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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Armstrong Siddeley in Advertising

With all this attention given to John's Special car it would be easy to forget that the Armstrong Siddeley car range continued to develop and improve. The 20hp car had superseded the original 30hp car which by1932, after twelve years and latterly selling only in small numbers, mainly as a limousine, production had come to a fitting end. By 1934 the 15hp became what would prove to be the very successful 17hp while the 12hp morphed into the 12 plus and then the 14hp. Technical advances and market trends, as prosperity increased during the middle years of the thirties, all had their effect.

This advert dated 1st December 1934 was placed in the prestigious Illustrated London News. It is interesting to note the self-changing gear was now described as 'proved'.

This Town and Country Saloon had a folding glass partition fixed to the back of the front seat giving it the dual function of an owner driver or chauffeur driven vehicle. When the division was raised the cover could be hinged up to form a table in the rear compartment.

When the new 20hp.Armstrong Siddeley car was launched in 1932, outside coachbuilder Martin Walker Ltd. produced this striking St George's Sporting Saloon body style which was very advanced for the times. As we will see it is plausible that it influenced the later styles emanating from in house Burlington coachworks.

In this case the 17 hp car.

And even the humble 12 hp cars were included. Judging by the gatehouse in the background could this be 'the daughter, or perhaps the wife, of a gentleman' at the wheel, as earlier advertising introducing the preselective gears suggested to us?

Not only John Siddeley's cars experienced change but changes were afoot for the man himself. In 1931 the Air Minister Lord Swinton stated that it was time that the aero industry took its own steps to slim down and become stronger and leaner by private merger. So with Government encouragement mergers started to take place. By 1934 Hawkers had taken over Gloster and ASM had taken over Avro, but it was to the general astonishment when in 1935 Hawker purchased the ASM Development Co. (ASM cars and AW aircraft).

Sir John Siddeley resigned from the new company on 30th. September 1936 and was appointed Baron Kenilworth the following year. At the age of 72 he entered a lengthy period of well deserved retirement.

So we come to the conclusion of John Siddeley's 35years of involvement in advertising his motor cars. After a short break, we will pick up on the company's car advertising during the Hawker era


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