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Riley Reviews

Riley was established in 1898, but only started building four-wheeled cars in 1907. The company soon found a niche building competition cars, but despite some success failed to generate sufficient profits to invest in new model ranges. The company was close to folding, when it was taken over by Morris to form the Nuffield Organisation.

While this saved the name it ended Riley’s independence, and the firm's cars became more reliant on Morris (and, from 1952, BMC) in their make-up. The last model to feature any Riley individuality was the 1953-1957 Pathfinder; after that, the models became just badge-engineered BMC variants. The Riley name was killed off in 1969 in the post British Leyland rationalisation.

Good: Sleek and lovely to look at, and for Riley fans the car they'd justifiably called the company's last
Bad: Post-BMC C-Series models not as appealing despite being more easily maintained
Good: Good to drive - like a Minor but quicker and with more room
Bad: Doesn't have the Minor's cool image today despite being the better car
Good: Well equipped, a nice blend of luxury and performance, brilliant parts and specialist support
Bad: It's a BMC, not really a Riley...
Good: Well-appointed Mini with more boot and under-bonnet room
Bad: Killed before its time
Good: A pleasing combination of trim and performance for the BMC 1100
Bad: A Riley in badge only despite being a brilliant all-rounder, the usual BMC 1100/1300 caveats apply when buying