Museum Find: 1966 Riley Kestrel

1966 Riley Krestel Front Corner

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

Almost instantly after BMC experienced huge success with the Mini it began looking for ways to tap a larger market with its affordable economy car. The resulting product was the Austin 1100, which used the same engine A-series engine as the Mini. The Austin 1100 was larger and intended to appeal to an older audience. The car was a success and during its production life was badged under several names, including the Riley Kestrel name. This Kestrel was purchased by the current seller from a museum in New Zealand where it had been on display for the past 20 years. It is currently on eBay with a BIN price of $6,950 and is located in Charleston, SC.

1966 Riley Krestel Rear Corner

The Kestrel was mostly identical to the Austin, but featured a more grown up front end with a grill more like the Riley 4/72. The Austin 1100 and its rebadged siblings were true marvels of packaging ingenious, not an inch of the Kestrel’s chassis goes to waste. And the Pininfarina designed body is surprisingly handsome for a mini car.

1966 Riley Krestel Interior

This Kestrel is in fantastic shape and has 23,514 original miles on it. The interior is in immaculate condition, but we would get rid of the wool seat covers. This car would make a great driver that you could fit the whole family in. And with a BIN price less than $7k we wouldn’t feel terrible doing so.

1966 Riley Krestel Engine

The Kestrel came with the same 1100 cc engine that proved so reliable in the Austin. The seller says this one runs smooth and drives great. We would definitely go through the engine bay and give it a good service. Other than that this car should run great for many more years. And at under $7,000 this car is a bargain, there are maybe a handful of these in the States and shipping one over from Europe would cost at least half the price of this car. One with 70k miles on it sold a few years back for $5,500. We think the extra $1,500 or so is worth if for this museum piece. So if you’re in the market for a truly unique fuel efficient car, then give this one a look.

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