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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346

Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346 1953

Origin  UK
Engine  3,435 cc, straight-six Top speed  100 mph (161 km/h)
Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, classic cars

Along with Rover, Armstrong Siddeley made the sort of solid, tasteful, quietly luxurious cars that British doctors and bank managers sought to own. With its distinctive sphinx hood mascot, the Sapphire came with electric pre-selector or automatic transmissions. This was to become Armstrong Siddeley’s final model.

Sphinx hood mascot 

Although in the 1950s Armstrong Siddeley made cars that exuded a discreet English good taste that was far from showy, its distinctive sphinx hood mascot was a small piece of chrome-plated Art Deco decadence.

Aspirational vehicles

The Sapphire was built in an era when many families couldn’t afford a car,  and those who could managed with something old and secondhand. Along  with the likes of Jaguar and Rover, Armstrong Siddeley made the sort of  vehicles that most people could only dream of owning.

Charismatic Sedans

Cars such as big Opels and Vauxhalls appealed to up-and-coming consumers, who  were trading up from economy-minded small sedans, but there was also a breed of large car aimed at a wealthier clientele. Just as today’s Mercedes, Jaguar, and  BMW models are considered a cut above mass-market cars, so too did makes such  as Armstrong Siddeley and Lancia bring a certain cachet to their owners. The way many of these cars were engineered and handled was often very different. Some set store by quality construction and straightforward engineering, others found favor because of their poise and technical flair, but all of them were cars people aspired to own.

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