The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2018 | NEC Birmingham

Riley takes to the Discovery Live Stage for Built to Last project at NEC Classic

The theme of this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, is ‘Built to Last’, and the 2018 restoration on the Discovery Live Stage will be in tune and on topic as a 1951 Riley RMA is brought back to life.

Held at Birmingham’s NEC from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 November, once again the team from Practical Classics will be leading the restoration of this quintessential British Classic, aiming to have the car up and running for the first time in over 40 years.

The car, known as ‘CFB’ is itself a survivor having been put into storage decades ago by previous owner and Practical Classics reader Ron Jones.

Editor Danny Hopkins explains: “I first spoke to Ron in the summer of 2015. He sounded like a decent sort and certainly had decent taste in cars.  Ron had a 1951 RMA, a car he’d owned since 1972 and it needed a new home. Ron’s late father (an ex Rolls Royce engineer) bought the car as a potential father/son project, but unfortunately he passed away before the project could get under way.

Ron told Danny a familiar story: work, family, house repairs and illness obstructed the work that the car needed. It sat in a barn for 40 years. Until Ron read about Danny’s search for a Riley and got in touch.

Ron told me about CFB 877 and offered it to me with a barn full of spares and body parts to support the work needed” Danny explains. “The deal was struck there and then.”

Between the first meeting and returning with a trailer to pick up ‘CFB’, Danny joined the Riley RM Club. With an extensive spare parts division, it has to be one of the best on the scene – they will be with RMA project live on stage in November too.

As he trailered ‘CFB’ to the PC workshop, Danny made a simple commitment: “My first trip in the newly restored ‘CFB’ would be to Ron’s place for a reunion.”

It was definitely built to last and thanks to Ron and his father, and the Riley company for building a car that has lasted so well, the car is ready to be brought back to life.” says Danny. “We’ll be rebuilding the car live on stage at the NEC in November and I’m hoping Ron will be able to attend and do us the honour of starting it for the first time.” The whole weekend will act as a tribute to Ron and his dad.

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show returns to Birmingham’s NEC from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 November. For more information as well as all the ticket prices and booking details, visit