1950 Riley RMD - Drophead
49,000 original miles -very complete -LHD
Link to Video of starting & running motor:
Chassis# 60D 7149
I am the 4th owner. Many years ago, (15 ?), this Riley was taken into a restoration shop, by a previous owner, for a refurbish. Being such a low mileage car, it didn’t require a full restoration, nor was that the intention. In that owner's words, the Riley "was a good solid running car that only needed new paint and new leather upholstery".
The restoration shop disassembled the car just enough to do body work and paint. It was repainted in a beautiful Old English White. While that was being done, the owner had the seats and panels reupholstered in a high quality, rich tan leather. He also ordered a new Haartz canvas soft top, as well as, a matching soft top cover, (boot).
It was then that the family owned restoration shop went out of business due to a family conflict. The car went into storage for many years.
I purchased the car out of storage with the intention of finishing it. Most of the task in finishing the car would simply be reassembly.
In my family, we own another Riley RMD that belonged to our father, so we know what amazing, and unique cars these Riley RMDs are ! My Dad's Riley gets so much attention wherever I drive it, and for a few years, that car was in high demand as wedding getaways. So, I was anxious to have another, but I realize now that I have too many projects, too little time, and too little space. I must let the car go to a better home. The following early history information of the car was provided by a phone conversation with the 2nd owner.
The original owner was a retail store owner in Miami, Florida. On good weather days, he drove the car to, and from, work which was a short distance.
The 2nd owner, was also a Miami store owner who often saw the car and admired it. When the first owner passed away, the 2nd owner purchased the Riley out of his estate. He drove it in much the same manner. He diligently maintained the Riley, however over time, he felt that the Florida sun had faded the original paint, and the upholstery also was fatigued.
He contracted a restoration shop to do a repaint. While the car was partially disassembled, the owner took the seats and upholstery panels to a professional upholstery shop to have new tan leather installed. Using the original panels as patterns, they did a beautiful, and very accurate, job.
Meanwhile, the restoration shop did the necessary preparation, and painted the car in Old English White. (I believe that this RMD was originally deep red, with red interior).
It was at this point when the family owned body shop had a personal conflict. As a result, the business closed, and the car remained in that fresh repainted state, but still partially disassembled, for a very long time.
Over a period of time, the owner, out of frustration, sold the car to a British car restoration shop. The Riley went directly into another storage facility, and remained there, with no progress, for many years. I purchased it from this owner.
My family has owned 3 Riley RMDs previously, and we still own our father’s silver & black RMD. Having an obvious passion for these exceptional cars, I had hopes of finishing it. In a manner of a relatively short time, this RMD could be reassembled to make a magnificent driving car that presents very well ! Any owner could hold their head up high at a car show, but it may not be concours d'elegance show standard. I have spent some time refurbishing some of the components, ( brakes, gas tank, top bows, etc. ), which included new parts sourced through the Riley RM Club Spares. The Riley RM Club is an invaluable resource with parts, a vast membership with knowledge, and an enthusiastic willingness to help. My family has been a club member for over 25 years.
My intention was to continue work to finish it by: Refurbishing the dash wood, installing the windscreen, putting new rear brake linings for the mechanical brakes, re-install the window glass, risers, and support wood, install a new exhaust system, install the new leather covered panels & seats, install the new tan Haartz canvas soft top, put new tires on it, and start driving, showing, and enjoying ! I think the color combination of Old English Ivory with tan interior is stunning.
This exceptional car is an easy reassembly/restoration.
Title : Clear Florida title in the seller’s name.
Body: The body panels are very straight, and all panels fit correctly. I have gone over the car with a magnet and feel certain that it has very little, if any, body filler. The doors are, of course aluminum. The door fit, as well as, the trunk lid and hood, are excellent with consistent, and accurate gaps.
Parts : The car is nearly complete, with all hardware, all gauges, interior wood trim, etc. It us far too much to photograph & list. The rear window riser, and a few small items, are missing however. Doing some detective work, I found an old receipt from the body show who had done the disassembly and repaint. I called them asking them to please search the shop, even though it had been many years. The 2nd owner had persistently requested searches for the missing window riser, but always with the same results. If an original replacement riser cannot be located, I believe that one can be made. Luckily, the Riley RM Club directed me to a 4 page article on how to modify a RM sedan rear window riser, to work for a Drophead ! I have that article, but have not embarked on the endeavor.
Wood - All structural, and trim wood is very solid with no rot.
Motor: The engine starts easily, and sounds great, however it won’t remain running. I suspect that the new fuel pump may not be the correct psi, or the carburetors need adjusting, or a rebuild. The compression is excellent.
Transmission & Clutch - the clutch works smoothly and the transmission shifts nicely.
Gas tank - Since the car had been in storage, I didn’t dare start the engine without thoroughly draining the old gas, as well as, change the oil. While draining the gas, I noticed a small leak near the plug. The tank was removed, restored, and sealed.
New fuel pump was fitted.
Tires - As part of the 2nd owner’s refurbish, new tires were put on, and never driven on. Consequently, they look absolutely new but are, of course, far out of date and would not be safe at speed.
Brakes : It has new wheel cylinders, brakes lines, and shoes & linings installed. I have a master cylinder rebuild kit, but since it was working without issue, I did not rebuild it. These cars have hydraulic brakes on the front, and mechanical rear brakes. I have not done any work on the rear brakes.
New Tan leather seats and panels. The panels and seats have not been permanently fitted into the car, but only put in place for the photos.
Interior: The door window glass, risers, and interior wood was removed in order to paint the car. All of those components are with the car.
New Haartz tan canvas soft top and boot, still in the box.
Chrome - Some small parts have been rechromed. The larger body parts, (i.e. grill, bumpers, side trim, etc.) is very presentable and will polish up well for a handsome driving car, however it is not concours show quality.
Glass - All glass, including the side windows, windscreen glass & chrome windscreen trim
Rear Window - original rear window frame and plexiglass.
Contact me if you have any questions. Thank you