Pictures Lie: 1936 Riley Kestrel Sprite – SOLD!

by | Aug 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

August 19, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

While not the first Riley we’ve featured on, this 1936 Kestral Sprite originally listed in August 2021 on Craigslist in Purcellville, Virginia (Leesburg) is the first 1930s vintage Saloon we’ve spotted on Craigslist. Unfortunately, pricing is not available for this model.

The Riley 1½-Liter was a range of cars made from 1935 to 1938 by the British Riley company available with either Saloon (Sedan), Touring (Open Car), or sports/racing coachwork. Featuring a Kestral body, our subject car is believed to be the latter.  It followed on from the company’s Imp and MPH sports cars. Sprites featured mostly four-cylinder engines, although a six-cylinder mill was available.  The chassis was based on that of the preceding ‘MPH’ model. Its racing success (especially in the form of the Riley T.T. Sprite model) led to the adoption of ‘Sprite’ as a designation for the top-end sportier model in the Riley Kestrel saloon car range of the time.

We came across these two wonderful Australian sourced YouTube videos showing a similar vintage Riley driving around “Down Under” and how the steering wheel-mounted pre-gear selector works:

We love the seller’s honest description that the very good pictures lie and that this car will need to be trailered back to your garage to start a full restoration despite the ability to drive the car “locally”. 

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Pictures lie. This car needs and deserves a full restoration. The paint is terrible. Runs and drives locally. The engine doesn’t knock or smoke. Wilson Pre Selector gearbox operational. Plenty of issues to address. The body wood is solid and dry. Serious offers considered. The tires are old. The car will need to be trailered. *** please see new picture of the large collection of Riley special tools included.****

Do you have a Riley story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!


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