1937 Riley 12/4 Sprite

2 Seater Sports
Sale Price
$475,000 - $625,000
Est. Range
3 March 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Recent Restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. S27S6031; Engine no. SS6031 Dark Blue over Dark Blue leather. RHD. 1496cc L4, dual carburetors, 4-speed, folding windshield, dual aeroscreens, wire wheels, Blockley tires, twine wrapped steering wheel rim, Lucas headlights and driving lights with wire stoneguards, bench seat (original buckets included).

Evaluation: Long competition career starting with the 1937 Monte Carlo Rally with William Innes, a Riley apprentice. Further campaigned in 1937-1939 trials by Roger F. Peacock, another Riley apprentice. Very good cosmetics, chassis and engine compartment. Restored better than new and carefully used and maintained including on the 2020 and 2021 Mille Miglia. 2021 Audrain Concours class winner. Entered but not confirmed for the 2022 Mille Miglia.

Bottom Line: Bonhams has enjoyed some recent success with Rileys, starting with the magnificent $967,500 MPH at Quail Lodge last year and continuing through Scottsdale 2022’s $76,160 supercharged MPH replica. This beautifully-restored Riley Sprite’s racing history qualifies it for pretty much any event for which it is eligible, rendering it quite a valuable entrant.

by Rick Carey
18 April 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.