1965 Riley Elf

Sold: £6,600

Manufacturer:  Riley
First Registered:  1965
Model:  Elf
Registration No:  UK Registered Applied For
Mileometer:  93,878
Chassis No:  RA257318150
MOT:  Exempt
Colour:  Maroon

The Riley Elf and its sister car, the Wolseley Hornet, were introduced in 1961, with a view to making the Mini appeal to more conservative buyers who preferred the layout of a three-box saloon. At the rear, the cute boot and finned tail lamps, from the BMC ‘Farina’ saloons, gave the Elf a completely different look to the Mini, while at the front it got an upright grille and an internal bonnet release. Production ceased in 1969, a whole 31 years before the final Mini left the production line, making them rare, quirky and desirable classics today.

This example was supplied new in South Africa in 1965, and was imported into the UK by the vendor for sale. As with most South African cars, it has had the benefit of a dry climate. It has been repainted in its original burgundy, with a retrimmed red interior. There isn’t much in the way of service history with the Riley, largely because it isn’t South African custom to retain bills and receipts in the same way that UK owners often do. There is a copy of the South African registration document and a few other minor documents. All of the import duties have been paid and the NOVA has been completed. All that’s left is to complete an application for first registration – something that Barons are able to assist with if required, as it is a very straightforward process.

The Riley was given a repaint and retrim before it left South Africa and presents beautifully, it’s brilliantly solid underneath and doesn’t appear to have ever been welded. All of the body seams are in excellent condition, and save for a small dent on the front valance below the bumper, the body is excellent with no damage. Most of the chrome and trim is good, although the hubcaps bear some battle scars. Being a Mk 1, this one also has pull-up interior door handles and sliding windows, both sought-after features of the earlier models.

Inside, the Elf is a lot more decadent than a standard Mini. It has a full-width wooden dash with a functional glove compartment, and while the dials are still mounted in the Mini’s iconic central shroud, a wooden panel sits across them. It’s as well-appointed as a larger and more luxurious car of the era, which was very much the point when the Elf was new. The interior has recently been retrimmed in red and has new carpets to match the original colour scheme, though the seats look very fresh and will probably benefit from a bit of use to make them look suitably worn in. It’s a lovely place to sit, though, while another nice feature is the long and spindly ‘magic wand’ gear lever seen on Mini Mk 1s. The Elf and Hornet are among the rarer Mini variants and good ones are highly prized by collectors, so this rot-free South African import is bound to appeal. It’s a great example in very good overall condition.

Note: This description is provided by the vendor and unless otherwise stated is 'Not Verified' by Barons or any person employed by Barons. Prospective purchasers are advised to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any statements made, whether they be statements of fact or opinion.

Want the latest news from Barons?

Sign up to our mailing list and be the first to get all the latest news, auction entries and offers from Barons.