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1929 Riley Ford (SOLD)
Engine # A4783858
This is one of four cars specially developed for competition work just before and after the Second World War by the late John Garden of Inverurie, who was well known in Scottish Riley circles.
It is based on a Riley and is listed by chassis number in David Styles Riley history of 1982 [‘As Old as the Industry’] as the ‘Garden Special’ when it was not then registered for road use. It is also listed in the records of the Riley Register as a ‘Garden Special’
It has been in Scotland for most of its life and has had very few owners. From John Garden it went to a Mr. Foster [near Leuchars] thence to a Dr. Richardson [Kirkcaldy] and then to Mr Peter Graham [of Forgandenny, Perth] by the time Peter acquired what remained of the Garden special, it was essentially the original chassis and axles. He meticulously re-built the car, installing the current engine, road registered it and undertaking a couple of debut competition appearances.The present owner acquired it in early 2013. Since then it has had three busy and successful seasons, achieving a number of awards and benefiting from additional mechanical and aesthetic refinements.
The original 1929 Riley chassis and axles have been extensively developed to take the extra power of a tuned and balanced Ford model A engine. Rated at 3,300cc the model A engine has been upgraded to incorporate the highly desirable model B crank running on shell bearings with a full flow oil pump and filter this work compleated by Belcher Engineering. It is also fitted with a new 1929 type Thomas alloy cylinder head [cast using the original vintage period tooling] which raises compression and aids cooling. Twin downdraught SU’s, a sports camshaft, Mallory distributor and side exhaust all help the engine to achieve approx. 90BHP.
[There is potential for supercharging or fitting an OHV head or both. The rest of the engine is quite strong enough to take it and a supercharger will be provided with the car.] But why you would want to is beyond me!
A Ford close ratio 3 speed gearbox is mated to the original but adapted Riley torque tube rear axle.
The rear axle ratio is currently 4.1, incorporating a strong 4 star diff carrier. This seems ideal for all round use in sprints, hillclimbs, trials and the open road, giving 20.5mph per 1000 rpm in top gear.
[3.25 ratio previously fitted is also included with the car. Good for very fast road or racing work giving a top speed ratio of 25+ mph for every 1,000 rpm in top gear.]
Torque control rods and new multi disc Sprite type Hartford shock absorbers fitted to lightened front axle. 13inch brakes modified to hydro-mechanical front/rear by a tasteful and non intrusive conversion and an external mechanical handbrake operating on the hydro-mechanical brake cross shaft by rods to the rear brakes. The brake drums and back plates are machined for lightness and cooling. Gauze splashguards fitted to backplates.
This handsome and fast vintage sports car is well proportioned having a wheelbase of 8ft. with a 4ft. track --and an all up weight of just 780kg.
It is a well developed and sorted historic special with a nice patina of good use and maintenance and a big powerful vintage engine with great potential for relatively simple further tuning.
Meticulously and tastefully put together with much fine period detail including being coachpainted, along with good quality vintage switchgear and instrumentation.
There is ample room for even the tallest of drivers and the abundant torque from the 3.3 litre engine makes it a crisp and lively performer with agile handling on the road or track.
It has new high quality leather seat squabs and mohair tonneau and the rear wheels have just been re-spoked and the oil and filter changed.
Ready for immediate use and ideal for all VSCC disciplines.
Currently with a VSCC Buff form [eligibility document)
During the last three motoring seasons[2013,14, & 15] the Garden Special has competed at the following venues:
VSCC Curborough Speed Trials
VSCC/BARC Harewood Hillclimbs
VSCC/MAC Shelsley Walsh Hillclimbs
VSCC/BOC Prescott Hillclimbs
VSCC Brooklands Double Twelve Speed Trials
VSCC Oulton Park Autosolo
VSCC Loton Park Hillclimbs
Most recent awards:-
Brooklands Double Twelve June 2015-- Speed Trials, 1st Vintage in class. Driving Tests, 3rd class award Prescott Hillclimb August 2015--1st Vintage in class