359YUY has been subject to meticulous mechanical restoration over recent years, with the first invoice on file dating back to 2009. These invoices cover a wide range of works, what these, of course, don’t show, is the care and attention taken by the dedicated hands that have worked on the car during these years. From the 80-year-old braking system, which has had all areas of wear removed, the full re-wire in cloth braided cable along with period marshal headlights to the pork pie rear lamps. The engine and transmission have been subjected to further mechanical enhancement and replacement of worn parts. The rear axle is bestowed with new CWP 4.77 ratio, new half-shafts along with all bearings being replaced, and correct new shock absorbers fitted. Moving forward the Pre-select gearbox has been rebuilt by specialist Simon Bish. The engine has also seen a rebuild utilising Riley register supplied pistons, modern racing rods, micro polished original crank. Kent Cam supplied new Sprite profile cams, fitted with venire timing gears so to get the value-timing spot on. The head has had some gas flow work along with larger valves being fitted. The sump has been baffled to reduce oil surge whiles in competitive environments. The front axle has been completely re-built with new kingpins along with associated bushes and again correct new shock absorbers.
The Riley TT sprites along with the MG K3 are motoring icons from the 1930’s. The former’s circuit racing dominance is inequitable on both international and home stages; From the Belfast Ards TT (Tourist Trophy) from where the TT Sprite takes its name, to the French GP at Montlhery along with Le-Mans and not forgetting the many home events such as Brooklands, all which made the TT Sprite and its drivers legends in motoring history books.
Today its fair to say out of the eight remaining cars, only a couple of the original TT Sprite’s are in regular competition use and seldom seen regularly at club level events. This is a real shame however we’re thankful this isn’t the fate for the Sprite’s blood relatives, the ERA’s, which are the backbone of many Club event, as all cars are built to be used and enjoyed by spectators along with fellow competitors alike. It would be a delight to see more original Sprites back on the competitive tracks to race alongside their old playmates!
This being the case, I take great pleasure in bringing to market a car that helps fill that void. So many specials claim to be a ‘TT sprite replicas with many failing with the aesthetics and true lines of original factory competition department cars. Pleasingly this car is on another level; her body has been meticulously crafted by one of the finest in the industry, who himself has previously been a custodian of a genuine team car. Having a correct original body to work from leaves little room for error or need of artistic license. Like the two of the works cars AVC 19&20, this replica is bestowed with a 22T chassis number, she is registered as a Riley Sports and FIA HTP papers have been applied for, Le Mans classic is this year!
On her first outing at a VSCC 359YUY event took a second place award on handicap without any of the normal teething issues with recently restored cars. More road miles have been covered since, again without issue. The owner is now happy with his work and considers her fit for a new custodian. Like many of our clients he takes his enjoyment from restoring or developing a car to its best and then handing them on for others to enjoy, and with another project is in the offing, this 12/4 TT Sprite is looking for a new home.
He states that the engine has been tuned to a tractable point, and still very useable on the open road, and going the next state of tune could make this car more track competitive with less open road appeal, but that is your choice to develop further. As you would expect, I have spent some time and miles behind the wheel of 359YUY before completing this account, and I’5m happy to say the car performs strongly with plenty of low down grunt and revving out with that unmistakable Riley exhaust note.