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The Start

 

The Riley was advertised as running and driving but in need of restoration.  The previous owner, who had a large and diverse car collection planed to do some minor work and drive the Riley. His move to a different state occasioned the sale of the Riley.  Now that I have the car apart I think his plan drive the car was optimistic.  The Riley Has a wooden structure under the steel and while this cars wood was better than some and still held its shape. It was rotted and fractured in a number of places. Of course when I bought the car I didn't Know this. I have looked at and fixed up a few old cars and the Riley was better than many I've seen. The car came with a lot of extra parts including a spare engine. Two interiors  were included one in taters but the other in remarkably good shape. The door cards and the headliner are fit only for patterns. The only glaring problems were collision damage to the right rear and a rusted trunk floor. The car was running on a small lawnmower gas tank plumbed directly to the carburetors. The Gas tank presumably was clogged with varnish and old gas. The roof is fabric over an expanded metal base and the fabric  was damaged allowing  water to enter around the rear window.  This has caused rot of the wood window surround and rust in the lower body mounts. I too briefly toyed with a quick fix up and drive but I ultimately decided to try my hand at a full fix up. The riley is a car on the edge,  after more than 50 years it needs some serious work to allow it to survive another 50.