Introduced in 1926, Percy Rileys 9hp, 1,087cc, twin-camshaft four was an outstanding engine design by any standards, ious versions powering Rileys until 1957.
Clothed in stylish bodywork by Stanley Riley, the Coventry marques pre-war offerings were among the worlds finest small-capacity sporting cars.
Right from the start it was obvious that the 9hp Riley engine possessed enormous potential as a competition unit, and at Brooklands J G Parry-Thomas and Reid Railton were the first to demonstrate just how good it was. The success of their racer led to a production version, the Speed Model, which soon became known as the Brooklands Nine. Six-cylinder Brooklands and MPH models followed, and from these Riley developed the next of its 9hp four-cylinder sports cars the Imp. Like the MPH, the Riley Imp featured a short-wheelbase chassis, of 7 ft 6 in in the latters case, that swept upwards over the front axle and was underslung at the rear, this layout having been first used on the Brooklands Six. The engine was mildly revised, twin SU carburettors fitted and a Scintilla magneto offered as an option. With its long bonnet, flowing wings and short tail, the Imp is without question one of the most attractive small sports cars of its’ era. Made in limited numbers, it is a rarity today and much sought after.