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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Interesting Cars with Interesting Histories – 4

Our subject of interest this week is the now ultra- rare 20hp Fabric Bodied, ‘Cranwell’ Saloon pictured below in this sales brochure of 1966.

The history of this car starts way before this date with its manufacture in 1928 and first purchase in March of that year by Mr, A.C. Caldicott, through University Motors, Head Office, Piccadilly, London, who were major distributers for London and the Home Counties. They were also dealers in quality cars and much associated with the MG brand.

After some four and a half years the car then passed into the hands of Herr. S.H. Sorensen, believed to be a Norwegian Butcher, on 19th of September 1932 who kept the car some thirty three years until 1965.  The car by now was obviously showing its age as the next owner restored it during his retirement before passing it on as a gift to Fru.  Mathesin living at that time in the village of Baerum Verk just to the west of Oslo.  This good lady would appear to have been an enthusiastic classic car owner as she joined the Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club and determined to attend the National Event of 1989, which that year was held at Cowley Manor in Gloustershire, some 600 miles away. Hardly surprising therefore, that she qualified for two ASOC awards, The ‘Longest Distance Travelled by a Pre War Car’ and the ‘Oldest on the Field’.  On her return the car was lightly used and well stored before coming again on to the market as indicated above in 1996.

This time the car was purchased by ASOC members Michael and Ciceley Darley and repatriated to the UK. Again the passing of time required the car to be worked on, especially in the mechanical department.

In the year2004 Michael trailered the car to the National weekend event to show fellow enthusiasts the progress made thus far.

Sadly Michael was not spared to complete the tasks and the car passed to the fifth and present owner Geoff MacDonald. The two pictures below show the tremendous efforts that he has made to complete the full restoration and the end result is a tribute to the car and a credit to Geoff.

Brief stats for the car.

Manufactured March 1928.        20Hp on short chassis.

Five seat, Four Light fabric (Weymann type) saloon body.  Benefits are ‘its  silence in running and ease with which it may be cleaned’.

Engine : - The new, Monobloc, 6 cylinder engine having a Capacity of 2872 cc   introduced at this time proved to give good hill climbing characteristics even in top gear. Easy cruising at 50mph, and achieved a top speed of 60/65mph.

Price ex works was £475.00.


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