The various items in your magazine about the 3-litre Armstrong Siddeley have been very interesting. I have already written to Mr. Boddy about his original contribution. Now I have just seen the letters from Geoffrey Healey and K. G. Gilling. I feel I should enlighten the latter on various points: first, the Invicta “Black Prince” engine was not designed by W.O., but by W. G. Watson, who had under W.O. done most of the design work on the post-war 2.6-litre agenda and then left to become Chief Designer of Invicta; secondly, the office run by W.O. as a consultant to Armstrong Siddeley was at Weybridge and not Birmingham; those involved under W.O. were D. Knightley, E. C. Easter and myself; and thirdly, W.O. was responsible for the design of the complete car, not just the engine.
It seems that the 3-litre engine acquired by Mr. Gilling was below par; I have a power curve (no doubt with bed exhaust system) showing 127 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m.
Mr. (Ming has slightly exaggerated the timing chain length; it was a link or two over 4 ft. 6 in.
There is a good deal more about this 3-litre Armstrong Siddeley in the book I have written: “W. O. Bentley Engineer” which is getting very close to publication. Only a little more patience is now required!
Chapmanslade DONALD BASTOW