'Most attractive sports car of its era' the Riley Imp appears priced at $136,000

Only 75 examples were ever made and it's rare to see one on the market, yet now an original 1935 Riley Imp is being sold by a collector in Germany priced at $136,043.

When it was first introduced in 1926, Percy Riley's 9hp, 1,087cc twin-camshaft four-cylinder engine was an outstanding piece of engine design.

Various versions of the engine would power Rileys for decades afterwards until 1957. Pre-World War Two, the car established itself as one of the world's finest small-capacity sports cars.

The 1935 Riley Imp, a legend of its era

While the Coventry-built marque's stylish bodywork turned heads, courtesy of Stanley Riley, it was also clear from the offset that the 9hp Riley had enormous competitive potential.

This was proven by racing drivers J G Parry-Thomas and Reid Railton at Brooklands. Their success led to a production version, the Speed Model, which soon became known as the Brooklands Nine.

Riley's six-cylinder Brooklands and MPH models followed thereafter, which paved the way for the 9hp four-cylinder Imp.

Like the MPH, the Imp featured a short wheelbase chassis measuring 7ft 6ins. It was swept upwards over the front axle and under-slung at the rear, the same layout used in the Brooklands Six.

The Imp was the latest in Riley's line of successful sports cars

The Imp's engine was mildly revised from its predecessors, with twin SU carburettors fitted and a Scintilla magneto offered as an option.

Dated to 1935, this example was confirmed for sale over the weekend in Germany and is priced at $136,043 (€98,556).

The car's dark green body includes the Imp's long bonnet, flowing wings and short tail - all features which made the car one of the most attractive of its era.


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