Friday, 22 February 2008
Blimey O' Riley
Well, alright, just one more. This Riley was a cut-above the average, the sort of car that could only be driven with Dents driving gloves and a Dunhill pipe emphatically-packed with Player's Medium Navy Cut. It was for the man who liked a little, but not too much, sportiness in his life. Something to impress the twin-set off a secretary down at the works office, but still striking the right note after Sunday service with church elders and Miss Primrose in the choir. This stunning air-brushed image is from a 1960 brochure, at the time when the Riley One-and-a-Half litre was being superceded by the Pathfinder so beloved of Scotland Yard police (we're gaining on them sir!). I find the choice of a trio of Kent oast houses in the background interesting; this was a time when these vernacular buildings in the landscape would have typified the country life being sort after by the post war newly well-off. Particularly out in the southern countryside, within easy reach of London Bridge or Charing Cross by train. The Riley getting admiring glances from Standard or Triumph drivers parking-up at Eridge and Paddock Wood. I had one of these beautiful cars in the 70s, all black, red leather seats, and after the original valve radio had warmed-up out came Educating Archie.