The Armstrong Siddeley Car Club

All British Day - King's School (2011)

All British Day - King's School

I have just spent the most wonderful day surrounded by some 1700 British cars of all ages, shapes and sizes, some even more exotic, luxurious and rarer than our Armstrong Siddeleys. Before I tell you more about the people and cars I met, I must thank Helen Andrews for allowing me to ride in her gorgeous 236 Sapphire along with her neighbour Pam.

I had never ridden in one of these rare models before and was amazed at how well it ran and kept up with modern traffic. Apparently some people, even other AS owners, consider this model to be an ugly duckling. However, it may be an acquired taste as Helen has owned her car for 40 years but is still unsure about its looks.

There were three other AS present: Andrew and Susie Hyden in their Star, Alan and Brad Purss in Brad's Whitley and Peter Hills and Peter Rowe in the Hurricane with Chris Hills arriving in a modern car during the day. It was good to see Brad back behind the wheel after his motorbike accident earlier in the year.Another AS owner, Allan Curtis made the long trip from the Hunter Valley in his Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and joined the AS cars. For some reason the Peters and Lyel and Robyn Murrell in their Silver Ghost chose to park with the VSCC group. Rumour has it that they did not want to be seen with the 236 Sapphire.

The variety and range of ages of cars was outstanding with Rolls Royces spanning 100 years, Jaguars of every age, shape and colour; actually the Jaguars appeared to multiply as you looked at them. Highlights for me were the Aston Martin DBs 4 to 6, the cute hare mascots on the Alvises (or is that Alvii?), a 1WO number plate on the latest model Bentley and a very cute convertible Citroen 2CV (no, I don't know how this French icon gate-crashed the All British Day - really!)

Helen spent the day talking to members of other clubs to which she had belonged - Rover, Sunbeam, etc, and Pam wandered off to inspect the magnificent grounds and facilities of the school. Helen also spoke to a gentleman who had worked at the AS factory at Ansty on aircraft manufacture in the 1960s and who recalled that he had once gone on a camping trip in the UK in a 236.

Other visitors included Darryl Urquhart's son in law, Greg, who is restoring a Sapphire having just completed his MGB. Greg had an interesting yarn to tell: he was repairing the Sapphire's suspension and realised that he needed six special locknuts but had no luck at a number of spares suppliers. He then went into a spares shop in Chester Hill and on seeing the part, the proprietor immediately said: "Oh, you're doing up an Armstrong Siddeley". As well as having the locknuts, the proprietor also offered him the correct die to clean the threads.

I am really looking forward to my overseas trip in September and will be joining Helen Andrews and Keith Dewhurst in Keith's 236 at the Goodwood Revival Meeting where there will be Siddeleys in the air (Hurricane and Lancaster) as well as on the ground.

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The Armstrong Siddeley Car Club
Armstrong Siddeley Car Club The Court House 325 High Street Learmonth VIC 3352
Phone Cameron Wright, President, 0408 595 461
ACN 001 059 212
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