Sunday, March 15, 2009

1966 Riley 1100 Kestrel - In US and on eBay

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I'm a fan of the old BMC / British Leyland ADO 16 cars (ADO 16 stands for Austin Drawing Office project #16) . I even bought one at one point in my life. (Click here to see the post about its demise.) At various times these cars wore the Austin, MG, Morris, Vanden Plas, Wolseley and, like this one, Riley badges. It was, in most people's eyes, badge engineering gone wild.

The only two ADO 16s that officially came to America were the MG 1100 (sometimes called the MG Sports Sedan) and the Austin America. Neither were big sellers here, but ADO 16s sold well throughout the rest of the world and still have a good sized fan base in the UK.

Designed by Alec Issigonis, the same man who designed the Mini, the car shared much of its running gear with the Mini. It also had the impressive interconnected fluid system suspension, called "Hydrolastic".

The Riley 1100 Kestrel was more "upmarket" than the Austin and MG ADO 16s we got here in the US. The interior is leather and the wood dash features round gages (including a tach) and not the ribbon speedometer found in the Austin.

This 2 owner Riley has to be one of only a few in the US. It may very well be the nicest. Originally from New Zealand, it was imported to the US in December 2008.

Parts for much of the drivetrain can be found at places that specialize in Mini parts. Body, trim and interior parts are, of course, almost impossible to find in the US, but can still be obtained from the UK.

The big downside to this car is that it's right hand drive, making it fairly impractical for everyday use (unless you're a mail delivery person, I guess).

This is another one of those cars that can be purchased today and displayed at your local car show tomorrow. It's guaranteed to draw a crowd.

Click here to see the eBay listing for this Riley 1100.

Click here to find a website dedicated to ADO 16 cars. It's full of great info and pictures.

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