Riley Elf / Wolseley Hornet

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Riley

Riley Elf

1961 - 1969
Country:
United Kingdom
Engine:
4 cyl.
Capacity:
848 / 948 cc
Power:
33-38 bhp
Transmission:
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
77 mph
Number Built:
30,912 (Elf)
Collectability:
2 star
The Riley Elf and Wolsley Hornet were upmarket versions of Sir Alexander Issigonis masterpiece, the Mini. The distinctive grille was the standout feature, while the tail received its own makeover, which included extending the length so that the car looked much more like a typical saloon.

In April 1961 BMC introduced front body seams and front and rear bumper overriders, and the following year there was the progressive introduction of baulk-ring synchromesh on the upper three gears. Leather replaced leather-cloth on seat facings and rear seats improved.

In 1962 the Mark II version was released, these cars gaining the larger 998cc engine along with improved drum brakes. A counter balanced bootlid was also introduced, and modifications to the heater made considerable improvement to its effectiveness.

In 1964 came the introduction of hydrolastic suspension, along with a diaphragm spring clutch, combined starter/ignition switch, crushable sun visors and plastic framed driving mirror.

In 1966 BMC released the Mark III, and this iteration is arguably the more collectable today. Gone were the external door hinges (these not becoming standard on the Mini until 1969), and finally there were wind up windows. There were revised door handles (interior and exterior), reshaped door trims, a remote control gear-lever and fresh-air vents at each end of dashboard.

Standard kit also included better insulation and carpeted boot, while the exterior was finished in distinctive duotone duco. In October 1967 BMC re-styled the seats and introduced a combined stalk switch on the steering column.

In 1968 came a fully synchromesh gearbox, and in August 1969 the last Riley Elf would roll off the production line. The replacement was the Mini Clubman. Optional extra's included whitewall tires, weathermaster front tires, radio, fresh-air heater, steering lock (export only) and automatic transmission (from 1967). There were other various approved accessories, such as seat covers, door pocket ashtray, wing mirrors, seat belts, auxiliary lamps and rubber mats.


Riley Elf
Riley Elf / Wolseley Hornet Specifications:
     
Mk1
Mk2/3
Engine
848cc 4-cyl OHV
998cc 4-cyl OHV
Designation
8MB
9WR, 99H
Bore/Stroke
62.94 x 68.26mm
64.59 x 76.2mm
Compression Ratio
8.3:1
8.3:1
Power output
33bhp @ 5300 rpm
38bhp @ 5250 rpm
Torque
44lb.ft at 2900 rpm
52lb.ft at 2700 rpm
Steering
Rack & pinion
Brakes
Hydraulic drum/drum
Wheels/tires
3.5x10in steel wheels. 5.2x10in Dunlop C41 cross-ply
Wheelbase
2.037m
Length
3.054m
Width
1.397m
Height
1.346m
Front Track
1.204m
Rear Track
1.166m
Weight
632kg
Fuel Tank
5.5 gallons (25l)
Load Capacity
0.17cu m
 
Performance
Maximum Speed
73mph
77mph
0-60mph
32.3s
24.1s
MPG
33mpg
35mpg
 

Transmission:

  • Manual:
    • 4th 3.765
    • 3rd 5.32
    • 2nd 8.18
    • 1st 13.66
  • Automatic (Option from 1967):
    • 4th 1.0-2.0
    • 3rd 1.46-2.92
    • 2nd 1.85-3.7
    • 1st 2.69-5.38

Suspension:

  • Front: Wishbones, rubber cones, Armstrong telescopic dampers (Hydrolastic from '64)
  • Rear: Trailing arms, rubber cones, Armstrong telescopic dampers (Hydrolastic from 1964)
Production:

Riley Elf MKI 1961-1962: 3,522
Riley Elf MKII 1963-1966: 17,816
Riley Elf MKIII 1966-1969: 9,574
Total : 30,912

Wolseley Hornet MKI 1961-1962: 3,166
Wolseley Hornet MKII 1963-1966: 16,785
Wolseley Hornet MKIII 1966-1969: 8,504
Total : 28,455

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Also See:


Lost Marques: Riley
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