Reborn in South Africa - Restoring a 14HP Mendip
by Alan C. Evans
2013 saw the acquisition of the remains of an Armstrong Siddeley Mendip and a complete restoration of the1926 year old vehicle commenced.
There was only one Mendip imported by Swift Motors to Durban in 1926. The factory ledger entry is shown below:
The car was sold to Mr. John Western who was later killed by his African staff. For the next 50 years, the car remained in hidden barns at two different properties before being rescued.
Ready for the road
Since being restored, the vehicle has won a "car of the month" award at the Vintage Car Club in Durban, South Africa
This car is a Mk 2 Y Batch from the production period up to November 1926, with chassis number 24301 and car number AS24301. The radiator has a number 19641 stamped on the shell. Alan believes his Mendip is what was called a Doctors car, built by the Burlington Carriage Co owned by Armstrong Siddeley.
According to the available Factory Ledger Sheets, Swift & Co of Durban during 1926, received Thirty (30) Cotswold 5 seater open tourer cars. They received One (1) Mendip 2/3 Seater and amazingly this is the car Alan has restored.
Another company African, Eastern Trading Co. received Three Cotswold 5 seater open tourer cars in the same period. This research is limited to the information available and doesn’t include private importations.
The Evans Mendip is one of a variety of 14hp Mk 2 models that Armstrong Siddeley made between 1925 and 1929. Although 11,479 14hp Mk 2 cars were made during this period there are only about 70 known survivors of combined Mk1 and Mk 2 models, about half of which are roadworthy.
According to Bill Smith in his
book ‘Armstrong Siddeley Motors’, there are only two known Mendip
survivors - one in excellent condition in Australia, and another in unknown
condition in the UK.
(David Welsh ASOC)