Restoring a 1935 Riley Imp


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Bringing any car back to life is a great privilege, but the opportunity to bring a Riley Imp back to life is an honour. The team has been working on restoring a 1935 Riley Imp and we’re thrilled to bring you on our journey through this blog.

A bit of history about the car..

The car has had an interesting past, nothing prior to 1950 can be found as the records have been destroyed. However, in the 1960s, the car was bought by an engineer and businessman in Blackburn, Mr. Jepson.

He used the Imp for a while and then for reasons unknown, decided to take the car off the road. It then spent almost 40 years in storage on the third floor of his mill in Blackburn.

During it’s early years in storage, Mr. Jepson would happily show visitors the car and talk about it. As the number increased, he presumably grew tired of the questions and interruption as subsequent callers were told the car had been sold.

In the early 1990s after having retired, Mr. Jepson decided to embark on bringing the Imp back to life. This work was carried out by a local garage, but sadly the work was not all done with originality or Riley expertise in mind. This was very true of a lot of restorations carried out in the 1990s.

On Mr. Jepson’s passing, the car briefly was used by his grandson before appearing in a Bonhams auction a couple of years later.

At this stage, the car was bought by a well-known collector and became part of his ‘fleet’. This large choice of cars meant that the Imp saw little use. When purchased by our customer, the car had only done 750 miles since its restoration some 20 years previously!

We’ll post updates weekly so be sure to check back in to see our progress.

Restoring, Reviving and Rediscovering – it is what Blue Diamond Riley Services Limited are all about.