Category Archives: Riley

BMC outside the UK

By John F. Quilter

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Editors Note: John wrote this in response to the recent article posted on the Siam Di Tella which was a BMC hybrid made in Argentina. The article can be found here.

Here’s a little info on two BL products not made in the UK.

British Leyland and its predecessor BMC had many overseas operations over the decades. Here are two products of their overseas affiliates. The BMC J4 van, which was also badged as a Morris and Austin in the UK, was made in Spain by their operation there known as Sava.

This operation also made many of Leyland larger trucks as well. The J4 van, and there was a pickup and mini bus versions as well came after the J2 and before the Sherpa. Much of the sheet metal on the Sherpa was carried over but the engine was moved forward under a short bonnet rather than being between the seats as it was in the J4. The engine was BMC’s 1622cc petrol engine or a 1500cc diesel. Both part of BMC’s “B” series four cylinder engine range. This van is apparently made by Ixo and mine is done in a BMC service livery from a dealer in France. There are other liveries showing up on eBay as well. The J4 makes a good shelf item along with my Sherpa van (plus pickup and mini bus custom creations) and J2 by Oxford Diecast.

The second vehicle is from TRAX in Australia, a Morris Major Elite. This unique to Australia car, was essentially the centre section of a Riley 1.5 or Wolseley 1500 but Leyland Australia added a longer boot for more capacity and a longer front clip perhaps to balance off the look. It also used the 1622cc engine which was a step up from the UK produced Riley and Wolseley. The model is in TRAX’s limited range and is in resin. Available in two colours, the blue and white being one often seen back when the cars were new. The photo below shows the Elite along with its cousins the Wolseley and Riley both done in Brooklin’s Lansdowne range.


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John Day Vehicle Scenics 1948 Riley 2.5 Drophead Coupé

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

It has been some time since I have completed a John Day Vehicle Scenics (JDVS) kit  but the nice weather here in the UK has encouraged me to complete one I bought some months ago. This kit has had the master updated by Daryle Toney who owns JDVS and so  now consists of a body, a steering wheel on a ‘column’, a base with seats moulded in, and separate wheels that fit neatly to the base with a pin on the wheel and small hole in the chassis. This was first Vehicle Scenics model that I saw made up, and it was on a club stand at a Modellex many years ago. With its SRV03 code number it was one of the earliest JDVC kits made.   I have had to wait till now to buy one as it sold out quickly and remained out of production for many years.

The Riley RM series was one of the last cars developed by the Riley company before it was fully absorbed into the Nuffield organisation and moved on to the Gerald Palmer designed Pathfinder. The RMA was a 1.5 Litre engined saloon (also available from JDVS as SRV70), the RMB a 2.5 Litre saloon version, the RMC a 2.5 litre two door roadster, and the RMD (as modelled here) the 2.5 Litre drophead. They were all amongst the earliest “new designs” to be presented after the Second World War though in truth the chassis, engine and much else was largely inherited from the pre-war 1.5/2.5 litre Riley Kestrel.

The RM series was originally made in Coventry, but in 1949 production was moved to the MG works at Abingdon.

The kit all fits together well now the master has been tidied up and improved. The overall shape of the car has been caught well and the hood and hood irons are neatly modelled.

The interior is basic. Seats are moulded neatly but without any door cards the side is very blank and there is a large gap between rear seat and side creating a hole showing the ground through part of the wheel arch.

At the rear the handles, hinges, lights and bumpers are all moulded in well and the hood sits nicely.  To the side the side stripe and hood irons are well reproduced.

Inside the very simple dashboard moulding echoes the real vehicle without being detailed or completely accurate in shape. No floor mounted gear change is fitted and the steering column has no levers fitted either.

Whilst this car is primarily aimed at Railway Modellers it  complements Oxford Diecast‘s 1:76 pre-war Riley Kestrel  Saloon or the even earlier Barry Lester 1:76 BKL3 1935 Riley Kestrel white metal kit (another kit I have waiting to be made!). It also complements the Parker Models Pathfinder which tells the story of the next phase of life of the Riley badge in this scale.


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