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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

When the cars came to the end of the production line, having received many checks along the way, they were driven the approximately seven miles to the Armstrong Siddeley owned Ansty aerodrome site.

Here the company, one of the first British car manufacturers to do so, had established its own track for the testing of production cars, incorporating various types of road surface and a water splash. Previously it had been usual for testing to be carried out on public roads but the increase in traffic by the 1950s had made this less appropriate. The Ansty facility allowed every car to be tested to the same high standards.

The car in our first picture has arrived from the factory and is navigating the test track. Note that the rear bumper has been fitted though the front has not as yet. Also the hub caps were placed on the wheels after brakes and bearings had passed scrutiny.

In the second picture we see the test driver is recording his observations. There was a series of five cards which covered engine, axles, gearbox, brakes and body. On to these he would enter his comments. The driver was charged with adjusting the slow running of the engine as the car would be up to temperature at this time. Corrections and more detailed checks were made back in the workshop.


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