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Homepage. This page: Another name from the British motor industry's past - Armstrong Siddeley.

Armstrong Siddeley 14hp tourer (Mk1).

I recently re-discovered this photograph that Jim sent over a while ago. He had hoped that the car in it, a family-owned machine shown here in the 1920s, might be identifiable. The distinctive mascot confirmed the car as being an Armstrong Siddeley, and a little more research suggests that it is a 1923 - 1924 1,852cc 14hp tourer, known as the Mk1, replaced in 1925 by the Mk2 which featured a new chassis, all-round brakes, and exterior door handles to name just a few of the updates it brought in (see further down this page). Jim adds that his father, who was just fifteen years of age in 1928, drove this mighty machine from Lytham in Lancashire up to their home in Scotland - not bad going for a junior who had no driver's license.
The car belonged to his great uncle, shown in it are Jim's grandmother and his father's siblings. The family's hound has also got in on the action - at the time, before the days of motorways and universally surfaced highways, long motor car journeys were far from a common occurrence for most families, and still the preserve of the reasonably well-to-do although the introduction of light cars such as the Austin 7, had begun to open up opportunities for car travel to a much wider audience than previously had been the case.
In view are the car's distinctive radiator mascot, and its road wheels, both hallmarks of this marque. Note the "Auster screen" fitted to it, designed to protect the rear seat occupants from buffeting and unnecessary draughts while bowling along at speed.
(Please click the thumbnail.)
14hp tourer from 1923-1925
The four-cylinder, overhead valve, "14" was the entry-level model in the company's line-up, identifiable by its flatter radiator when compared to the larger 18hp and 30hp types. At its launch the price was 400 GBP, although this would be reduced to 360 GBP in 1924.
A photograph of a larger, 30hp, tourer from the same manufacturer, can be seen here.

Armstrong Siddeley 14hp Mk2 tourer.

While researching his own family's history, site visitor Andy Douglas unearthed the following photographs. He emailed them over, in the hope that the car might be identifiable. As with Jim's photograph at the top of the page, the car featured in the photos is a 14hp Armstrong Siddeley tourer, here in Mk2 guise (note the external door handles, introduced in 1925). Andy adds:
"I am doing some family history and it would be nice to know what car the ancestors were running around in. The pictures were taken around 1927/28ish I think .... Grandad seemed to get into cars quite early, he had the money and seems to have had the time to enjoy it. He lived in Edinburgh and his diaries which I've been reading show that he was often going on trips to the Borders to visit various relations of his wife, and as far afield as the Lake District and various other places around Scotland. In the evenings he was frequently "@ the motor" - presumably checking the oil and water etc.."
"[In the first photograph] my Grandfather is shown in getting into the car. The ladies are my Grandmother with the spectacles and lighter hat, and possibly a daughter of the Uncle."
1925/1926 14 tourer Mk2
"The old gentleman is my Grandfather's Uncle, the lad on the right is my Dad, and the other is one of his best friends."
Ready to go fishing with the car
Next, a photograph which is believed to be from 1927, on a trip to Troutbeck in the Lake District. Andy's Dad (born in 1920) is shown sat behind the steering wheel. Note the muddied rear tyre - signs of traversing a particularly muddy field perhaps?
Side view of the Armstrong Siddeley
Here we see the 14hp tourer parked in a lane. Note the fitment of an Auster screen.
Parked in a lane
Parked close to a rural church is the next location to feature, with Andy's Grandfather posed alongside the car's running board. The o/s/f sidescreen is fitted in this instance, in a bid to reduce the inevitable buffetting that the rear-seat passengers would have to endure. Sadly the car's registration isn't visible in any of these images.
Is it the same car though? Old photos can be deceiving, but the body colour looks to be a lighter shade than in the other photos. Also note the front lamps, of a different design with painted, rather than nickel-plated, rims. Perhaps it received a re-paint, and had its lighting upgraded, at some point.
Andy's grandfather with the car
Another photograph of this car has turned up, since adding the above images in. The car's bonnet is raised, and clearly Andy's Grandad is attending to matters relating to the engine - perhaps giving the plugs a quick clean.
Bonnet up on the vintage car
Thanks for the photos Andy.
Visit page 17 in the vintage gallery, or return to the gallery's main index page.

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