1937 Riley 12/4 ‘The Bigley Special’

  • Registration no. BDG 822
  • Chassis no. 56722829
  • Engine no. 35-2856


Spotted at the launch of this year’s Goodwood motor sport events, ‘The Bigley Special’ is a truly remarkable car of great character, reflected in the many ‘Spirit of the Rally’ awards received.

Well known and admired throughout Europe, it is almost certainly the most extensively rallied and used Riley there is.

Consistently driven hard with phenomenal reliability it has often beaten far more powerful machinery.

The car has been maintained throughout by the leading marque specialists, Blue Diamond Services, who have copies of all bills and are happy to discuss any aspect of the car.

Originally built as a trials car, the car was restored 15 years ago. The chassis is from a 1937 Riley, powered by a 1498cc engine. Using a 1920‘s Talbot scuttle and body. The wings are from a Riley MPH, whilst the bonnet and radiator are Riley Monaco items. These give the car its current purposeful look.

  • The 1934/5 engine (12/4) has been modified for reliability and robustness to Riley Sprite spec with shell big ends and white metal main bearings ( best combination). While improved water flow for cooling into the head overcomes Riley’s propensity for burning no 4 exhaust valve. The engine was completely rebuilt and regularly maintained by Blue Diamond
  • The gearbox is fitted with close ratios to overcome the usual big gap between 2nd and 3rd
  • High ratio back axle and large diameter brakes
  • A major body-off chassis rebuild and rewiring were undertaken in 2001
  • Also available are, a spare close ratio gear box, o/d, 3 wheels and tyres and the original headlights


Competition Record

  • 9 Le Jogs completed – more than any other car. Including three Marque Team wins and Ist pre-war car in 2005
  • 4 Rallye des Alpes pre-1950 wins. Event show car at Stoneleigh Park Show
  • 2 Classic Marathons to Biaritz and Cannes with two third places
  • Many UK VSCC events, Targa Rusticana and other UK rallies
  • Some VSCC racing and, before current ownership, trials and the Pomeroy Trophy

The car has finished all events, bar the first Measham Rally (a freak problem) and been driven to and from all these events. In addition ‘The Bigley’ has undertaken several high Alpine tours.

Documentation comprises a Swansea V5C, current FIVA and VSCC papers, recent MoT.

Offers invited

An ardent supporter of charity Odyssey, the current owner is donating a large proportion of the sale proceeds to the charity. Ross & Ewing will not be charging any commission.

Odyssey is a charity which uses the stimulus of the outdoor environment to enhance the lives of people with cancer. It provides 5-day activity programmes which encourage participants to achieve what they had considered impossible, thus restoring confidence, energy and self-esteem – allowing them to move beyond their cancer diagnosis www.odyssey.org.uk

For further information please contact James or Marcus…:

James Ewing 07802 347727 james@ross-ewing.co.uk

Marcus Ross 07799 893304 marcus@ross-ewing.co.uk

t. 01428 770015

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