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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Interesting cars with interesting Histories.  6




Mike Wylie, the Ulsterman who owned the car pictured above, once remarked that he could not remember a day when there was not an Armstrong Siddeley car in his life. Perhaps hardly surprising, as his father’s garage in Belfast was the main distributor for this make of car.


Mike’s interest from an early age was captured by the marque and he became an authority on many of the models which passed through the garage and those in his own ownership. Over time he became interested in Classic/ Historic car racing and attended prime venues such as Silverstone.




In September 2004 we find him at the Goodwood Revival event anxious to enter his 346 Sapphire, fitted with the later larger and more powerful Star Sapphire  engine, in the St. Mary’s  trophy race for classic cars.  After the trial circuits we find Mike and his team in the paddock fettling the car.



Click on images to enlarge.


The tannoy bursts into life and the competitors are invited to take their places on the grid. A peculiarity of this two part race is that the first 20 minutes section of the race is driven by a ‘professional’ racing driver, on this occasion the lot has fallen to Derek Bell. Though not leading the field the car acquits itself well, but after an incident on the first circuit requiring the track to be cleared the race is brought to halt. The day is very, very, hot and as the cars await the second start a few overheat, sadly including Mike’s, and for him on this occasion the race is over.


Our final pictures capture the car on the first circuit. Imagine our disappointment, as spectators, when the car failed to appear again, but such is Historic racing.




Mike was a great chap and many in ASOC circles have cause to be thankful to him for the technical advice and help he gave so freely.


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