We all know George Riley largely based on his 4-banger OHV conversions and rightfully so. But in fact, George Riley’s contributions towards the development of high performance on land, sea and in the air could fill a book; and they have. Dan Iandola compiled a stack of Riley documentation and tied it together in his “George Riley Racing Scrapbook”. For those with interest, it is a worthwhile addition to the library, and records the exploits of this original thinker. But I want to start a conversation about his less known work with the Ford V8, both his OHV conversion for the 21 stud, and his fascinating SOHC using Ford internals. First, many HAMBers are familiar with the Riley OHV thanks to the ’32 V8 roadster owned by Don Orosco. Hopefully we can get someone involved with that build, and this engine on this thread. Here is an original installation. <O</O> <O <ORiley borrowed the valvetrain from the 36/7 Buick which were mounted on shafts, a thrifty use of a proven design. Strangely, many of these early conversions, including Riley’s did not take advantage of the opportunity to provide individual exhaust ports for each cylinder. In addition, Riley chose the less popular 10mm size spark plug, and the angle the plugs were mounted placed the connections close enough for a potential crossfire. <O</O> <O</O> The heads never caught on according to Riley, very few sets were completed, and as the 21 stud design V8 made way for the 24 stud, development wasn’t continued. Riley was not alone as other early OHV conversions fell by the wayside as well, with Zora Arkus-Duntov’s later post-war “ARDUN” hemi heads for the flathead emerging as the best developed and remembered.<O</O <O The heads were used with some success however, with some attempts on the lakes. The Spaulding Bros. ran this blown OHV Riley to 132 mph in 1941. Gus Rollins took his Riley OHV AV8 to 116.58 at Muroc in ’41. All in all the Riley heads, like several others, while not successful were an important part of the then truly exciting frontier to achieve higher and higher speeds. Next up, Riley’s SOHC V8.