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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Armstrong Siddeley in Advertising

In 1947 the Lagonda Motor Company was put up for sale and the Armstrong Siddeley Motors division of Hawker Siddeley was one of the prospective buyers. Despite having sounded out 'the works and the books' and found that it would be a worthwhile acquisition, ASM failed to attempt a purchase. Was it because, to Cyril Siddeley, Head of Sales and in overall charge of the factory, the tradition was to follow trials, long distance tests and rallies while shunning the outright sporting aspects of motoring associated with Lagonda. One wonders if father John had still been at the helm, if not for commercial reasons alone, he would have made the purchase.

However as a consequence, contact was made with W.O. Bentley who had worked for Lagonda, along with his designer colleague Donald Barstow. A contract, on a consultancy basis was agreed, that they should form a team with a view to creating the next generation of Armstrong Siddeley cars. Their excellent input was absorbed into the work of the in house design team and it was cost and profit margins which won the day. However the new range launched at the October 1952 Motor Show was pretty special.

The new Sapphire 346 was a very different car. Spacious, with seating for six and having for the time a lavish interior, featuring quality leather and polished wood for dash and trim.

Powered by a 3.4 litre six cylinder engine giving good acceleration and a top speed in excess of 95mph, meant this car was no slouch.

It is interesting to note that at about this time there was a distinct change in the advertising strategy. Distributors and suppliers were now encouraged to participate with the company. In this instance Lodge Spark Plugs Ltd., were celebrating their long association with Armstrong Siddeley Motors Ltd.

While others were busy manufacturing cars in Britain, Pass and Joyce saw the need for a distribution network, building up an impressive business featuring the largest car showrooms in London which were situated on the Euston Road.

Rolls Royce, Austin, Talbot, Sunbeam, Crossley and Marmon along with Armstrong Siddeley were some of the makes they represented. As sole distributors for ASM, covering the London and District region a full range of the cars was on show in the prestigious showrooms on Great Portland Street, London W,1. As distributors they in turn dealt with the many garage and car agencies through out the area.


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