Armstrong Siddeley in Australia

Almost from the beginning of the 20th century the achievements of Armstrong Siddeley Motors and associated companies under the leadership of J. D. Siddeley have played a significant role in the motoring and aeronautical heritage of Australia.

Much of the history of Armstrong Siddeley in Australia is in danger of being lost forever as it is unrecorded or there is no plan for its preservation.

The products of Armstrong Siddeley Motors include cars, gearboxes for buses, aircraft engines, rocket and torpedo motors and stationary engines. Just a few examples of their connection with Australia’s history are:

  • Armstrong Siddeley cars have been widely used in the government car fleet from the 1920’s through the 1950’s often for transport of dignitaries at state occasions but also for government officials going about their everyday work. An Armstrong Siddeley was provided for the use of the official photographer recording the development of Canberra from 1921 to 1935. (See Armstrong Siddeley and the birth of our Capitol)
  • Armstrong Siddeley engines powered a wide variety of aircraft used for transport, survey work, warfare etc.
  • Armstrong Siddeley engines powered the Jindivik target drones manufactured in Australia and used in the guided missile testing program at Woomera.

Some records and artefacts are held in government archives and are secure but accessibility is dependant on how they are catalogued.
Some records are held by the ASCC in federal and branch collections. These are generally secure but accessibility can vary. Included is a comprehensive record of the details and histories of more than 5000 Armstrong Siddeleys. This record is secure and accessible but requires regular updating as cars change owners or previously unlisted cars are located.
A large body of knowledge resides in collections, and in the minds, of ASCC members and the general public and this represents the greatest risk of loss.

Project
A recent change to the objectives of the ASCC to encompass the broader scope of Armstrong Siddeley achievements has provided the opportunity to proceed with exploration of our Armstrong Siddeley in Australia heritage to:

  • Locate and research records and artefacts.(including information on cars not presently identified)
  • Ensure safe storage and preservation.
  • Promote awareness and accessibility.

Approach
It is intended to:

  • Identify material in branch collections.
  • Seek details of records and collections held by members.
  • Seek non member input via press articles.
  • Seek input via displays at rallies and events.
  • Liaise with the Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust and other bodies interested in Armstrong Siddeley heritage to support each others efforts and share information.
  • Establish a central listing of records accessible via the ASCC website.
  • Make information available via the ASCC website and Southern Sphinx.

Contact
If you have any records, photographs or artefacts relating to Armstrong Siddeley products and/or their connection with people, events or developments in Australia, or would like to assist with this project, please contact Ian Handley by email