V8 Specifications

as Old as the Industry, as modern as the Hour
Featuring: Brief History; Technical Description.

Brief History

The Riley 8/90 was launched in late 1935, with either the popular Adelphi Saloon, or the Kestrel Sports Saloon bodies. The vast majority of the 37 built appear to have been Adelphis, with only 2 Kestrels known to have been built.

The Autovia was launched in 1936, as a completely new car, although much of the development work seems to have been carried out at the Riley Works (especially on the engine). It was available with either Mulliner Saloon or Limosuine bodystyles.

Technical Description

Riley 8/90

The two 'Riley' V8's, and for the purposes of these pages the Autovia is a Riley, were both based on four cylinder Riley engines.
The 8/90 utilised two
Riley 9 blocks, joined by a common crankcase, with central inlet and side exhaust manifolds. The Inlet was warmed by using Hotspots on the Exhaust manifold, and then running through the cylinder head to the Carburettors.
The Chassis and Transmission were essentially the same as that of the New 15/6 Range, except that the gear ratios were slightly different to cope with the larger engine. However, in 1937 it is thought that the new Big Four chassis (itself a development of the 15/6) was adopted by both the 8/90 and 15/6 as well.


The Autovia engine was essentially the same as the 8/90, except that it used 12/4 blocks in place of Nines, while still retaining the shorter stroke of the Nine engine!
The Transmission used was new, as the car was so much bigger (and heavier) that the gearbox needed different ratios, and the transmission shafts needed to be longer.
The Autovia Chassis was completely different to any standard Riley unit, although it obviously used many Riley design features, it was quite simply bigger!
Maybe if these parts had been able to be standard Riley parts, then the car may have succeeded!