WHAT IS A ELF OR HORNET?
After the Mini was launched in August 1959, BMC started work on an up market 'booted' saloon version. This was first seen in 1961 as the Wolseley Hornet, and Riley Elf, as in early pre-war models, the Elf was the sporty version.
They are based very much on the mini, but have a higher quality of interior trim and more external chrome than the original mini. They have a larger boot and a distinctive front that is very different from the mini's.
The noticeable difference between the Elf and the Hornet is the front grille.
The Hornet has a badge at the top on the grille, which is illuminated with the lights.
The Elf does NOT have this illuminated badge.
Over its 8 years, it had 2 minor facelifts, the first of which, in 1963, saw the original Mini 850 engine replaced by the Cooper's 998cc. This gave added speed, and better performance. The Mark III, launched in 1966, featured wind-up windows, and integral Door hinges - features not seen on the Mini until 1969.
The car was killed off, in both guises, with the axing of all Riley Models in 1969, and was indirectly replaced by the Mini Clubman Models. In total, 30,912 Riley Elfs were built.
During the same period 28,455 Hornets built.
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