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July 20, 2019
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Armstrong Siddeley Motors - The cars, the company and the people in definitive detail

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Armstrong Siddeley Motors - The cars, the company and the people in definitive detail
We have a limited number of copies with bookplates personally signed by Bill Smith! Request during checkout.

By Bill Smith
About the Author

* 250 by 250mm * 496 pages * 365 black & white photographs and illustrations

ISBN: 9781904788362

£ 75.00 Postage + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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A unique blend of social, economic and industrial history.
The history of the company from Siddeley's birth to now.
It unravels the complex history of Siddeley's involvement in motoring.
It graphically illustrates the style and the personalities involved.
It reveals the political and economic background of the time.
It shows the relationship between the aero and car side.
It highlights the many illustrious owners of this marque.
It shows why car production stopped and what happened next.
It shows how ASOC and other Clubs kept the marque alive.
It lists in detail some of the surviving cars.


What did Armstrong Siddeley Motors achieve? A car that looked good, did what it was intended to do and was thoroughly reliable


If ever there was a car that exuded style it was the Armstrong Siddeley. From the vast leviathans of the 1920s to the Art Deco inspired cars of the thirties and the restrained post modernism of the 1950s. Somehow for all the design influences it comes out looking very British indeed.

Independent Reviews

Review by Hugh McMinn for The Southern Sphinx journal (Armstrong Siddeley Car Club), February 2007

Whilst very much a work about A/S vehicles and the characters involved with them, this book is delightfully interesting and educational about the early developments of the motoring age.

A book like this on the Armstrong Siddeley marque will not be seen again.

Review from Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car, December 2006

This is an impressive and exhaustive book, and deserves a place in any automotive historian's collection.

Review from Cars For The Connoisseur, December 2006

A unique blend of social, economic and industrial history, chronicling the full story of the company from Siddeley's birth to the present day.

This tome is a treasure which will appeal to many other enthusiasts outside the realm of Armstrong Siddeley.

Review from Old Cars Weekly, December 2006

If the main title doesn't say it all, the subtitle certainly does. This book contains every detail fans of this British marque might be looking for, right down to the serial numbers and abbreviated histories of many of the cars.

At nearly 500 pages, this book is truly a labour of love. In fact, author and Armstrong Siddeley owner Bill Smith put 30 years of research into writing this definitive work. Included are stories about the people who built the car, the details of the motor cars they produced for 41 years before the company was absorbed by Rolls-Royce and the lasting impression the car has made, illustrated through car club information and even the author's own passion for the marque.

This is not a cheap book, but rather a worthy investment.

Review from Classics Monthly, October 2006

If you've an interest in Armstrong Siddeley then do whatever you need to do to own this book. Sell the kids, go without food, but don't forget to strengthen your book shelves as 500 pages are heavy. Every fact and figure, chassis by chassis, is here - including the AS trains and planes. All images are black and white but that's the only criticism. A very specialist title but, with this high level of quality, stocks deserve to sell out quickly.

Review from The Automobile, September 2006

Subtitled The Cars, the Company and the People in Definitive Detail, this well-produced 496-pager really is a major work. Historians must be grateful to the Michael Sedgwick trust and Veloce for making it happen. Much more than just the Armstrong-Siddeley story, it starts with J D Siddeley and his bicycle shop, leading to employment with Humber, then Dunlop, before he set up his on his own with the Clipper Pneumatic Tyre company in 1896. Siddeley Autocar was established in 1902, with products based on Peugeot components.

What makes this book so good is the obvious depth of research behind every paragraph. Whenever a new company comes on the scene, there is a fairly complete background history of it. From this we read of the Wilson-Pilcher and the Armstrong Whitworth. Throughout, we can pick up what was happening in the world outside A-S, so the coverage of company decisions affected by economic factors 'model changes or mergers' is easily understood. It is as much an engineering history of the times as a treatise on A-S. Model descriptions are very complete with every bodywork variation covered. Each chapter from1905 onwards finishes with a brief dissertation on surviving or otherwise important chassis numbers, and reference notes on where particular information had been obtained. It is well illustrated throughout, with period advertisements and photographs of cars, aircraft and people.

Bill Smith first became an Armstrong owner in 1968, but sold that 1936 12hp sports tourer four years later. He rejoined the fold with a 1935 17hp saloon in 1974 and became a board member of the A-S Owners' Club as registrar and historian for some of the 1930s models. The book can be said to have started then, and due credit is given to the ASOC for the use of its extensive archive, which includes many of the post-war management memos and correspondence.

This really is a remarkable book whose appeal is difficult to convey as it covers so much of interest to more than just A-S owners. It has been a long time in gestation but is well worth the wait.

Review from the Motor Cycling Club, September 2006

It's 70 years since I remember my father recounting tales of the unreliability of the engine in his DH9 day bomber in 1918 and how, but for the cease fire on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month he would probably have joined the 250% of aircrews who were lost in that last fatal six months of war. Now after reading this remarkable book I know why. The engine in question was designed by the ill fated Royal Aircraft Factory, ordered straight from the drawing board and built under licence by what later became Armstrong Siddeley. Unfortunately it relied upon casting and other production techniques not then available rather like the V16 BRM, the Brabazon and Brunel's atmospheric railway.

This is only one of the million facts contained within the attractive art deco covers of this 3 Kg coffee table masterpiece. While the cover price of £75 brings tears to the eyes, the book is much more than the story of a less well known make of car and if like many of us you enjoy tales of cross pollenisation between the pioneers of the auto, aircraft and nautical industries it's a MUST for the private collection. Naturally it covers every type of car produced under the Armstrong Siddeley name but it's so much more than that in the detailed way it unravels the lives of those designers, entrepreneurs, drivers and workers who made it all happen.

Cheat if you may, and get it on your library card but it's not a book to be enjoyed in the short borrowing term. Instead start making hints now and perhaps Santa will be listening or better still do as I have done and suggest to the lady who produces the programme that this is THE book which should accompany the Bible and works of Shakespeare with me to that desert island. I am looking forward to my evenings under the swaying palms and the setting sun, enjoying my island brewed rum and ganga, to my selection of records by Verdi, Miller and Barber while dipping at random into this new book by Veloce Publishing. I'll cogitate on how the first MCC president S F Edge co-operated with Mr Siddeley's tyre company or how in a slack business moment Mr Siddeley designed and manufactured torpedoes to be dropped by Swordfish aircraft but which remained in RN service for many years and probably sank the General Belgrano. It's that sort of book and I recommend it.

Review from Classic Cars, August 2006

The definitive account of the marque and its life over four decades.

Review from Classic Car Weekly, August 2006

The author of this book, Bill smith, had a friend at college who drove an Armstrong Siddeley 20hp Sports Saloon. Being able to carry up to eight people, it was a legendary party taxi and jazz band transporter - these early experiences left Bill hooked and he has been in and out of Armstrong ownership ever since.

Armstrong Siddeley's with an interesting background have been listed in chassis number format with a short description, such as: 'Car number 162139, a Lancaster, went via Pass & Joyce on 14th November 1946, to Lord Rothschild.' Bill has covered Armstrong Siddeley's birth to the present day, the reason behind production stopping and even a list of surviving cars.

Armstrong Siddeley isn't a name that usually graces the pages of CCW, but Bill has put 30 years of research into a cloth back book and the information on offer is fascinating. It is one of those books to dip into on those rainy days, not for a holiday read, unless you are planning on going for 6 months or more, that is.


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