TVR might have left Blackpool for good, but another British sports car firm could be reborn in the Lancashire town.
A report in the Blackpool Gazette suggests that Riley sports cars could once again be built – this time in Blackpool. William Riley, a member of the eponymous automotive family, has been in talks with Blackpool Council over a six-acre site where he is contemplating building a hand-made sports car.
Riley said to the Blackpool Gazette that he would bring back the Riley name, which died in 1969, but rather than being based on TVRs, his cars would be based on former MGs, specifically the MG SV coupe.
The SV was developed by MG Sport & Racing; a separate division of MG group that went into administration last year. Its cars and assets have already largely been sold off. It is thought, however, that the administrator still holds the rights to the MG Sports & Racing name, as distinct from MG.
Riley would seek to build up to 1800 cars a year by 2010, with up to 100 former TVR employees re-employed at the new firm.
"I'm not a Russian businessman,” Riley told the Blackpool Gazette. “I'm a cautious and serious British businessman who was born into the motor trade.”
We'd be interested to see exactly where production of a re-born SV would take place. When MG built it, the chassis was made in Modena, Italy, where it was mated to a carbonfibre body from the Isle of Wight. The body and chassis were then transported to Longbridge, where they were mated to the Ford-sourced engines and gearboxes from America.