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Homepage. This page: A 1950's Armstrong-Siddeley four-door saloon ripe for restoration - hopefully.

Case No.1
Make: Armstrong Siddeley
Model: Sapphire 236
Year: 1956

Sold on: eBay
Category: Classic Cars
Armstrong Siddeley 236 project car
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Project description.

For this first entry in the Crumbling Classics section of the site, an area that will feature cars that - while needing restoration - are not beyond recall, but will need saving soon if they're to remain a viable proposition for restoration, is this handsome Armstrong Siddeley 236 from 1956. Finished in a Corinthian Green and Langham Grey two-tone colour scheme, it must have looked quite the part when new. The car looks like it has had a re-registration at some point, so confirming where this car spent its early years isn't possible. When the first buyer walked into the dealer's showroom, he or she specified the Manumatic transmission option, yet a later owner has decided to undertake a conversion to manual, which the owner admits was done "not very well". The six-cylinder 2,310cc engine last ran some four years ago, so with a little luck it'll respond to some gentle persuasion and run again without too many problems. Whether it's worth keeping the converted transmission, or reverting to manual selection, will be something for a future restorer to decide upon.
The photographs reveal that having sat outside for some time, the bodywork will need some surgery in the very near future, if it is to be reclaimed. The upper panels look ok, but the door bottoms are succumbing to rust, and the rear edge of the offside front wing looks particularly corroded. Sitting on damp earth could well have caused structural issues underneath the 236's coachwork, so any potential bidder would be well advised to have a good poke around under there, and take a torch. Unfortunately there are no shots of the nearside bodywork, nor are there pictures of under the bonnet or inside the boot area (perhaps some could be supplied if the seller is contacted). Undergrowth down the passenger side of the car could mean that corrosion on that side may be more advanced, once again there's no real substitute for viewing the car in person. In its favour, the car hasn't been dismantled, so that will make repair work and subsequent re-assembly that bit easier to perform.
The interior too appears to be complete. While the woodwork need re-finishing it doesn't look beyond recall, in fact most of the interior could be retrieved, bar the driver's seat which the seller admits will need re-covering. Cobwebs on the passenger side of the interior suggest that the car has been out of use for some time.
Anyone serious about taking this on as a restoration project would be well advised to check out the seller's other auctions, as he has a second example - possibly in slightly more fragile condition - also up for sale, and at the time of writing, available for just a few hundred pounds. Maybe one good car could be made out of the pair? In an ideal world both should be saved - only 603 examples of the Armstrong Siddeley 236 were produced between 1955 and 1957, so this surviving duo are really quite rare now. In reality, the costs of a full-blown restoration on these cars - the second in particular - may not be economically viable, but it'd be nice to think that these rare, high-quality, motor-cars will receive a second chance. At the model's launch, it was listed at 1,657 GBP. What will two cars in project condition raise, 56 years after they were built? The fact that they've survived this far, should mean that they deserve a bright future, but time will tell on that point.
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