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The Nelson Photo News



Road Test Riley Elf

The Riley Elf is one of the British Motor Corporation's de luxe minis. It varies considerably from the other minis both in body styling, power unit and interior finish. Small fins have been added to the Elf's body at the rear and these are quite functional in that they help increase the boot capacity considerably (below left). The engine of 998cc is larger than that of the normal mini (848 cc) and I found it nippy. The interior changes include full door panels, full carpeting of the floor and a fully-wooded fascia including two glove compartments.

My most lasting impression was the Elf's excellence as a woman's car, or for anyone doing a lot of town running. The gearbox is positive and the floor-mounted lever nicely placed for the driver. The front, forward-folding seats are firm and in the back there is a reasonable amount of room for the legs of an average sized man. The Elf gave me. a good, firm ride, if a little noisy on the coarse chip road. On a more even surface, however, it was quite quiet. The steering is precise, with the usual mini-characteristic of understeering with power on and over-steering with power off. The braking is good. The interior finish was spoilt by two big puckers in the rubber around the rear window. It is obvious that the makers have used every inch of space usefully, with additional map and glove pockets at both front and rear.

Nelson Agents: Waimea Motors Ltd. Price, $2080.


John Wells, our "Road Test" writer, is an A grade mechanic and a principal of the newly-established firm of Roy Watson Ltd., St.Vincent Street. He has had 15 years in the trade and is a committee member of the Nelson Car Club.