A Rare British Automobile.

armstromng siddeley001002003My story of the car in the photos started way back in the early 1970’s. A young man called me from Moncton NB to ask if I had ever heard of an Armstrong Siddeley, I had and was reasonably familiar with the make, though I had never owned one. This car was for sale, not running as the gas tank was on the back seat. It was described as a 1959 Sapphire 346 a three/four litre 6 cyl and he was asking $600. I did have a look at the car but decided it would cost far more than I could afford to put it back on the road. Plus rare as it was, it was not a car that would sell well in my part of the world. Approximately ten years later I received another phone call from a guy at the Western end of the Island. He wondered if I had any parts for a Armstrong Siddeley or could I work on it. I answered no to both questions. Would I be interested in buying it, price was $4000. once again I said no. Then in the mid eighties I came across the car sitting in a driveway near Borden PEI. I couldn’t resist and stopped to have a look, the owner wanted to sell at what he saw as a reasonable price of $6000. I drove off into the sunset. Later talking with a friend from Ontario the subject of the Armstrong came up. He was interested and asked me to investigate and see if it was still for sale and could it be shipped to Ontario. Back to Borden once more, the car was still sitting where I’d last seen it, however things had changed, the husband was gone and his wife just wanted rid of the old car in her driveway. I purchased it for $800 and had it trailered home. Then arranged shipping for the cost of another $800 and  at the end of the eighties this once fine automobile disappear down my driveway for the last time. Since then I learned it went to a Armstrong collector and was under full restoration. I hope that is the case because this was a fine car and deserved to be preserved. I never confirmed its history but it was believed to have been purchased by the British Trade Commissioner in Montreal. The radiator grille sported a Sphinx on the rad cap. This was fitting with the Armstrong Siddeley claim and its logo, “Silent as the Sphinx”. I have posted three photos of the car plus one of a show condition model, it will give you an idea of how nice this car once was. The company failed in August 1960, the parts supply was bought out by Rolls Royce and later sold to the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club. The firm was connected with the aircraft industry, first merging with with Hawker Aircraft in 1935 (Hawker Siddeley) and in 1960 Bristol Aero Engines. Just another sad story of a failing British auto industry.

God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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3 Responses to A Rare British Automobile.

  1. Tony Miles says:

    Nice Car, My Brother in Law, (82) started working for Armstrong Siddley after returning from the Suez Crisis we all lived in Coventry at that time. After it’s amalgamation with Rolls Royce Aero Division, my Brother in Law moved down to Filton with them and worked until retirement as an accountant. Living in Wotton-under-Edge in the Cotswalds and still lives there. After it’s departure from Coventry, we could stand in our garden and hear the Jet Engine test tunnels at Brandon some 8 to 10 miles away.
    My other connection is Hampton Ferry Evesham where I used to stay for weekends in the 50’s, It was also a Market Garden, Ernest Huxley owned one, but it was never looked after, and eventually they tore the back seat out and used it to haul vegetables down to the wholesale market in Evesham. It ended up pulling the Harrows across fields. Even I at the tender age of 12 or 13 thought what a waste of a beautiful car.

  2. irishroverpei says:

    My brother who served with the RAF during the war settled in Bristol after demob and started working for Rolls Royce Aero Div.

  3. Tony Miles says:

    Small world ennit!

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