With reference to your article published on Armstrong Siddeley cars some two years ago I hope that the following may be of interest to yourself and the readers of this very fine magazine.
I have recently acquired a 1927 Armstrong Sideley 12-h.p. fabric-bodied saloon; the engine is in excellent condition and I believe from the history that the speedometer reading (80,000 miles) is correct. It is fitted with a Wilson three-speed pre-selector epicyclic gearbox which is a joy to use. Although the 6-cylinder engine only renders the car of a comfortable 25 to 30 m.p.h. it runs very smoothly and conquers most hills in second gear (even the mighty “Sun Rising” on the Stratford-on-Avon road). In the photographs enclosed you will notice the absence of a fan and the impellor type flywheel; an additional refinement is the B.T.H. magneto which at the moment is particularly useful, as the dynamo is not charging. The fabric is in good condition apart from the two holes in the front doors which were caused by the latter being allowed to swing back on to the rear door handles. The coachwork also is in excellent condition, being of blue leather, from which a delightful odour of quality assails the nostrils.
I have begun restoration work by replacing the linoleum which lines the floor and I intend to have the radiator re-nickelled (this has been badly tarnished by wire wool, which can only be described as “Nittery” on someone’s part). I consider myself very fortunate indeed to have been lucky enough to acquire a car such as this in its condition, for I prize quality and individuality which are rarely encountered today, and it grieves me to think that the quality of British cars was unsurpassed at one time, but now seems to be deteriorating rapidly, what with the infiltration of mass production and unskilled labour. I would be extremely grateful if any previous owners of cars similar to mine could render me any advice in the maintenance and restoration of this very fine car.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Banbury. – P. Bilwell (aged 17).