The Metric MPH

The 2016 Bonhams Amelia Island sale was hotly anticipated by Riley owners worldwide. The reason for all this interest was the sale of an MPH, namely the Metric MPH.

One of only around 16 produced the MPH is for many the pinacle of the Riley companies motor cars. The last time an MPH was sold on the open market was in 2009 when it achieved a world record for a Riley with a hammer price of £195,000.

I was in the very fortunate position to be attending the sale in the capacity of advising a Blue Diamond customer at the sale.

Bonhams certainly know how to put on an auction, and despite this only being their second year at Amelia the array of cars on sale was superb.

Never mind the vast array of exotic cars to drool at, the vintage hot water vessel was something else and could have easily graced the selling podium.

In addition to the MPH which was part of a collection of cars being sold by renown collector Willem Van-Huystee.

The sale also featured several desirable pre and post war cars.

A type 57 S Bugatti was the star of the show and the finish and attention to detail on the car were simply outstanding and would certainly make any new owner very happy.

Another star of the show was a 540K Mercedes-Benz.

This is the first 540K I have seen up close and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The sheer size and the build quality of the car were a delight to behold. The weight and closure of the door would be something that any manufacturer in 2016 would be proud of.

Although to put the finish of the car into context, in 1937 I estimated that this car cost over £3,000. An Autovia of the same period would retail for £975 !

The result of the auction has been published and the final sale priced discussed the world over.

Suffice to say a new world record price for a Riley was established. But far better than that our customer was succesful and the MPH was his

Some 48 hours after the sale the MPH was delivered to its new owner on the back of a 75 foot long transporter. I had the un-enviable task of backing the car onto the unloading ramp some 15 foot in the air. Not an experience I would like to repeat in a hurry!

The next two days were spent familiarising ourselves with the MPH and reviewing the car’s extensive history file. I am pleased to report that the car is a delight to drive and it is safe in the hands of a true Riley enthusiast.

Finally it was a moment to savour when during the inspection of the history file I found an illustrated parts list from Blue Diamond!