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1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: 1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon Reply with quote

Hi all,
Rick suggested some photos and background on my Armstrong Siddeley, so I thought I'd start a bit of a blog about my restoration attempts. I hope this forum is going to be around for 10 years - if history is any indication that's how long it's going to take. Smile

So I thought I'd start with a bit of info about the 17HP Sport Saloon model:
The Sports Saloon was one particular body style in the 17HP range, which was built on the mid-length chassis. A short chassis was also built for two-door and small-bodied cars, and there was a long chassis for the limousine bodied cars. According to Bill Smith's book, "Armstrong Siddeley Motors ", there were 114 17HP Sports Saloons built, of which Bill lists 3 survivors; one in England, one in the Netherlands, and the one I have in Australia. In all about 5000 17HP cars of all body types were built. The car has a 2396cc engine and the Wilson pre-select gearbox used by Armstrong Siddeley right up to the late 1950s. Top speed is about 70MPH.

Here is the only photo I have of this model car in one piece; it is of the vehicle known to be in England:



Now about the car I have:
The car I have is a 1935 model. According to the Armstrong Siddeley 'batch book' which the Owners Club in England still has, this car was delivered in June 1935 to a Major A Gallaher via Dixon's Garage in England. My Father believed the car came to Australia via India, but I can't verify that. At some point it was repainted from its original 2-tone green to black with a green 'fine-line' pin stripe along the waistline. The next thing we know about the car is that it is registered in South Australia in 1960. My father bought the car in 1972, along with some parts from a fire-damaged 17HP 4-light Saloon (also a 4 door saloon but on the short chassis). We had never tackled a restoration before and have made a number of mistakes that I now have to contend with. The Sports Saloon sat under a tarpaulin at our house until 1981 when I finished high school and had some time to kill while waiting for the start of an apprenticeship, so I began dismantling the car to the point of lifting the body off the chassis (mistake #1).


Now in pieces, the car sat for another 10 years or so before my father began to restore the chassis.


In the early 2000's my Father put the partly restored chassis and the rest of the car into storage where it sat until 2009 when I inherited the car after my Father passed away. Being in the midst of renovating our home and having no room for the car at the time, it stayed in storage until 2014 by which time I had made room alongside my Sunbeam Alpine and it was moved to my shed.


Current State:
In what may be the only ray of sunshine in this tale up to now, when I began removing about 15 years of dust and rodent droppings from the car, flakes of paint began lifting from the restored chassis (as can be seen in the photo above). It seems the topcoat of paint hadn't keyed to the undercoat all those years ago (mistake #2), so the chassis needs stripped back and repainted again. The positive aspect is that the build hadn't progressed far so it's not too big a job to redo. The notebook of sketches, photos, and notes I made when disassembling the car has gone missing (mistake #3), and some parts from the second wrecked car have been mixed in with those from this car (mistake #4), so I have a jigsaw puzzle without the picture and parts from a second puzzle mixed in! On the positive side, there are several 1930s Armstrong Siddeleys of different types in South Australia and an active owners club, so help is frequently offered by these good folk.

The start of restoration attempt #3:
The first thing to do is a quick run over the chassis with a wire wheel in a grinder to remove the loose paint, and then it will be a coat of POR15 Chassis Coat. Then I think I'll do a mock fit of all the cables, brackets, engine mounts, etc back onto the chassis to work out where everything goes.

Any advice, tips, info would be most welcome.
Cheers,
Paul.


Last edited by greenbeam on Sun May 19, 2019 10:01 am; edited 8 times in total
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6137
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Craig,

Thanks for the story so far. I look forward to following your progress.

Peter
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1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20851
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter scott wrote:
Hi Craig,

Thanks for the story so far. I look forward to following your progress.

Peter


Agreed, I'll do my best to keep the forum running long enough to see your car to completion Smile

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:19 pm    Post subject: 16th August 2015 update Reply with quote

Hi all, a little bit of progress today. The chassis is off the axles to have the flaking paint removed. Top and bottom surfaces wire brushed, and part-way through the fiddly bits around brackets and corners.




Some interesting stamps in the metal, letter 'D' between the holes for the rear Luvax dampers - I'm guessing to indicate which ones to bolt on.


And an anchor on the cross-beam under the back seat:


Cheers,
Paul.
_________________
1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon


Last edited by greenbeam on Sun May 19, 2019 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:58 pm    Post subject: No progress, but some history Reply with quote

Hi all,
No progress on my car, since I am in the UK with work, but that does give me a few hours to kill of an evening.

I have been searching for information on the first owner of my car, listed as a 'Major A. Gallaher' (note spelling of surname). It seems that a rather interesting gent, Alexander Gallaher, rose to the rank of Major in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. He was wounded five times in the military, one account captured in a book titled, "Meeting The Enemy". The Major met an untimely demise when he was killed by "a wound to the throat" in Stanmore, Middx on the 4th January 1938, aged 49.

This is the only 'Major Gallaher' I have been able to find, so it seems like it might be my man. That then leaves me without a clue as to where the now 3-year old 17HP Armstrong Siddeley went next.

Oh well, an interesting first owner, and a couple of hours spent looking through London Gazettes, old newspapers, and the peerage lists!

If anyone has any ideas, I'd be most interested in hearing from you. I have another week away from home yet!

Cheers,
Paul.
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1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon
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Stagmatt



Joined: 06 Jan 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:29 pm    Post subject: Another A-S Reply with quote

Hi Paul,
I read this thread with interest. It may be useful for you to know that there is another A-S of identical vintage (1935) in Germany. I got this car together with a 12/70 Alvis three years ago.

The car is the oldest known survivor of the 12hp+ type, with tha 1600cc 6cyl 12+ engine (this is the info I got from the ASOC anyway). She has a preselector box without the centrifugal clutch. Condition is apparently complete, but overall poor, interior rotten, as is much of the woodwork. The metal looks not so bad though.

I am busy with the Alvis so this old lady is just sitting in dry storage. I cannot be helpful with intricate detail as I have not even had a closer look, but shoot away if you need anything.

I will post photos if anyone is interested, let me know

Kind regards, Matthias
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20851
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Another A-S Reply with quote

Stagmatt wrote:
Hi Paul,
I read this thread with interest. It may be useful for you to know that there is another A-S of identical vintage (1935) in Germany. I got this car together with a 12/70 Alvis three years ago.

The car is the oldest known survivor of the 12hp+ type, with tha 1600cc 6cyl 12+ engine (this is the info I got from the ASOC anyway). She has a preselector box without the centrifugal clutch. Condition is apparently complete, but overall poor, interior rotten, as is much of the woodwork. The metal looks not so bad though.

I am busy with the Alvis so this old lady is just sitting in dry storage. I cannot be helpful with intricate detail as I have not even had a closer look, but shoot away if you need anything.

I will post photos if anyone is interested, let me know

Kind regards, Matthias


Threads for the AS and the Alvis would be interesting to see. Welcome aboard Smile

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6137
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Another A-S Reply with quote

Rick wrote:

Threads for the AS and the Alvis would be interesting to see. Welcome aboard Smile

RJ


Seconded!

Peter Wink
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matthias,
Thanks for getting in touch, nice to hear about another prewar Siddeley. The AS car club in Germany seems pretty strong. There are a few folk on the Y@hoo Siddeley group.

It would be good to see a few photos of your car (others here are probably interested too).

I'll keep putting up progress photos, please let me know if there is anything in particular you'd like to see.

From my point of view, I'm working on engine mounts at the moment. If your car is easy to access, I'd love to know what the small bracket bolted to the front engine mounts is for. It's a right angle bracket, flat steel, one on each mount, with a single hole on the 'free' part of the bracket.

[Update: the small bracket mounts at top rear of the engine mount with the flat surface facing upward. It provides reinforcement for the bonnet catch!]

Cheers,
Paul.
_________________
1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon


Last edited by greenbeam on Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:34 am    Post subject: Progress update - and a challenge... Reply with quote

Hi all,
A brief progress update on my Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon.

The chassis is now painted:


As are the front axle and torque tube/rear axle assembly:


The back axle & gearbox are back under the chassis, and I'm just waiting on some 'isolation pad' material to refit the front axle.

Now my challenge: There are two radius rods that run from the back of the gearbox diagonally out to the end of the axles to brace the rear driveline. All of the mounting hardware for the radius rods are missing. I'm told the mounts at the axle ends would have incorporated an adjustment cam so the tension of the radius rods can be adjusted. So I need to fabricate something to suit. I'm hoping to find a diagram or something so I can replicate the setup.

[Update: A fellow pre-war Siddeley owner in the UK has sourced a pair of the radius rod bolts and mailed them to me. Cannot believe my luck!!! What a great bunch of people!]

Cheers,
Paul.
_________________
1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon


Last edited by greenbeam on Sun May 19, 2019 12:40 pm; edited 3 times in total
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,
Progress has slowed to a crawl as that scourge of modern life - work - gets in the way of restoration.

The chassis was back on its wheels for a short while, then back on stands to fit the brakes:


Close up of the brake innards:


Not sure, but I suspect the insides of the drums need cleaned up:


Cheers,
Paul.
_________________
1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon


Last edited by greenbeam on Sun May 19, 2019 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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petelang



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 242
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lovely job you are making of it Paul.
It's lucky for you there is probably as much knowledge about Siddeley cars in Australia as in the UK. I have a 33 Fifteen Long, which the club tell me could be one of only about six known to survive. It is in regular use as a wedd car in Nottingham, although it has been messed about with a bit and previously a Ford Pinto engine has been grafted into it. Rest of the running gear is all original though and I have to admire the durability of Armstrong Siddeley engineering. Built tough as old boots.
If you can post up your engine mounting pictures I would be interested as a lot of the original installation is still there on mine and I might be able to help you with some images for reassembling yours.
Mine was a 1900 cc six pot side valve originally and I recently spotted a 15 short Siddeley engine for sale, which I bought. Remarkably, although only a year apart I find the blasted thing is two inches longer than the unit designed to fit mine. Still pondering quite what to do about that as moving everything back to accommodate it would be a monstrous job.
There are some very helpful guys on the Siddeley club forum site. You would benefit by joining that.
Good luck with your project.
Peter
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter, I joined the ASOC in April and have had a poke around the website there. The people here in the ASCC have been brilliant, very helpful. Can't speak highly enough of both clubs.

Although new to Siddeleys, I have looked over the three 17HP cars here. My car a 1935, and a 1936 and 1937. Each year is quite different in chassis construction, mechanical fitment, and even the drivetrain. I suspect the 'batch' of manufacture is the best indicator of similarity.

Even the mounts that I was sent by a kindly ASCC member for the radius rods on the torque tube are a bit longer than required for my car, so I need to pack them with washers.

Although certainly no expert, I wonder if the move to centrifugal clutch and changes to the 'jackshaft' between engine and gearbox could explain the difference in your engine layout.

I did solve the mystery of mounting the engine mounts to the chassis, but I'll post some pics anyhow, so you can see my layout. And I heard mention that someone in the ASCC asked if a batch of them could be reproduced. I have my fingers crossed.

Could I ask you to have a look under your car please to see where the big return spring mounts for the brake bar. The spring is mounted to an 'eye' one of the operating levers, and looks like it goes forward along the chassis, but I can't see any obvious mounting hole along the chassis. It could also be stretched to the rear engine mount. I'll post a picture shortly.

Cheers,
Paul.
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1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon
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greenbeam



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The brake bar return spring, mounts to an 'eye' on one of levers. No idea where the other end should mount to though...


Front engine mount, with the trim and the angle that the closed bonnet rests on:


And the rear engine mount, which has a strengthening bar between the two rear mounts, an addition for the 17HP. You can see the 'free' end of the brake bar return spring hanging down in the background:


Cheers,
Paul.
_________________
1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 3
1935 Armstrong Siddeley 17HP Sports Saloon


Last edited by greenbeam on Sun May 19, 2019 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1527
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a guess: does that brake spring connect to the brake light switch? It looks a pretty substantial spring for that purpose, but on the other hand it doesn't look man enough to be acting as a return spring for the pedal ...
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