The woman who teamed with Pat Moss Carlsson to form one of the most formidable teams in international rallying during the late ’50s and early ’60s, Ann Wisdom Riley, has passed away at the age of 81.
While they dominated the Ladies Class, the duo was also regularly competitive in the overall standings as well, particularly as outright winners of the four-day/four-night Liege-Rome-Liege Rally in 1960 with an Austin-Healey 3000. In 1962 they teamed to take a Mini Cooper S to overall honors in the Tulip Rally.
Riley initially satisfied her competitive urges by show-jumping horses, a passion she shared with Miss Moss. They initially met at a British Racing Drivers Club dinner, and after working together with horses for a while took up rallying together. They won the European Ladies Championship in 1958.
In 1962 Ann married Peter Riley and later that year, just after her Tulip Rally success, she announced her retirement from the sport to start a family. She did return for a couple of events in 1963, finishing 2nd overall with Moss Carlsson in the East African Safari Rally, but soon put the sport behind her. Returning initially to equine competitions, she eventually took up the breeding of commercial cattle in the 1980s and 1990s, finally establishing a pedigree Hereford cattle herd in the 2000s, which won numerous prizes both as a herd and with individual animals.
Interestingly, both Pat and Ann died on the same day of the year, October 14, exactly seven years apart. Ironically, seven was the lucky number of both ladies, and they always tried to include it in the number plate or competition number of their cars.
She is survived by her husband Peter, their daughter Jenny and son Tim, to whom Vintage Racecar extends its sincerest sympathies.