Before the outbreak of World War II, Armstrong Siddeley was known for the production of both luxury vehicles as well as aircraft engines. Once hostilities drew to a close though, they wasted no time getting back to civilian production. They introduced their first two postwar models, the Lancaster saloon and the Hurricane drophead-coupe, the same week the war in Europe was officially ended. In 1949 they went on to introduce two more commercially tailored offerings, the Utility Coupe and the Station Coupe. While the Utility Coupe was a traditional coupe utility vehicle, the Station Coupe featured two rows of seats to allow 4 people to ride in the cab and still have the ability to perform chores utilizing the ample bed in the rear. Both cars were derivatives of the Whitley 18 which was powered by a 2,309 cc Straight-6 engine mated to the choice of a 4-speed synchromesh gearbox or a rarely fitted pre-selector gearbox. Other forward-thinking features include an under-slung chassis frame, independent front suspension as well as hydraulically operated front drum brakes. Approximately 1,002 of these Station Coupes were produced with near 60 percent of these going to Australia. Today these Station Coupes have the honor of being one of the first two-seater utility vehicles, the ancestors to today’s modern extended cab pickup trucks.
The example on offer here, chassis number SM1812295, body number SC14046, and engine number E1812321, is a rare 1951 Armstrong Siddeley Station Coupe. It is finished in the same off-white with red accents that many of these cars wear from the factory. Not much is known regarding the history of this car, but it is believed to have been restored around 30 years ago and has held up well since then. It currently is in nice driver quality condition with charming patina scattered throughout. It was purchased from the Netherlands and imported to the US by its current owner in 2018. As it sits today, this is a solid driver quality example. As a whole, it could use a little maintenance here and there to bring it up to excellent running and driving condition but it does start, run, and drive reasonably well. Given its rarity in the United States, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a very interesting and friendly take on a postwar “utility vehicle”.
Included with the sale of this vehicle are the spare (with no tire) and the rear tonneau cover.
Body And Paint
This station coupe is very much in driver quality condition and therefore has the typical flaws and imperfections that come along with this territory. The paint is consistent throughout the body however there is cracking, chipping, and discolored areas present in small portions throughout the vehicle. The paint itself looks fair but is not of the highest caliber and was laid down thick in areas as well as over the top of some questionable metal in other areas, leaving the surface rough looking. The body is fairly straight, with respectable gaps and only minor dents and dings to speak of. For the best idea of the overall condition of the paint and body please review the photos above thoroughly.
Glass And Trim
The bumpers appear to have been painted with cheap silver paint over top of some questionable metal leaving the surface rough. The Lucas headlights are clean and clear, with decent chrome trim rings and function as they should. The glass of the cabin is in good condition with some slight delamination around the edges in a few spots and some very minor scratching from ordinary use. The weather sealing around the windows is old and tattered. The rubber grips on the running boards are deteriorated and falling off exposing some surface corrosion beneath. The rear taillights are in respectable condition, with good chrome trim rings however the lenses have some minor scuffing and a few hairline cracks.
The wheels are very much in line with the rest of the exterior, showing thick paint that remains consistent but shows flaws. There are some areas where the paint is chipping off around the edges on the rim, leaving the metal underneath with some minor surface corrosion showing. The center chrome trim caps have good shine but do show some minor corrosion around the edges.
This is very much a driver quality example and has certain flaws that come along with this such as chipping, cracking, and discoloration of the paint. Please refer to the detailed photos above to get a better understanding of the condition of this vehicle.
Seats And Surfaces
The front seating surfaces are covered with a red cloth material that matches the rest of the interior. Beneath the cloth is the proper leather seat material which appears to be in great condition however the cloth coverings are secured firmly in place so full inspection of the leather underneath is difficult. The leather door cards show some patina with some minor pulling around the edges but overall have a good fit and finish. The red carpeting appears older and slightly discolored although it retains good fitment. The wooden rim of the steering wheel is cracked and dry, and the center horn button fitment is slightly off. The dash is painted in golden color and unfortunately, someone has inscribed in permanent marker, the locations of important features. The headliner is tight and free of staining or discoloration.
Functionality And Accessories
The doors open and close as they should and the leather retaining straps, although brittle, are still in place. The windows wind up and down however, it feels like the tracks could be greased to ease in operation. The shifter moves easily through its range of motion. The gauges retain good color and clarity and it appears that they all read their functions as they should. The trafficators mounted on the exterior of the car function properly and the headlights and marker lights illuminate as they should. The windshield wipers turn on and move through their range of motion.
The interior of the car also falls into the driver quality category and as such has various flaws and imperfections that come along with the territory. For a better understanding of the condition of the interior of the car, please see the detailed photos above.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay shows as complete with nothing missing or out of place. Painted surfaces show chips and scraping in the paint with minor surface corrosion on the edges of painted surfaces where the paint has worn away. Mechanical components appear looked after, and from the good running nature of the car, it can be assumed that it was regularly maintained. All components appear well kept and despite a bit of dirt and grime show no signs of any issues.
The “bed” of this station coupe shows in a similar condition to the rest of the vehicle with various imperfections in the paint but an overall solid appearance. The tonneau cover for the bed is included and although it is ripped could be used as a template to have a new one produced.
The underside of this Armstrong Siddeley shows small imperfections in painted surfaces underneath but no real signs of metal issues past or present. There is a slight coating of grease and road dirt accumulation on suspension components etc. but nothing looks overly tired or worn out. The unique underslung chassis retains good metal with no signs of any issues.
The inline 6-cylinder starts with remarkable ease, only needing the choke after sitting for extended periods of time and settles into a smooth but gruff idle once up to temperature. Although we did not do extensive testing it appears the engine runs smoothly under load and revs easily through its RPM range.
The four-speed synchromesh transmission engages gears as it should and although we did not test the upper limits of the transmission it appears to hold power and move through the RPM range as it should. It grinds a little bit going into first gear unless at a stop but this is not out of the ordinary for older transmissions. The clutch take-up is a bit high and soft but engagement is positive and it holds power well.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop however they do feel a bit soft and could certainly use some sorting before any real driving is undertaken. No odd noises or behavior were observed from the suspension although extended testing was not carried out.
The tires are an older set of Firestone Town & Country and while they look absolutely perfect on the car and have plenty of tread left on them, the sidewalls have begun to display some cracking and they should probably be replaced before any serious driving is undertaken.
Utility vehicles such as this 1951 Armstrong Siddeley Station Coupe have a very special charm to them. They often mix the practicality of a pickup with the looks and convenience of a car and this example is no different. The Station Coupe is special in that it introduced even more practicality to the Utility genre with the addition of the back seat, allowing the ability to carry 2 additional people or more cargo. This example features an older restoration that has held up well which allows it to be used in a fun and light manner without the worry of scratches or harming a newer paint job. It is mechanically sound although with a little additional work could be a dialed-in driver quality example ready for nice weather driving or light chore and errand duty.
- Body Types Coupe
- Exterior Colour Cream
- Interior Colour Red
- Drive LHD
- Chassis Number SM1812295