William Riley Junior founded the Riley Motor Company towards the end of the Nineteenth century.
Riley’s earliest origins were in the rapidly growing pedal cycle industry that was sweeping Britain.
Before getting into the bicycle industry, Riley proved that he was no slouch in the business world, having accumulated considerable wealth in the textile industry and was interested in diversifying his business activities.
Despite being involved in several commercial enterprises, Riley also found the time to father quite a few offspring, most of them sons.
One of these sons, by the name of Percy, joined the Riley Motor Company at its formation immediately after leaving school at the age of fifteen.
It soon transpired Percy was not really enchanted with two-wheel transport, having developed a secret love for four-wheel cars.
Percy Riley had aspirations to build a car of his own, a task he succeeded in completing by the time he was just sixteen years old, using some imaginative and innovative engineering techniques.
While Percy was dabbling in the motor car industry; thankfully the cycle business was progressing very well, enough to entice the elder of the William Riley’s oldest son Victor to join the family business.
While Victor was reportedly in passive favour of Percy’s plans, he opted to devote his energies and talents to continue building the Riley Cycle Company, mainly as his father was adamant against investing any money in the construction of four-wheel cars.