aero and automotive engines and engineers

Where to find some Test Reports and Articles concerning 1930's Armstrong Siddeleys

by Richard Hodgson

This article first appeared in about late 1989 in "Sphinx", the magazine of the Armstrong Siddeley Owners' Club.  At that time, there was no generally available list or book of articles in print for this period.   Please do check that suitable facilities still exist before making any visits to Colindale or Beaulieu.  Please use your Web Browser's "Back" button if you want to return to this article after visiting
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One of the problems involved in researching older cars is the location of contemporaneous articles.  The problem is two fold:

(i)  A library or other source with potentially interesting material has to be found;  and,

(ii) Once such material has been located, there is the even greater hurdle of trying to find matters of interest in a short time.

Finding a suitable library can be difficult, as some claiming to have older editions of say "The Motor" or "The Automobile" often do not have a complete set.   A similar situation seems to exist [1989] with the two organisations who provide photocopies of backnumbers on behalf of these magazines (as they then were), especially for the 30's.  The surest solution is [1989] the British Library Newspaper library at Colindale, but obtaining material there is slow.  Only 4 volumes can be ordered at a time - the shelves are not open.  As one month in the 30's of "The Automobile" or "The Motor" each occupies one large volume, long sessions will have to be spent if hunting "blind".  At Colindale, the January and July editions of the 30's "Automobile" contain an index of sorts, but this refers to page number (which were continuous), not the month.  There is nothing for the "Motor".  To make matters worse, the contents of each weeks' edition tended not to be in an obvious place, like the first or second page.  Another good choice [1989] is the library at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.  This helpful library has the advantage of not being limited to magazines.  Such items as many original car handbooks and the like are available.  Photocopies are available immediately - no wait of 7 to 10 days as at Colindale.

It may be due to these difficulties that details of old articles seem to be guarded quite jealously!   As I recently saw [1989] an advertisement by a company which, for a fee, would locate contemporaneous articles for a given car or marque, I give a list of those I have found on the 16hp and larger cars of the 30's.  The list of 42 articles is not comprehensive.


        AUTOCAR,  Dec 18th 1925,   pp.1163-4.   Road test of 18hp saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Jan 1st 1932,  pp.19 & 21.   Road test of 20hp saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  May 20th 1932,  pp.844 & 846.   Road test of 20hp rally tourer.

        PRACTICAL MOTORIST,  Sept 1st 1934,  pp.624-6.   Explanation of the Wilson Box.

        AUTOCAR,  Sept 28th 1934,  pp.540-542.   Overview of the new 17hp models.

        PRACTICAL MOTORIST,  Sept 29th, pp.749-750.   Explanation of the Claudel- Hobson carburettor.

        MOTOR,  Oct 2nd 1934,  pp.361-2.   Overview of the new 17hp models.

        MOTOR TRADER,  Oct 10th 1934,  p.42.   Overview of the new 17hp models.

        MOTOR,  March 26th 1935,  pp.327-8.   Road test of the original 17hp Saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  May 3rd 1935,  pp.787-8.   Road test of 17hp sports foursome.

        MOTOR,  May 14th 1935,  pp.647-8.   The editor's (?) new 20hp sports saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Jan 24th 1936,  pp.160-1.   Overview of new 17hp touring saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  May 22nd 1936,  pp.979-980.   Road test of 17hp touring saloon.

        MOTOR,  June 9th, 1936,  pp.826-8.   Overview of the new 20-25hp models.

        AUTOCAR,  June 12th 1936,  pp.1094-1095.   Overview of the new 20-25 models.

        MOTOR,  Aug 4th 1936,  pp 9-10.   Road test of 17hp touring saloon.

        MOTOR TRADER,  Sept 2nd 1936,  pp 253-4.   Overview of 1937 range.

        AUTOCAR,  Sept 4th 1936,  pp 430-2.   Overview of 1937 range.

        PRACTICAL MOTORIST,  Sept 5th 1936,  pp 806-7.   Overview of 1937 range.

        MOTOR,  Sept 8th 1936,  pp 224-226.   Overview of 1937 range.

        AUTOCAR,  Oct 9th 1936,  pp 706-7.   Road test of 20-25hp touring saloon.

        MOTOR,  Mar 2nd 1937,  pp 181-2.   Road test of 17hp 395 6-light saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Mar 19th 1937,  pp 574-5.   Road test of 17hp 395 6-light saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Sept 17th 1937,  pp 491-3.   Overview of 1938 range.

        MOTOR,  Sept 28th 1937,  pp 335-7.   Overview of 1938 range.

        MOTOR,  Nov 9th 1937,  pp 709-710.   Road test of 25hp Town & Country saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Nov 19th 1937,  pp 1036-7.   Road test of 25hp Town & Country saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Apr 8th 1938,  pp 658-9.   Road test of 17hp 475 coach saloon.

        AUTOCAR,  Sept 16th 1938,  pp 513-515.   Overview of 1939 models, including new 20hp model
        - illustration shows "AS 18" registration (see below).

        MOTOR,  Sept 20th 1938,  pp 285-8.  Overview of 1939 models, and road test of 16hp saloon.
        Again illustration on 20hp shows "AS-18" on the plate.

        MOTOR TRADER,  Sept 21st 1938,  pp 304 & 306.   Overview of 1939 models. Illustration of 20hp
        model shows "AS-20" on plate.

        AUTOCAR,  Sept 23rd 1938, pp 545-6.   Road test of 16hp saloon.

        PRACTICAL MOTORIST,  Sept 24th 1938,  p.762.   Overview of 1939 models.  Illustration of 20hp
        model shows "AS-20" on plate.

        AUTOCAR,  Oct 7th 1938,  p.642.   Technical details in table form.  No output nor turning circle quoted
        for 20hp, though given for 16hp.

        MOTOR TRADER,  Oct 12th 1938,  p.51.   Exhibits on Armstrong Siddeley's stand, including 20hp
        Ensign and Atalanta models.

        AUTOCAR,  Oct 14th 1938,  pp 716-7.   Details of Armstrong Siddeley's stand.

        PRACTICAL MOTORIST,  Oct 15th 1938,  p.865.     Details of the stand.

        THE AUTOMOBILE ENGINEER,  Nov 3rd 1938 - various pages.    Detailed account of most makes'
        new models - diagram of 20hp's ventilation system at p.420.

        AUTOCAR,  Mar 10th 1939,  pp 408-9.   Listing of new cars, includes 20hp.

        MOTOR TRADER,  May 17th 1939,  p.349.   Current new car prices, no 20hp listed.

        AUTOCAR,  Aug 11th 1939,  pp 221-2.   Road test of 16hp touring saloon.

        MOTOR TRADER,  March 27th 1940, pp i-viii.   Trader Service Data No.86 on servicing the 16hp
        - most useful to any owner of a pre-war 16hp.


1989 Richard Hodgson.    If there are any typographical errors, or you know of any other Test Reports/Articles that should be added, please do let me know.