The President's Page
I am very deeply saddened to advise our Members of the death of the Founding Member of the ASCC and our National Historian.
I received the news of Penn Bradly’s passing with very mixed emotions. On behalf of our Australian Armstrong Siddeley family, The Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club, The Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust, Armstrong Siddeley Dutch and the German Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club, I extend to Miriam and the Bradly family our deepest sympathy at their loss and the personal grief associated with the loss of one so dearly cherished.
Each of us deals with sadness in different ways and I believe it is important that such emotion is given time to overcome and heal.
My own family association went back with Penn over fifty years as my Father owned an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire. To be acquainted with such a car brought everyone it seemed into the realm of Robert Penn Bradly.
I never planned on being President of the ASCC when Penn passed on as he became very much an institution ably supported by Miriam. One thinks, yes Penn will be there when I leave Office. However, there are realities in life where each must meet their maker. We will miss him for many things; the gems of knowledge, his foibles, his generosity, his inability sometimes to admit he could be wrong, even occasionally his extravagant opinions and for these we have many memories.
There have been very few individuals possessed with passion, dedication and interest in Armstrong Siddeley products as our Penn ultimate Bradly. To know Penn was to go on a journey that never proved dull and for that I believe we have been blessed by the experience and for many enjoyed a very deep friendship.
While I was recently driving my Sapphire to the local garage, a farmer followed me all the way to my destination just to have a chat about his Armstrong Siddeley connection.
He had a trailer on his farm that was made up using an Armstrong Siddeley back axles and diff. The identifying features are shown in these pictures below.
The trailer, made up of butchered bits from various vehicles, employed the remains of a Pre-war Armstrong Siddeley car and had obviously been put to good use by an enterprising farmer.
This all brought me to thinking of the car in which I learnt to drive. It was a 1925 Chevrolet K Superior Tourer, affectionately known as “Matilda” and it was being used as a farm vehicle at that stage of it's life. Both this "bits-'n'-pieces trailer" and our own “Matilda” were used right up to the end of their days.
I appreciate that our members have different aims and objectives in owning and restoring Armstrong Siddeley cars. An example of the ‘broad church’ in our club is further reinforced by a Club member, who wrote to me asking if I knew of a particular Pre-war car. This happens to be a speedway car and like many of its brethren is based on maker’s car parts, in this case an Armstrong Siddeley. Although I have my own preferences in restoration, it is particularly interesting to see how cars like the Gibbs Armstrong Siddeley Monoposto are developed. I certainly look forward to hearing more about the latest development of this Pre-war based vehicle.
Another story on the Pre-war front is the arrival of an Aristocrat in Australia - a 1936 20/25hp Sedanca de Ville - Chassis Number AS 9611. This Enclosed Limousine was sold by Bonhams to Victorian member Peter Mitchell and it is a wonderful addition to the collection of Pre-war cars in this country. My congratulations went to Peter for securing the car. Sadly however following a long and very difficult battle with cancer, Peter Mitchell passed away in the early morning of the 14th October and I convey our sincere condolences to Ann and his family. I shall write more fully of Peter in my next column..
In the future, I believe we will hear of more great stories about Pre-war Armstrong Siddeley Cars in Australia. There are already some fine examples of restored Pre-war vehicles and the opportunity exists for several more Pre-war restoration projects to be undertaken.
I want to take this opportunity draw your attention to the upcoming Broken Hill Rally in May 2015. The South Australian Branch are hosting this event and a terrific Rally programme is being finalised. The Victorian Branch has planned a follow-on tour after the Rally and I have already seen the excellent itinerary that they have proposed. This event should be a real priority for your calendar. We particularly welcome Members from other countries to join with us on this particular National Rally so that they may experience a taste of the Australian Outback.
All in all there is plenty to plan for in the months ahead - and I haven’t even mentioned the very full programmes of our Branches, let alone Christmas.
Until next time,