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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Interesting cars with interesting Histories. – 15. (Part one.)

The opening photo shot for this jotting captures the Thrupp  and Maberley bodied 1934 Armstrong Siddeley Special BKP 225, making its debut after a  full mechanical and body restoration at the 100 year Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club Celebration in 2019.

Built late in 1934 the car was supplied by Allen and Ainsworth in March of 1935 to Henry Thomas Hawksfield who was born in Kentucky, the coal mining area of America. Now living in Deal he was operating as a major trader of coal gleaned from the Kent coalfields. We were curious as to his somewhat rare surname and were surprised to learn that it probably originated back in the 17th century in the Whitby area. Seamanship was a common occupation, so it is little surprise that a few reached the new world of the Americas. Dating from Henry’s time we also found a snippet showing that coal ships sailing out of Dover East Docks carried the Hawksfield name on their bow. 

 As a successful businessman living in a large house in central Deal he chose to have his car bodied by Thrupp and Maberley.  Bearing in mind his American connection this was a good choice as this coachbuilder was using aluminium which allowed the fabrication of compound curves which gave the car graceful flowing lines, more sporting and in keeping with USA motoring trends.  By this time Thrupp and Maberley had been purchased by the Rootes brothers, but remained for sometime as a prestige coachbuilder concentrating on luxury bodies for top makes. Six Armstrong Siddeley Special chassis were bodied by them with the Sports Saloon styling and this is the sole survivor.

After some three years in Henry’s ownership the car was for sale as his wife was finding the car too heavy to drive.  Stationed at Dover Castle, Lieutenant Colonel King–Salter became the next owner and immediately ordered the ‘Continental Touring spares Kit’ from the Armstrong Factory. Upon its receipt he headed off to France.  

More about this car next time.



The current owner of BKP 225 also owns the Armstrong Siddeley in house Burlington built version of this body style which we show here for comparison.                                                               



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