1933- 14S 800-929 Stelvio 14/6 Saloon
    44T 1301-2243 All SWB models as 44T 101-1300, with addition of Alpne 14/6
    Sep. 1934- 15S930-? Stelvio 15/6 Saloon
    Oct. 1934- 44T 2244-2499 Falcon, Kestrel, Lynx, MPH 15/6
    April 1935 14L1120 Last Alpine 14/6 registered (AVC9) with original series chassis.
    Riley 12/4Oct. 1934 -- July 1935.
    Oct. 1934- 22T 101-2199 Kestrel Lynx & Falcon, 1935 series.
    All ModelsJuly / Aug. 1935 onwards.
    From Summer 1935, Riley employed a new Chassis Numbering System, which not only identified the engine, but also the Year and Bodystyle originally fitted. This system continued into the postwar RM series, albeit with a few minor anomalies along the way!
    The General style was thus:

    SS 3 8 A X 1234

    The S / SS identifies the engine tune:

  • (no prefix): Standard engine.
  • S: Special Series (& 12/4 Sprite Series Sprite!).
  • SS: Sprite Series.

    The 3 identifies the engine itself:

  • 2: Riley 12/4 (1˝ litre) engine.
  • 3: Riley Big 4 (2˝ litre / 16/4) engine.
  • 4: Riley 15/6 engine to 48;
    (Nuffield) Riley 16hp engine for 49.
  • 6: Riley 9 engine.
  • 8: Riley 8/90 engine.

    The 8 identifies the year:

  • 6: 1936 series car.
  • 7: 1937 series car.
  • 8: 1938 series car.
  • 9: All Nuffield Rileys pre-war.
  • The A identifies the bodystyle:
  • A: Adelphi
  • B: (Briggs Bodied) Touring Saloon;
    16/4 Continental / chassis.
  • C: Continental / Close-Coupled Saloon.
  • D: Nuffield Dropheads.
  • F: Falcon / 12/4 (Briggs Bodied) Touring Saloon.
  • K: Kestrel.
  • L: Lynx.
  • M: Merlin.
  • S: Sprite & Nuffield Saloons.
  • V: Victor.
  • Z: Monaco.

    The X identifies a Car with Overdrive, standard on Big 4's, a rare option on other models.

    1234 is the chassis number, numbered sequentially through each engine type, regardless of the actual chassis type.


  • All Cars post July 1935
    Just to clarify the details above, the following Chassis numbers were issued from 1935 until production was discontinued in 1940.
    DatesChassis NumbersNotes
    July 1935-26A/F/K/L/M & S26S 2201-5000 1936 Series 1˝ litre Models.
    Oct. 1936-27A/C/F/K/L/M & S27S 5001-7200 1937 Series 1˝ litre Models.
    Oct. 1937-28A/F/K/L/V & S28S 7201-7950? 1938 Series 1˝ Models.
    June 1939-29D/S 8001-8650?Nuffield 12hp Rileys (1939/40).
    Oct. 1937-38A/B/K/L 1001-13141937 Series 2˝ litre Models.
    All models fitted with Overdrive Gearbox & so model letters followed by 'X'.
    July 1935- 46A/F/K/L 2500-3000 1936 Series 12/6 & 15/6 Models.
    Oct. 1936- 47A/K 3001-3299 1937 Series 15/6 Models.
    Oct. 1937- 48A/K 3300-?1938 Series 15/6 Models.
    June 1939-49D/K/S 1501-1613?Nuffield 16hp Rileys (1939/40)
    Aug. 1935- S66K/M101-2200 1936 Series 9hp Models.
    Oct. 1936- 67M / S67C / S67Z 2201-33991937 Series 9hp Models.
    Oct. 1937- 68V3400- 1938 Victor 9.
    Oct. 193586A/K 101-109?1936 Series 8/90 Models (9'4˝" Wheelbase).
    Oct. 193687A/K 201-2111937 Series 8/90 Models (9'8˝" WB)
    Oct. 193787A 212-?1938 Series Adelphi, PSG Gearbox.