Among the prettiest saloons fielded by any manufacturer pre-WW2, Riley’s Six-Light Kestrel design was an Art Deco masterpiece. Powered by a ‘twin cam’ 1726cc straight-six engine, the 15/6 variant was reputedly capable of 85mph. Sadly, just fifty 15/6 Kestrels are thought to have survived.
First registered as ‘GV 4500’ in West Suffolk on 5th June 1936, chassis 46K2657 still bears a plaque for ‘R. Hawkes Motor & Motorcycle Engineer of Bury St Edmunds’. Migrating to Worksop, Nottinghamshire during the 1950s, the Riley is understood to have been in single family ownership for some forty years before being bought by Mike Squires Esq. of Corby in 1989. Sold to the preceding keeper David Watkins Esq. of Carmarthen five years later who treated it to over 600 hours’ worth of restoration work, the 15/6 was acquired by the vendor in February 2004. Unhappy with the quality of the engine’s previous overhaul, the seller entrusted the straight-six (number 62657) to John Kirkby Vintage Engine Rebuilding of Croydon, Surrey for attention to the crankshaft and new white metal bearings etc in 2007. The cylinder head was refurbished separately, and the radiator repaired. The brakes were gone through and the starter ring gear, water pump, distributor drive gear, thermostat, and exhaust manifold all fettled. The wiring loom was replaced and flashing indicators fitted. Dry stored alongside its Adelphi stablemate for over a decade, the Kestrel has recently been persuaded back into life. The four-seater is currently running and driving but would certainly require recommissioning ahead of any road use. The vendor notes that the pre-selector gearbox is whiny when in neutral with the noise subsiding under load. The car presents as an older restoration with imperfect paintwork. Much of the brightwork requires refinishing. The front seats and door cards have been retrimmed, but the rear pews may well be original. Offered for sale with Green logbook, V5C Registration Document, instruction book, numerous invoices, various old MOTs dating back to 1964, and photo album.
The car is running, it has a unique 6-cylinder 1726 ccm, Kestrel body, preselective gearbox. It also offers a good basis for conversion to a racing TT Sprite.
|First registration date||05.06.1936|
|Engine||1.726 ccm, 52 PS, I6|
|Steering||Right Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Blue|
|Color - interior||Blue leather / Brown wood|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||6 mls|
|Chassis / VIN||46K2757|
|Location - Country||Czechia|
|Location - City||Hradec Kralove|
BODY TYPE: 4/5 seater sedan/saloon; NUMBER OF DOORS: 4; DRIVE WHEELS: rear wheel drive; TRANSMISSION: 4-speed manual; ENGINE TYPE: naturally aspirated petrol; CYLINDERS: Straight 6; CAPACITY: 1726 ccm; MAXIMUM POWER OUTPUT: 52 PS (51 bhp) (38 kW) at 4500 rpm; WHEELBASE: 2769 mm; LENGTH: 4559 mm; WIDTH: 1511 mm; KERB WEIGHT: 1245 kg; MAXIMUM SPEED: 137 km/h (85 mph); ACCELERATION 0-80KM/H (50MPH): 13.5 s