It is good to hear of the return to the town of its origin of the only surviving 50 hp Sheffield-Simplex, which Lord Riverdale restored some years ago and with it re-enacted the End-to-End run of 1911. Malcolm Dungworth, fleet manager of SIG (formerly Sheffield Insulations Group PLC) knew of this Sheffield-built 1920 car and was able to persuade Mr Norman Adsetts, Chairman of the Company, to buy it for the City, he being also Chairman of the Governors of Sheffield Hallam University and one of the partnership, with the Cutlers Company and the City Council, which founded the new Kelham Island Trust to run the museum of that name. This fine and very rare Sheffield-Simplex will lead a cavalcade of vintage cars through Sheffield on June 4 and be part of an exhibition of local transport vehicles at the museum during the summer.
Intended as a rival for the Rolls-Royce, the 50 hp Sheffield-Simplex appeared at the 1920 Olympia Show and was exhibited again in 1921, the post-war design of Earl Fitzwilliam’s Company which had been making armoured cars and other military vehicles during the war. With its 8-litre six-cylinder engine, four-speed gearbox and 4WB it may well have received glances from the Derby engineers! But it never made the grade, and Earl Fitzwilliam used the car in question on his Irish estate. It was sold in the 1940s and was owned for a time by Lord Riverdale before going to America. Mr Adsetts drove it on its return, and arranged its purchase for the museum after hearing that it was probably destined to go to Mexico — excellent that it will remain at its birthplace.