The President's Page

Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia - President's Report

August 2014

The Maitland Rally organised by the NSW Branch was a great success and a credit to the Rally Committee led by John Graham. There were many highlights and the numbers of pre-Sapphire post war cars were good examples. The recently restored Hurricane from Sydney and a Utility from the Central Coast stood out as examples very hard to beat.

These cars produced in the immediate post-war period, the Hurricane, Typhoon, Whitley, Lancaster, Utility and the Station Coupe have their own conservative charm.

The need for income and an abundance of materials left over from war time manufacture gave us vehicles that were serviceable and we must remember that until the 1950s many people were constrained in their finances.

Then in the early 1950s along came the Sapphire. I can understand the sentiment expressed by Penn Bradly in his expansive and unique way in ‘The Original 346 Sapphire’ that, “The 346 Sapphire is perhaps the epitome of classical British design and bridges the grand cars of the 1930’s with modern functionality.” I also appreciate the fascination held for the cars of our marque built prior to 1939. In essence we are all entitled to enjoy the cars of the eras we have under the ASCC banner.

Restoration of our cars along original lines is very often subject of debate and I think personal choice becomes a great influence. The last of our cars left the production line in 1960. The surviving Armstrong Siddeley vehicles in Australia have had a wide range of histories and uses. I certainly have a horror of sighting an Armstrong Siddeley reduced to a Hot Rod Racer.

Our post war cars are capable of serving as a daily driver, but modern high density traffic makes that role less enjoyable. The very fine examples owners now are exhibiting at Car Club events leads me to think the cars are moving to a different purpose. In Australia at Concours events we use a very thorough judging system to assess vehicles and this provides the benefit of detailed appraisal. I found the system very useful this year as it assisted in highlighting areas of needto the car I currently haveunderrestoration. Overseas clubs adopt different approaches which is their right. But I believe the Armstrong Siddeley fleet in Australia is showing the positive benefits of the system we employ.

The Board met by teleconference in August and the South Australian Branch gave us a concise progress report of the upcoming 2015 Rally, to be held in Broken Hill. At the completion of Maitland 2014, I indicated our main focus would be the 2015 Broken Hill Rally and the plans in place are excellent. In the coming months there will be a roll out of the Rally programme in the Southern Sphinx and on the Website. The Federal Rally during May, 2015 will be really worth attending.

Until next time,
Happy Motoring.

Tony Carter
ASCC President