1937 Riley ‘Big 4’ 2.5l Special


CAA 263


Chassis Number

A truly superb car, built to the highest standard with great attention to detail.

Well equipped, fast, powerful and comfortable, this car represents Riley Special building at it’s finest. A winner of the Ascot trophy in 2019 at Coventry for Riley based Specials, the car is confirmed eligible for VSCC events and all is correctly recorded on the current V5C.

Build details:

An original, full wheelbase, Riley widetrack chassis, fitted with a stunning 2 seater body, loosely based on a TT Sprite. This gives room for the taller or more corpulent driver. For the less nimble of us doo,rs have also been fitted and in addition the leather seats, finished in ‘aged tan’ are on adjustable runners.


A genuine ‘Big 4’ block, dated October 1937 and number stamped 110 in a total production run of 310 engines. The engine has been completely rebuilt with white metal main bearings, modern arrow rods with shell bearing big ends. The cylinder bores have been sleeved back to standard and a set of forged pistons from Ross in America fitted. Large diameter valves and silicone bronze valve guides with an oil seal on the inlet valve stems are installed. Twin H4 SU 1 1/2″ carburettors are in place. The compression ratio is 9.5:1 and the camshafts have been reground to fast road profile and a new oil pump drive gear fitted.

Wheels and brakes:

13″ Girling rod brakes are fitted all round and new knock on 18 x 3″ wide rims have 550 x 18″ Blockley tyres fitted.

Fuel system:

An aluminium alloy rear fuel tank of approximately 60 litres includes a reserve of 5 litres. Two bulkhead mounted electric SU fuel pumps supply the twin carburettors, controlled by manual switches on the dashboard. One pump is a fully overhauled points type and the second is a new electronic version.

Gearbox and drivetrain:

The car is fitted with a Wolseley ‘BR’ 4 speed and reverse gearbox which has been completely stripped and rebuilt with new bearings and synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. The Borg & Beck manual clutch has a refurbished cover and a new drive plate. A new Cardan UJ coupling between gearbox and torque tube has been fitted and all bearings in the tube are new.

Comprehensive instrumentation, all rebuilt and a full tonneau complete the car which is finished in a deep red paintwork