This car left the factory as a Riley RME 4 door saloon with a 1.5 litre engine. The body of the Riley was badly corroded and beyond economic restoration. The chassis however was in excellent usable condition and a perfect candidate for a replacement body. This striking two door body was styled, designed and built by John Barlow, with inspiration coming from French coach-built cars of the 1940’s whilst still retaining many styling cues from Riley’s of the same period.
The body construction could be said to a modern take on traditional coach-built cars from that period which would have an unstressed aluminium body fitted over an ash frame. In the case of this body, it is an unstressed composite GRP body fitted over a steel frame. The build was completed in October 2021 and the car re-registered as a ‘Riley Royale’.
John has built no fewer than five Bentley specials, three based on Bentley Mk6 chassis and one using a platform of John’s own design. Many of John’s Bentleys have changed hands for six figure sums.
This truly is a spectacular car, which has been brilliantly made. The doors shut and body panels align perfectly and it is striking from every angle with a beautifully re trimmed interior. The view down the long bonnet via the split screen is majestic, the ride is compliant, the 2.5 litre Riley engine upgrade produces plenty of torque. This car has to be seen in the flesh to appreciate how spectacular this car really is!
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