Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,884 pages of information and 232,615 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Autovia

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Autovia was a short lived brand of British car from Coventry existing from 1935 to 1938 with production starting in 1936. The venture was ambitious and even included setting up a school for chauffeurs. The cars were expensive and it was a market sector well served by other companies. 44 cars were made.

The company was created by Riley as a subsidiary to produce large luxury cars and a new factory was built. A 2,849 cc V-8, triple camshaft engine was developed from existing Riley engine blocks and coupled to either a pre-selector gearbox bought from Armstrong Siddeley Motors or a conventional four speed manual unit. Drive was to the rear wheels through a live axle with worm gear final drive.

Three body types were advertised, a Sports saloon, a Special Saloon with extra leg room at the expense of boot space and a limousine mostly built by Arthur Mulliner. The car was also available as a bare chassis.

The venture failed when Riley went bankrupt. When they were taken over by Lord Nuffield, and later merged into the Nuffield Organisation, Autovia was not resurrected.

There are thought to be eight of these cars still existing.

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