as Old as the Industry, as modern as the Hour

In the early years, it was the Riley Brothers themselves who drove their cars at sporting events. However, by 1925 with the exception of Cecil Riley the youngest, Riley's were raced by others, whether professional, semi-professional or amateur. Through the 1920s and 30s, therefore, there were a lot of famous, and some not so famous, names driving Rileys at sporting events. Below are just a few of them:

Sir Malcolm Campbell


Best known for his Bluebird speed record cars, Malcolm also raced Rileys at a few events in the early 1930s.

Dorothy Champney


Dorothy would eventually become Victor Riley's wife, but prior to their marriage she had a successful career in car racing, often driving Rileys. In 1934 she entered Le Mans with Kaye Petre (below), but before that she had made her name in trials and hill climbs.

Sammy Davis


Sammy drove a huge variety of cars in his motor racing career, and for a few years in the late 1920s he found time to occasionally race a Riley 9 Brooklands, with varying success.

Freddie Dixon


After a number of years racing motorbikes, Freddie moved over to cars in 1932, quickly focussing on developing Riley models as racers. He was to have great success in a variety of events, with his cars still raced today.

Hector Dobbs


Hector was a Riley distributor from Yorkshire who also had success racing the cars he was selling.

Capt George Eyston


Perhaps better remembered today for driving MGs, George Eyston also raced Rileys in the 1930s, often with some success.

Edgar MacLure


Edgar MacLure worked for Riley and entered a number of races in Riley Cars during the 1920s and 30s. His Brother, Percy, also worked for and raced Rileys in the same period, and their younger brother Peter had a miniature Riley Brooklands, powered by a 47cc Villiers Two Stroke, which he raced with some success as a child.

John Godfrey Parry-Thomas


Despite being killed before the car was fully developed, he was instrumental in the development of the Brooklands 9 and had raced larger Rileys for a number of years prior to his death.

Kaye Petre


Born in Canada, Kaye moved to Britain and enjoyed a successful career as one of the few female racing drivers active between the wars. Many of these successes were in Rileys, and she twice entered Le Mans in a Riley.

Reid Railton


Reid continued the development work of the Brooklands and raced it at least once. Later he was involved in the ERA project.

Rupert St George Riley


Whilst not a member of the family, Rupert was a trusted employee who helped develop the WD Tourer. He went on to use this model, and others, with success in a variety of Rallys, in contrast to many of the others listed here who used Rileys in Racing events.

Alex Van der Becke


Alex raced for Riley a number of times in the mid-30's, having particular success at Le Mans, but also competing in Tourist Trophy events, teh Brooklands 500 and Hill Climbs.

There were, of course, a great number of other drivers who raced Rileys in their heyday between the wars, but this hopefully gives an idea of the variety of people who chose to drive for or enter Rileys at some of Europes most prestigious and famous events of the era.