Riley 17hp / 17-30hp. (1914-23)

The 17hp was a surprise launch at the 1913 Olympia show, with no warning given of it's arrival. The car was designed by Harry Rush, and was launched as the new flagship model. It survived until the outbreak of war, even though only 6 are thought to have been sold in the first year.
After the war, it was the only Riley put into immediate production, using up stocks of parts from 1914, and sold well until the introduction of horse-power tax in 1921. This led to widespread sales resistance, and the (renamed) 17-30 was slowly phased out by 1923. The final cars had the new upright 'V' Radiator, as opposed to the original round unit.

The engine was a first for Riley, being an inline 4 cylinder unit driving the rear wheels. It also holds the distinction of being the largest engine designed for road use that Riley ever produced, its capacity exceeding even the V8 units of the late 1930s. As for bodies, the car was available with either 2/3 seater or 4/5 seater tourer bodies, all fitted with windscreens and hoods unlike some of the smaller models. It is thought that at least one closed saloon was built, although this was probably by an external coachbuilder.


4cyl sv
RAC Rating 18.2hp
Bore 86mm Stroke 127mm
Capacity 2932 / 2951 cc
58 bhp at 2500rpm
Carburation Zenith


3-speed gearbox (until 1915).
4-speed 'Silent Third' gearbox (from 1915)
Top Gear Ratio 4.125:1
3rd G/r 6.2:1
2nd G/r 9.2:1
1st G/r 15.2:1
Reverse 15.2:1


Front semi-elliptic, Rear 3/4-elliptic


Expanding Shoes to rear only.



Wheelbase 10'4" / 10'6" (aprx 3140 / 3190mm)
Track 4'8" / 4'9" (aprx 1500mm)
Length 13' / 14'6" (aprx 3950 / 4400mm)
Width 5'8" (aprx 1790mm)
Ground Clearance 9½" (aprx 240mm)
Tyres 875x105 / 820x120
Weight 27cwt


Before / After WW1
Chassis: £335 / £500
2/3 Seater body: £430 / -
5-seater body: £450 / £750