This highly original Riley Imp is well known in Riley circles. Fitted with the pre-selector gearbox and still in its original livery of maroon with black leather interior, this rare British sports car of the Thirties is in lovely original and excellent condition. Originally registered ARW 491, the old style buff logbook shows it was reregistered in 1960 as 400 MPA. Indeed, the car has a fascinating history and it is, of course, listed in the British Riley Register, a copy of which is included in the accompanying file.
Registered to its last British owner, Gerald Thorpe, in 1960, it was sold by him for $300 on August 27th 1965 to Alexander Mason of New York where it resided for the next three decades. Upon returning home to England, Gerald Thorpe was reunited with the car he had sold 30 years earlier and according to a letter – a copy of which is also in the file – he was very impressed with the condition and driving qualities of his previously sold Riley. He was, in fact, so keen that he asked the then owner to let him have first refusal should he ever decide to sell the car. According to the history file, the car had only covered some 9,000 miles during its 30 year stay in America and drove exceptionally well. A thorough gearbox and cylinder head overhaul were the only jobs the Riley needed, and those were carried out for its then British owner, Tom Fair.
Now offered from for sale from a German collection and still in excellent condition, this is a true collector’s item and examples are very seldom on the market. Complete with German registration papers and history file, this is a rare opportunity indeed and one not to be missed.