Vintage Postbag, January 1982



A Royal Armstrong Siddeley?


I was most interested in your article a short time ago on the Armstrong Siddeley. You mentioned that the then Duke of York visited the factory and I believe drove a test chassis. In the early thirties, as a small boy, my great uncle, who then owned the family business, owned a large Armsteong Siddeley (believe it or not, he won the car playing cards at his club). The car was reputed to have come from the Royal Mews and had belonged to the Duke of York, later His Majesty King George VI. The car had a bracket over its V-shaped windscreen to carry a large coat of arms, and the car itself was either a very dark blue or black.

In front of the division was a large leather covered bench seat, a full instrument panel, and a large steering wheel with quadrants for throttle etc. Behind the glass division, the car was very large, with particularly large windows for the period. The upholstery was finished in Bedford cord, and a very plush carpet was fitted. In the division itself were several cupboards for glasses, umbrellas etc. and then a small space behind two folding occasional seats. I particularly remember the very large wheels, but what impressed me most was the great V-shaped radiator with the sphinx on top.

It was a ritual on Sundays for great uncle to take us to Westcliff for afternoon tea, my father driving (he told me it was “a beast to drive”). When my great uncle died, the company and car came into my father’s hands, and the car was soon disposed of.

The photograph shows the car with some of the company’s employees on a “company beano”.
Holliston, USA