1952 Armstrong Siddeley Whitley Station
From a deceased estate; unusual double cab pickup; believed to be one of only three surviving examples; well-maintained; transferable PUG number plate
Founded in 1919, the Coventry-based firm of Armstrong Siddeley established itself as one of the UK's most respected manufacturers in the pre-war and immediate post-war era, producing staid but well-built luxury saloons rather than overtly sporting machines. All cars were named after aircraft, a logical move since the company was foremost an aero engine maker, a field in which it gained vast experience during the war years.
The Whitley 18 was made from 1949-1954 and was available as either a 4- or 6-light saloon made of steel and aluminium panels fitted over a wooden frame, or with an unusual pickup body aimed at the Commonwealth markets. The engine was a smooth 2,309cc six-cylinder with a tax rating of 18hp that had first appeared on export versions of the Tempest, coupled with a choice of conventional four-speed synchromesh or Wilson pre-selector gearbox'.
The chassis used independent torsion bar suspension at the front with a conventional live axle with leaf springs at the rear, while a Girling hydro-mechanical braking system provided the stopping power, the front drums hydraulically operated while those at the rear used rod and cable.
During its 7-year production life, 4,321 Whitleys were produced in total, of which just 717 were pickups, in either Station Coupe (double cab) or Utility Coupe (single cab) format, most of which were exported to Australia and all but 20 with the four-speed manual gearbox. Armstrong Siddeley continued to make cars until 1960 at which point it went back to concentrating on its core business of aero engines.
As the original buff logbook shows, this rare Station Coupe is one of very few that didn’t go to Australia, being first registered to Appleyards of Leeds in September 1952. It then had five further owners (mainly in Yorkshire) before being acquired by a Raymond Barnes of Barnes Coachworks, Frome, in c.1983, who was to keep it for the next 20 years. Information on file suggests that he restored the car and changed the colour from blue to cream. Old MOTs show that it was tested fairly regularly between 1991 and 2004 although it only covered around 300 miles during this period.
In 2004 it moved to Northern Ireland and from 2007 – 2011 it was owned by a Mr R Walls of Newtownards, ownership transferring to a Mrs K Walls of the same address from 2011 – 2015. Irish MOTs show that around 1,000 miles were added during this time.
In September 2015 it came up for sale at Brightwells where it was bought by the current owner who promptly sent it to those good chaps at G Windle & Son of Berrow for a thorough service and a good dose of waxoil underneath. He also had a new set of tyres fitted in May 2016 and in July 2016 it had a brake overhaul at Newent Auto Centre who also rebuilt the floor-change gear selector mechanism, renewed the front wheel bearings and gave it another engine oil and filter change.
On offer here from a deceased estate, it has been in dry storage for the last two or three years but has been starting promptly and running sweetly as we have moved it around on site, with good 60psi oil pressure, effective brakes and notably light steering. It also comes with a copy of an original and very detailed factory workshop manual which should help to keep it in good running order for many years to come.
Believed to be one of only three double cab pickups surviving (one in the UK and the other in Sydney, Australia), this versatile classic can transport six people and considerable cargo in comfort and will prove a real talking point wherever it goes. Still wearing its original (transferable) PUG 372 number plate, it looks mighty tempting at the modest guide price suggested.
Documents: V5C; copy older V5; buff logbook; 13 old MOTs; invoices; copy workshop manual; club magazines etc.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: PUG372
Chassis Number: 1811752
Engine Number: 1811766
Engine Size: 2309cc
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