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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

For our last dip into the pictures collected by Bryan Goodman, we selected the image featured below which shows a very rare model of Armstrong Siddeley car, happily, yet another survivor, which is in surprising good age related condition.

Please do not consider this to be just another 'doctors coupe'. There is no provision for the doctor's bag as would be present had the car been built for that purpose. It is in fact a 'one off'' and is correctly described as a Special Coupe, built by Salmons of Newport Pagnall in 1926. Based on an Armstrong Siddeley Mk2 14/4 hp. chassis, the overall quality of finish, especially the inlaid wood work, still shines through today.

The writer has known this vehicle for almost 25 years during which time it has been in the hands of three owners. The pictures shown here were taken several years past when light restoration was in progress in the workshop of the late Michael Darley.

The dickey (or dickie) seat in early motor cars was a term inherited from horse-drawn carriages, where they were occupied by servants or in the case of mail coaches by the guards. Also referred to as rumble seats, or jump seats and say it very quietly - 'mother-in-law seats'.

Simple instrumentation but covering the essentials, Oil pressure gauge, speedometer, recording trip and total mileage, clock and ammeter with switch gear mounted on the oval plate. One little quirk which came to light was that the wiring diagram for the connections behind the dashboard was drawn looking from the front, which could catch out the uninitiated.

Note too, the handy spot light mounted by the top passenger side of the windscreen. Just the job for reading the old fashioned road signs at the junction of country lanes.

The Sphinx mascot and the radiator surround were nickel plated. Chrome plating would not be applied to Armstrong Siddelety cars until the final year of the 1920s.

Starting in the New Year we will dip into another of the Heritage Trust's collections. In the mean time we wish all our readers a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.


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