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Pictures from the Heritage Archives.

Armstrong Siddeley in Adverts

From the advertisement we showed in this column last week we learned how John Siddeley's friendship with the Rothschilds allowed him to have his design of motor vehicle to be constructed for him by Vickers, Son and Maxim, using parts manufactured by their subsidiary, the Wolseley Motor Car Co. At this time, 1903, the Wolseley company had for three years under the leadership of Herbert Austin produced, quite successfully, cars featuring horizontal engines, where as those constructed for Siddeley favoured the vertical configuration.

In 1905 as Siddeley Autocar sales forged ahead and Wolseley sales flagged, the Wolseley directors approached Siddeley to become their Sales Manager. Still early in that year he was promoted to General Manager. The cars were now known as Wolseley-Siddeleys featuring 'vertical' engines. The public perception and the shorthand use of names by the journalists of the day soon led to the cars being referred to as 'Siddeleys'. The 1907 advert shown below shows that John Siddeley did nothing to clarify that misconception. The car at the foot of the advert is a 1907 40hp. Wolseley-Siddeley which had under RAC observation just completed 10,000 miles over British roads in 67 days. Note the superimposition of John Siddeley in front of the car. Adverts at this time often showed three of four company names, but the Siddeley name was always in bold type.

Our second advert this week reminds us that Wolseley also had developed a commercial side to their business. Again you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

As an aside it is interesting to note that the differing attitudes to engine design between Herbert Austin and John Siddeley caused Austin to resign, whereupon, he set up his own car manufacturing company. Odd though, all his cars featured engines having the vertical configuration


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