1935 Tourist Trophy Riley Sprite
Chassis number: 22T 1750/44T 2128
Registration number: AVC19
David Styles writes, in what is arguably Riley’s definitive reference piece, As Old as the Industry – Riley 1898-1969, ‘The association of Riley vehicles with motor sport appears to have begun (to borrow a phrase from Edward H Reeves ‘The Riley Romance’) ‘in the mists of the very dawn of the industry itself’. In the first recorded race event in which a Riley was entered, it won, and that was in 1899.’ Riley achieved a stunning portfolio of success over a range of motorsport disciplines over the decades, including racing, hill-climbing, sprinting and rallying.
AVC19 is one such prodigy of the fabled Coventry-based racing department, built up in 1935 based on a hugely successful 1934 chassis (44T 2128) which had taken third place in Le Mans of that year, with British duo Freddie Dixon and Cyril Paul at the wheel. AT Birmingham writes in his Riley – The Production and Competition History of the Pre-1939 Riley Motor Cars, ‘the celebrated AVC15 to AVC20 series of cars which, together with another batch of four cars bearing BWK or CWK registrations made a year later, were destined to represent the Riley marque extremely successfully for many years to come’.
It is a happy occurrence where a car marked with two chassis numbers, such as this one, present two equally impressive sets of pre-war racing history. Original in the true sense of a factory racing car, this superb example of the TT Sprite presents a rare opportunity to own a Le Mans podium-positioned car that has also competed with success at both Tourist Trophy races in two consecutive years (1935-36) and at a Grand Prix to boot.
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