Riley Kestrel (1965 – 1969) Review

Riley Kestrel (1965 – 1969) At A Glance


+A pleasing combination of trim and performance for the BMC 1100

-A Riley in badge only despite being a brilliant all-rounder, the usual BMC 1100/1300 caveats apply when buying

The last Riley of all was the Kestrel (and subsequent 1300 upgrade). It wasn’t really a Riley though, being just a rebadged BMC 1100 with the 55bhp specification of the MG plus the now-expected individual grille and side whiskers. A walnut veneer dashboard upgraded the interior.

When the 1275cc A-series was installed under the bonnet in 1967, power rose first to 65bhp, then 70bhp a year later. The car was de-named in 1968, becoming just the Riley 1300. This suggested the writing was on the wall for the marque. It was, for the car and the life of Riley ended a year later.