Riiva Design – “Perfection Personified”

Riiva Design may be the new kids on the block, but they have already found their own niche in our notoriously hard to impress little world ,with some seriously stunning air install work. The majority of the projects taken on by Henry are totally unique, and are something we’ve never seen before. The Riiva team certainly know how to build some incredible demo cars. Having to make the decision whether to take a Rocket Bunny E36 or a super sublime Audi A6 to work in the morning isn’t something we envy Henry having to do. Both eons apart in what they are and what they do, but equally as obsessive in the detail and build quality. Jealous? Us?

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Henry Gilbert is the head honcho over at Riiva Design. He’s famously laid back. So much so, you could call him horizontal. But beneath the calm exterior, a Colin McRae esque fire burns brightly. Henry not only won his class in the seriously competitive Mini Challenge, but has gone on to be a front runner in the highly prestigious VW Cup. That’s serious credentials.

The Audi A6 2.0TDi is the flagship of the Riiva armada. The big Dakota Grey saloon’s interior is finished flawlessly in sumptuous blood red Nappa leather, in surprisingly subtle contrast with original S Line trim. The original seats weren’t enough for Henry’s exacting standards, so in went a set of RS4 Recaros. Airlift’s latest 3H management system completes the box ticking, along with one of the most well thought out boot installs we’ve come across.

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The finishing touch has to be those incredible 21×10″ Rotiform CCV’s. Inspired.


If you’ve not seen this in the flesh, it’s worth checking out our video here:

For those mornings that Henry doesn’t feel like being cosseted in heated Nappa leather Recaros, there’s this; a Rocket Bunny kitted BMW 323. Nope, this isn’t one of the Players’ cars, made famous by Carl Taylor- this E36 was built completely in house by Henry and his brother.



The transformation is nothing short of drastic, and the guys at Riiva have yet again pulled it off perfectly. With the help of a bespoke Airlift system, the Rotiform ROC’s had to be made in what Henry describes as “stupid sizes” to enable them to poke at the rear with those massive arches riveted on. Insane.


The interior needed nothing more than a good detail and a few tweeks. The standard leather was swapped for some Airlift inspired Cobra buckets, and the rear seat removed to make way for the air install. The controller for the air has been seamlessly integrated into the center console, and, along with the gear gaiter, trimmed in subtle but classy black alcantara.

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It’s been a great year for Henry and the whole Riiva team. Nothing left but to see the article out with dignity and respect…



Images by Matt Clifford

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