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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Interesting cars with interesting histories 11

A considerable time back we received a letter from Mr Ken Gupwell in response to an excellent article about Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust published in the Coventry Telegraph.

Ken wrote:-

       Following the article in the Coventry Telegraph on 4th August, I  thought  you might like to have the  enclosed photograph of my Grandad, Mr Joseph Benjamin Gupwell . Ben, as he was called, was chauffeur to the director of Armstrong Siddeley and later Bristol Siddeley at Parkside.  My Dad, Walter Gupwell  also worked at Parkside, as inspector in the blade shop, and his brother Allan worked for Rolls Royce, Barnoldswick.

       I remember my Grandad being always impeccably dressed and very proud of his job and the cars.  I used to go to the Cheshut and King Henry VIII schools in the 50s and 60s and if he saw me waiting for a bus he would pick me up and take me home, usually at lunch time. I loved the smell of the car’s upholstery and the walnut dashboard.  I especially loved the Star Sapphire and in particular the two tone blue one, reg’d XKV 482.


Smartly dressed as ever, Ken’s Grandad is seen standing by a MK II Armstrong Siddeley 346 Sapphire.  Apart from the snow by the roadside it is the most unusual mesh grill which has our attention. For a long time when recording and searching through the Heritage collection of papers and picture negatives we found no helpful clues, till the picture below popped upon our screen.

Could it be, we wondered, that Joseph Gupwell had that day been tasked with the job of testing the air flow for this type of mesh radiator grill which was destined for the project pickup truck, bound for the oil fields in the Far East, We will never know for sure, but it would be in keeping with Armstrong Siddeley practice.

Memories of people, cars and other products made by Armstrong Siddeley are always welcome.  Just drop us email - heritage @siddeley .org.


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