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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Interesting Cars with interesting histories -13


In 1933 John Siddeley chose to launch the Siddeley Special, a luxury car, badged, bearing only his name, and probably more discussed in Armstrong Siddeley circles than any other model.


A question often asked is why had John Siddeley decided to take this step, especially at a time when the country was experiencing an economic downturn which had dramatically slowed down the sale of cars, especially to the professional classes, a sector of the market in which  Armstrong Siddeley excelled. In fairness to John, he had been quietly developing the design over a period of six years and his claimed motivation was to realise an ideal – a car that would mark a definite advance on current automobile design. One might also suppose that it would not do any harm to show as a major car manufacture that you could produce a superb luxury car in the vein of Rolls- Royce, Daimler and Lanchester.


The car pictured above, registered BUW7 in 1934 was bodied by Vanden Plas and was described as a fixed head coupe in black with gold coachline. The car was first used by ASM experimental and listed as in the care of H.P. Henry,  ASM Sales Manager. Used as a Bond Street showroom demonstrator it was sold in March 1935 to a Mr. C. P. Cramp.  In the mid 1970s the car was based at Box, near Bath, and in the ownership of a Mr. Palmer.


When next auctioned it was sold to Herr Per Norheim and moved to Norway. In 1992 the car returned to this country and in the hands of Peter Baxendale regained its original registration becoming a well-known favourite in the southern Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club area, attending many events and rallies. When in 2000 Peter passed the car was purchased by Mike Darley who continued to field the car while promoting the club and marque. Sadly Mike passed in 2017 and in 2020 the car was sold on to an owner, once more overseas this time in Germany.

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