The Riley Kestrel, launched in 1965 was the last of the BMC ADO 16 (Austin/Morris 1100) types to be launched, bringing the total of derivatives to six.

The title "Kestrel" was taken from a  famous old Riley model that was a top seller in the Thirties.  

As was the case with all of the ADO 16 bodied BMCs,  the Riley Kestrel was powered by transversely-mounted A-Series engines, with front-wheel drive, Hydrolastic independent suspension at the front and rear and front-wheel disc brakes.

The 1098-cc transverse engine used twin SU 1152 carburettors to produce 55 bhp net at 5,500 rpm.

Principally distinguishable from its stable mates by the Riley grille, the Kestrel was only ever built as a four-door saloon and turned out to be a most attractive little luxury car with a useful performance edge over the standard 1100s.

Walnut veneer was a feature of in the interior while extra instrumentation befitting the vehicle’s luxury status included a tachometer.

Unlike other ADO derivatives, the Kestrel initially powered by a 1075 cc engine, although the 1300 version followed soon after.

The 1100 Mk II was dropped in February 1968.

After the departure of 1100cc engines, the 1300s engines were boosted to provide 65bhp, while all-synchromesh transmission was fitted as standard from that year.

From September 1968, the engine was further up-rated, to 70bhp,

At which point, with BMC still struggling to get their marketing act right, the Kestrel 1300 officially became the Riley 1300 Mk II.

To celebrate this change of title, the Riley 1300 was given an attractively figured walnut dashboard fascia, rocker switches in place of the old toggles and trimmed generally similar to the parallel MG labelled version.

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