Riley RMA Special 1.5 - Craig Chapman built (Tojeiro)
1950 Riley RMA-Special 1.5 – Craig Chapman (Tojeiro-Frazer Nash), with V5c
Selling the above as a comprehensive project in progress – with three possible build specs, and engines - from racer to tourer.
The Car, Designer and Coachbuilder
The car was built around 2010 by Craig Chapman of ‘CC Coachwork’ in Cannich, rural Inverness, Scotland. Craig is a brilliant master-craftsman who is known for his complete aluminium lightweight recreations of racing XK120s, low drag lightweight E-Types and Lotus 11s; among other marks and restorations. See, www.cccoachwork.com
Originally Craig built the car for himself, to compete in motorsport and use on the road. However, I purchased it in 2017 from him when he had too much going on with XK120s and Lotus 11s. The project begun when Craig purchased a barn-find 1950 Riley RMA 1.5 and set about professionally and cleverly shortening the chassis – it is seamless and has been done really well. The RMA was originally registered in the Manchester area, reg’ number KXJ 500 (historic number plate included). As no log book was present it has been given a new age-related number, and so comes with a full UK V5c. It is correctly registered, with the right chassis number and engine number, as a two-seater sports body; and its taxation class is ‘Historic Vehicle’ so it will not require an MOT and the Tax is free.
Bodywork – Tojeiro Frazer Nash Inspired
The coachwork is entirely made from aluminium, and so is very light, while its curvature giving good stiffness in structure. Craig wanted the car to lean towards the John Tojeiro designed Frazer Nash ‘Le Mans Replica’ (1949-’56) – as being of the right period, and because Tojeiro was one of the leading lights of post war racing car engineering and design.
This car is a very long way from a slab-sided special that utilises a standard grill. Note that it is an offset design from the scuttle back - putting an emphasis on the driver; and the car as being race inspired, though without compromising the passenger space.
The coachwork includes: the hand-wheeled body panels, all bulk heads, floor, mudguards, dash, number plate bracket, tunnel, passenger tonneau cover and driver’s seat. It could be completed with no mudguards, or simple cycle wings if preferred.
Spec Options and Engines
1) Original - 1950 Riley RMA 12/4 engine, carb’, ancillaries, gearbox, rear axle, steering, prop-shaft, brakes, wheels and springs (all needing refurbishment). These come with the car no matter what (as they are associated with its original history). Note, the engine is a 1.5 12/4 Goldseal factory replacement and its number is correctly entered on the V5c. Craig made the bodywork to accept this engine and thus reflect the car’s history in its design. The car has been converted to coil-overs at the front (but comes with the original torsion bars too). Note that the car sits much higher in this leaf-sprung spec, when compared to the options (you can see the difference in the pictures).
2) 1950s period racer - A Mk 2 BMC Riley ‘One Point Five’ engine (three bearing crank). This is a used road engine that has been refreshed, checked and newly painted by Lenham Motorsport (as in the Lenham Sprite). The chassis has fabricated engine mounts for this engine. Other items include: Mk2 MGA gearbox (in good working order) and prop-shaft; Twin 1 ¼ SU carburettors (need renovating); Riley 1.5 (tall diff) and a BMC A Series rear axle that has been developed as far as is possible (triangulated, Watts link, Panhard rod, and with coil over shock absorbers). Triumph Herald steering rack (fitted). Two sets of Jaguar E-Type steel wheels (they go straight on a Riley and give a better choice of tyre sizes as they are 15” in diameter.
Summary: Touring or Racing?
The car could be built as an all original parts Riley Tourer; or updated to later 1950s BMC road or race spec (as above in option 2). As a race car it would be competitive and welcome to race with:
1) The Equipe GTS race series. See, www.equipeclassicracing.com
2) Classic and Modern Series. See, www.cmmotorsportclub.com
3) Classic Sports Car Club. See, www.classicsportscarclub.co.uk
4) Vintage Sports Car Club. See, www.vscc.co.uk
5) Speed and Hillclimb events.
6) In the invitation class of other historic series.
7) Historic 750 Formula (with a class for race/sports cars up to1500cc). See, www.historic750formula.co.uk.
On completion the car would be worth between £25,000 and £30,000, depending on final spec and the quality of the work. In comparison to sports-racing cars of the period this represents a very good way to get into historic 50s racing.
Option 1 - £6500
Option 2 – add £1500
I would be happy to sell both options together, so you can take your time to work out what you want, or even build two different race set ups. I am not a trader, I bought the car to build. However, I do not have the time at present and would like the car to go to an enthusiast that will get enjoyment from building and driving it. I’ll be sad to see it go but it is time to pass the baton on to someone who has the time the project deserves. It will make a great car for sure.
Please feel free to call to discuss further and arrange to view. I am near Diss, on the Suffolk/Norfolk boarder. Many thanks. Mob: 07866 413409
Keyword Search Terms:Riley, Climax, FWB, Fifties, Sports Racing Car, MG, BMC, VSCC, HSCC, Equipe GTS, CSCC, Chapman
Joined December 2017
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