1929 Riley Brooklands " The Treen Car"


A rare opportunity to acquire an ex-Works Riley Brooklands with extensive race history and which was also the prototype for the Treen Riley specials that raced during the 1950s.

Chassis 8049 was one of the Works cars prepared for the 1929 Irish Grand Prix at Phoenix Park, Dublin. The history file includes a photo from the Belfast Telegraph of Ulster T.T. winner, Kaye Don, in the car during practice for the Saorstat Cup race.  Following the Grand Prix it was returned to the factory and sold to Sir Ronald Gunter, a works driver for Bentley who also drove a Lagonda M45R in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1935.

In 1938 the car was sold, through Speed Models London, to John Treen.  In an interview for the Riley Register Bulletin Treen said:

The Ulster (VC 485) came from Pembridge Mews, where it lay alongside the 24 hours Ulster Aston Martin.. I got the best of the two cars, I always think.”

Whether that is the case or not, Treen campaigned the car extensively, including at the first ever Goodwood Members Meeting after the war.  Treen decided to build, for sale, a special built on a Brooklands chassis, and VC485 became the test bed and inspiration for what eventually became his “alcohol special”.

In 1950, Treen sold the car to his employee, Keith Gray, and it subsequently passed through the hands of Kenneth Ball, “Slim” Baring Gould and Andrew Oliver, before being acquired by Cyril Bradford in 1971.  Cyril Bradford undertook a full restoration of the car, and it would be owned and widely campaigned by the Bradford family for the next 49 years.  The history file contains a letter from John Treen to Cyril Bradford congratulating him on “a super job”. During the Bradfords’ ownership the car was initially looked after by renowned Riley specialist Nev Farquhar and later by Riley expert, Keith Pointing, who rebuilt the engine in 2016.  One of our clients acquired the car in 2020, and has competed at Goodwood, Silverstone and Shelsley Walsh since then. During his ownership, we have carried out minor fettling of the car, including a rebuild of the hydraulic braking system and an overhaul of the fuel system.

The car will be sold with the original 20 gallon fuel tank and accompanying lightened cradle that survive from its Works days. In addition, it comes with an ex-Vic Gillow racing engine that was fitted to the car when it was acquired by Cyril Bradford.  There are six lever arch files of documents evidencing the car’s racing exploits, all meticulously catalogued by the most recent owner – the list of documents itself runs to 15 pages!  VC 485 has a current VSCC Buff Form, is ready to continue its racing career and would be widely welcomed at leading events around the world.