Restoring, Reviving and Rediscovering – 1935 Riley Imp, part 8 (Gearbox)

The vast majority of Riley Imp’s were fitted with the tried and tested ‘Wilson’ Pre-selector gearbox. Wirth cockpit space at a real premium, the pre-selector choice was a sensible one.

These offered a ‘seamless’ gear change and simplicity of use, albeit with a significant weight penalty.

The first batches of gearboxes were made by ENV, with later Riley’s using the Armstrong Siddeley box. This article will not be covering the technical aspects (or the driving methodology required to ‘use’ a pre-selector) – that will come in a later blog!

For those who can’t wait some more details can be found here

The following pictures show exactly how complicated the pre-selector gearbox is when stripped down. They also serve as a great reminder that the space required for a car in pieces is several times that required for it all together!

As previously discussed the early stages of the Imp’s restoration were carried out pre my involvement with Blue Diamond.

The gearbox work was enstrusted to a local northern specialist, his pre-war Hillclimb record at VSCC Prescott no doubt assisted in setting things up!

The picture on the left shows the gearbox before being removed from the car. It also gives some idea of the complex arrangement of levers to translate the selector quandrant inputs on the drivers side to the box itself!!

The picture on the right shows the box after cleaning and restoring, it is amazing what some elbow grease can do to a casting.

Hopefully the above has kept you interested in the restoration.

The next blog will cover the engine.

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