The Armstrong Siddeley Car Club

Competition results: Concours d'Elegance - 1982 Toowoomba

Friday, 1st January 1982 at Toowoomba QLD.

Competition categoryOwner/DriverCarPositionResulting timeNotes
VintageAthol Todd1924 14HP1
PreWarPenn Bradly1935 Siddeley Special189833
16/18HPDennis BeasleyStation Coupe1C188731
Sapphire Mk1Alan Purss1954 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire Mk 11C342000
Sapphire Mk2Kevin Bartenstein1L346495
Sapphire 234/236David Armstrong1956 Armstrong Siddeley 2361C230253
Star SapphireRobert & Pauline Elliott1330382
Longest Distance Travelled to RallyEvan JonesSapphire MK I1A journey of 1,800 kilometres from Mount Gambier in the South-East of South Australia to Toowoomba Queensland saw Evan Jones take home the trophy on behalf of his Mk1 Sapphire.
Hardluck & PerserveranceFred & Pat Jones1

My trials and tribulations, and therefore, this hard luck story, began several days before Easter 1982. I had prepared my Whitley (C189160), popularly known as “Whittles”, for the trip from Sydney to the Federal Rally to be held at Toowoomba that year.

As I had planned to depart Sydney early on the Thursday before Easter, I parked her in the parking station of the Boulevard Hotel, William Street, Sydney on the Wednesday evening. Paradoxically, the Boulevard Hotel is situated diagonally opposite the site of the old Buckle Motors showroom (now demolished) at 119-121 William Street, from whence Whittles was delivered to her first owner in late 1950.

Early next morning, I returned to the Boulevard to collect Whittles. She was gone. Thinking I may have mistaken the level of the parking station I had left her on, I ran up, then down, checking each floor, but in vain. The Wilson Parking attendant informed me that the boom gate of the parking station was left open in the early hours of each morning, apparently to save the cost of paying an attendant to man the booth. “Funny that”, he said, “we lost a Ferrari here last week”.

I contacted Police and reported the loss. Next, I rang Bob Elliott, then Treasurer of ASCC and he posted out a notice to every Club member, that day, alerting them to the theft. I rang radio station 2WS and paid for an announcement to be aired asking listeners to keep a lookout for the car. Naturally, I advised the Rally organisers in Toowoomba. What to do next?

I set out driving around Sydney, gradually heading west across Sydney, towards the Blue Mountains. By 10 p.m. on Good Friday I called in to yet another service station, at Springwood, where the console operator, an Englishman of mature years, listened to my story with real interest and remarked that he had owned a Whitley many years before, in Britain.

An offer of accommodation was gratefully accepted, and his kind wife served me a late supper. Next day, I took my leave of the Good Samaritans, and returned to my searching across Sydney for the remainder of the long Easter weekend.

On the following Wednesday, I received a call at work from the Police. Whittles had been reported as having been parked under a block of flats at Hurlstone Park for several days, and was apparently undamaged. I left the city immediately and found her parked under the building. A small scratch on the NSF wing was noted, and the radio/8-track player was gone, but there was no sign of forced entry or other apparent damage. The trip meter showed 39 miles, as I had set it to zero in anticipation of the Easter Rally. She started and ran normally, and the gearbox was undamaged – one of my fears having been that a person unused to a preselector box may have ruined it.

I advised various Club members of the remarkable recovery and learnt that I had been awarded the ASCC Hard Luck Trophy at Toowoomba, a small but welcome consolation.

Since that day, I have always used steering locks, immobilisers and other safety devices!

Whittles enjoyed a further eight years of regular use in my hands, including attendance at Federal Rallies at Canberra, Ballarat, Bowral, Thredbo (the best location ever), and Mudgee, before she passed from my possession to a succession of owners in Canberra, where she resides today. Truly a lucky car!

— Peter Woodward

Best Restoration First Time PresentedPenn BradlyNot Contested1
People's ChoicePenn BradlySiddeley Special (1935)1SS3418
The Armstrong Siddeley Car Club
Armstrong Siddeley Car Club, PO Box 162, Katoomba NSW 2780
Phone Rowan Fitzpatricke, President, 0404 032 113
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