as Old as the Industry, as modern as the Hour

Chassis Numbers

Many of the specifications pages refer to Chassis Numbers for certain elements of the information. As a result I have felt it necessary to include a page to help decipher the Chassis Number of your car. In many cases, this will also allow you to identify the original engine and bodystyle that the car carried.

It is entirely possible that the V8 experiment was the cause of Riley's demise. The 8/90 was an expensive failure, for no particular reason, and while the Autovia had outside backers, Riley took the brunt of it's losses. The engines were highly acclaimed at the time, but it was the wrong time.
The 8/90 was an 18hp engine (being two Riley 9's), and so under the normal Riley coding it should have been called an 18/8. However, for whatever reason Riley instead decided to use the nomenclature 8/90, reflecting the V8 engine with 90 degrees between cylinder banks. Doubtless the '90' sounds a lot bigger and better than a mere '18' would have done!
The Autovia engine was a 24hp unit (as it was two Riley 12's).
General SpecificationProduction Figures

Riley 8/90

Riley 8/90 Adelphi 4-door Saloon. (1936-38)
Riley 8/90 Kestrel 4-door Fastback Saloon. (1936-37)


Autovia Saloon by Mulliners (1937-38)
Autovia Limosuine by Mulliners (1937-38)
Other bodies were available, but none are known to have survived