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  • Ray Read

THE LIFE OF RILEY


Although Sunday October 6th 2019 still seems a long way in the future, the Committee members of the Australian National Show and Shine Euroa are already working on some of the main attractions.

“Magnificent Motoring” was one of the slogans for British Riley cars back in the 1930s.

The 1949 Riley RMB has a 2 ½ Litre engine, developing 100 BHP @ 4,400 RPM. It has a Cross-flow motor featured a hemi head with twin high camshafts, (very advanced design for its era) twin SU carburettors and boasts a top speed of 100+ mph. (160 Kph.) The car shown here is owned by John McGregor of Euroa.

Riley was one of the oldest English marques, starting life as a cycle manufacturer and producing their first car in 1898. With the introduction of the RM series, they quite justifiably adopted the slogan: ‘As old as the industry, as modern as the hour.’

John says, “This car was purchased via the internet in August 2011. We then travelled by train including ‘The Indian-Pacific’ Adelaide to Perth, Western Australia, and collected the car in Harvey.

We spent four days touring the Bunbury- Margaret River region, enjoying the sights and getting to know the car before exhibiting the car at the NHMA bi-annual rally at Fairbridge on the week-end of September 3rd. and 4th.

On the Monday we left Bunbury and headed for home in the 62 year old car which had been laid up for the last year after the death of the previous owner.

We covered over 3,600 kms coming home across the Nullarbor with the Riley easily cruising at 60-65 miles per hour (100 – 110 Kph) on the open road. Truly “Magnificent Motoring” as the Riley advertising of the day claimed.”

An exhibition of Riley cars, including this one, has been confirmed as one of the attractions for our event, with the Riley Motor Club confirming the Euroa Show and Shine as a club event for their 2019 calendar.

In addition to the Rileys, the Show and Shine are already working on several other featured vehicles.

With the introduction of the highly successful Dirt Bikes as a trophy category last year, they will again feature as a lead class. A further attraction of great interest to vintage two-wheel enthusiasts may be a visit by a convention of Sunbeam Motor Cycles to the Show and Shine this year.

Sunbeam, perhaps better known for its range of cars, commenced manufacturing motor cycles in Britain in 1912, and production continued until the final S8 model made by BSA in 1956.

Rally cars are another attraction that is still under negotiation, with several makes under consideration. These are hopeful of joining the growing number of racing vehicles on display in our Area five, where we saw the Historic Rally Association car of Owen Polanski last year.

Picture: John McGregor’s much-loved 1949 Riley RMB on the Nullarbor plain near the Bight in 2011.

.. Ray Read with John McGregor.


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