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Pictures from the Heritage Archives.

Two more pictures showing the diversity of bodies which were mounted on the versatile Armstrong Siddeley, 346 Sapphire chassis.

Our first picture is of a hearse bodied 346 Sapphire. Perhaps best to be admired from the outside rather than from horizontal in the interior. However it is fair to say that it is a handsome vehicle. Today there are two hearses still in regular use. One in Australia and the other based in the Wirral region of England.

Our second picture is of a special pick up truck which was developed with the Middle East oil industry in mind. This enterprise was made in an effort to further develop overseas sales. The brief was for a sturdy utility vehicle, with increased ride height and ability to accept a range of tyres according to the terrain where they would be employed. The appointments were adequate but sparse and only the manual version of the gearbox was fitted. Even the headlights were of the cheaper sealed beam type.

The understanding was that out on the oilfields the machinery was taken little care of, and tended to be dumped rather than fixed. Only 45 of this model were made and all exported except one which the factory retained. Strangely even a few saloon cars having the austerity specification were made and sold to the same market. In hindsight it can be seen that most pick up trucks used by the oil companies were large engined American vehicles, coming from a country used to home market vehicle production for hot weather and rough terrain. Also economy was of little concern in this environment.


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