The UK  Motor Show of 1961 was the platform that BMC chose to launch the  Mark I  version of the  Riley Elf, a variation on their top selling Mini.

The Riley Elf  differed from the basic Mini in having an extended boot with tiny tail fins and the traditional vertical Riley radiator grille grafted on to the restyled nose/

Powered by the standard 848-cc transverse engine, the new Elf was the most expensive and luxurious  Mini variant on the market at the time, offering the potential buyer high-quality upholstery in a mixture of leather-substitute and soft pile cloth.

Other touches were gloveboxes on either side of the central instrument display and even a chrome-plated gear-lever and eminently practicable town transport.

Additional advantages over the BMC Mini were increased storage space, improved sound-proofing and a more up-market specification.

All of these attributes combined to provide opulent motoring comfort in a mini framework helping to justify the increased price ticket. 

Over the years the Elf's specification levels continued to advance.

From the autumn of 1963 the Elf was upgarded to become the Mk II, fitted with a 998cc engine which gave a little more speed and power. 

In October 1966, at the height of Mini Mania, Riley launched their Mk III version of the Elf,five years after the model first appeared on the scene,

All of the updates on the  Mk III were basically cosmetic, including eyeball" ventilation in the fascia, and a remote-control gearchange as used on the standard “ Minis.”

The Mark III Elf had evolved to become, with little doubt, the ultimate version of the compact,  considerably revised and cleaned-up.

The Elf’s unaesthetic external door hinges were replaced by concealed ones, with standard push-button door handles and winding windows, reshaped door panniers, fresh-air ventilation and a remote gear-change.

AP automatic transmission became optional from late 1967, and all-synchromesh manual gearbox was standard from mid-1968.

The Elf's driving character was like that of the Mini, but those who invested the extra money in acquiring one got a good deal for their money- a more luxurious car that was low key yet surprisingly powerful, quieter, roomier and with a more salubrious in-cabin environment.

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