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Homepage. This page: Mid-sixties' shot of a Riley Brooklands that competed in the TT.

Riley 9 Brooklands.

It'd be easy to assume that a prized historic racing car that had survived to the mid/late 1960s, would likely as not still be around today, still being tended to and doted over by the latest in a string of caring owners. The owner of the photograph shown below advised that the Riley was lost in an IRA firebomb attack in the mid-1960s. Several years after publishing this page, the current owner of the car - which survives after all - provided an update. First though, Nigel's information about the photograph:
"The Brooklands Riley that came third in the TT (Tourist Trophy) race in 1933. Photo taken in the upper storage area of a Belfast Garage, the name of the owner lost in the mists of time, in 1966. The garage was later fire-bombed by the IRA, destroying this car, hundreds of vintage motorcycles, and one of only three 1903 Sizaire Naudin cars left in existance."
New information suggests that the car does actually survive to this day, as explained further down this page.
(Please click the thumbnail.)
A Riley Brooklands racing car stored in a garage
Part of the Riley's registration can just be made out - ?GZ 5021. Does anyone reading this remember the car, or know more of the car's history and perhaps details of who owned it - and the motorcycles - during the 1960s? It looked to be in good overall order at the time, 1966. Unusually, the car sports a pair of 1960s' Lucas fog- or spot-lamps as headlamps, but at that time there was perhaps less of a widespread drive to preserve older cars in their original specification, than there is today.
The Riley Brooklands, or Speed Model, was built from 1927 to 1931, based on a shortened and modified version of the roadgoing Riley 9 chassis. The 1087cc engine, fitted with twin carburettors (SU, Zenith or Solex) in this installation, was suitably breathed upon and incorporated revised camshafts, and high compression pistons, while a lower, more steamlined body, was used.

The Riley today.

In 2014 I received a note from Taiju Kobayashi in Tokyo, advising that he now owns the self-same car, as he now explains:
"Actually I have got (inherited) this particular Brooklands. The car was acquired by my father Shotaro back in 1973, at Dan Margulies, and has been with us since. Shotaro actively raced this car until the mid-2000's, including 4th at a vintage race in 1978 Macau GP, and 1st in the Le Mans Classic Japan 2005/7. The car was brought over to 75th anniversary of Ards TT from Japan. We heard it finished 6th in '33 TT at the hands of Bobby Baird when acquired."
Many thanks for the information, and the following photograph of the Riley in action, taken December 2013.
Riley Brooklands at speed
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