History of the 1957 - 1965 Riley One-Point-Five
The Riley One-Point-Five is a four-seater saloon very similar to the Wolseley 1500 which was sold in the British market from November 1957 to April 1965. The car used a B-Series four-cylinder overhead valve 1,489cc engine with twin SU carburettors and a four-speed manual gearbox. The car, based on the Morris Minor chassis, has independent front wishbone suspension and torsion bars, and a semi-elliptic rear.
In May 1960, the car was improved with a full-width parcel shelf, and interior hinges for bonnet and boot. The engine was uprated with a new camshaft and modified combustion chambers, requiring a new dipstick. Although this was technically still series HSR1, the model is generally known as Riley One-Point-Five Series II.
In October 1961, The R/HS2 specification was released, commonly known as the Riley One-Point-Five Series III. This provided more leg and headroom, with front seats that were now fixed to the floor, plus round combined side/flasher lights and a new grille. In October 1962, from engine number 15 RD-U-UM 101, a new and more robust crank was fitted. The vehicle was discontinued in April 1965 at chassis number 12184.
The Riley One-Point-Five achieved some success in both the British Touring Car Championship and in rallying. The latter BMC Competitions Department-prepared cars were driven in the Monte Carlo, RAC and Tulip rallies of 1958 by Pat Moss, Nancy Mitchell and John Gott, and had some success in the Circuit of Ireland. In recent years, they have been successfully raced on the classic circuit.
The Riley One-Point-Five is a usable and relatively easy to maintain classic, and a great entry-level car. There’s good availability of part for the B-Series engine, and they are easy to upgrade if required. Interior trim and chrome can be almost impossible to find, and rust can be a problem everywhere. Check around torsion bars, chassis legs, sills, jacking points and wings. Period alternatives to the One-Point-Five include the slightly lower-spec Wolseley 1500, the MG Magnette or even the Alfa Romeo Giulietta saloon if you prefer a little continental charm.