Entitled 'lining the car' this picture from the factory records tells us that the car is nearing the completion of its construction. Soon it will transfer to the test facility based at the Ansty site for final scrutinising before dispatch to an Armstrong Siddeley Agency.
Following a chalk line and using the special long haired brush this elderly gentleman with many years of experience is entrusted with the task of creating what is commonly called the 'coachline' or 'pinstripe' to the 346 Sapphire.
Armstrong Siddeley over the years seem to have favoured a simple single line of pin-striping to enhance the body shape. Most cars of the 1930s had a waist level line which ran from the front edge of the driver's door finishing at the front edge of the passenger's door. After WWII when car production resumed the body design incorporated a raised flash running the length of the car on each side which often bore a contrasting colour. For the 346 the pinstripe found favour once again and ran from radiator to the bottom of the boot-lid.
The extract below is taken from an article by Bill Smith, a former editor of the ASOC Sphinx magazine when he recorded the memories of Reg Burke who was a long time employee of Armstrong Siddeley Motors.
"Hey Sid, what's Bill going to do to your beautiful paint? He's going to do what? Put
the gold coachlines on? This I must see." Bill, he of the rheumy eye and palsied hand.
shuffles over, in one hand his palette and a small tin of gold size but no small stick in the other and shaking like a leaf in the breeze, his long haired sable haired liner. He looks at the job, gets a little gold size on his liner and trembles it down towards the front door. Now the miracle - less than two inches from the door that trembling hand becomes steady as a rock and the coach line begins.
There it stands, painted, lined and waxed, a body fit for a king.