Kim Barkins was fortunate enough to find the car of his dreams 17 years ago when he saw the Armstrong Siddeley Whitley 18 hp in a garage in Brightwell cum Sotwell.
The car at that time had had one careful owner, Stanley Maciak. For most of its life the Whiley has been kept under lock and key in a garage resulting in only 16,000 on the clock to date from new.
“This car was built in 1951”, said Kim, “it was made in Coventry and only 2,582 were ever built.
“It’s been in a lock up all of its life and that’s why everything is clean and original. The interior is ash wood and it has the original leatherwork. I have had it resprayed, new door cards made and the wood trim re-varnished and worked on the body work.
“I used to be a mechanic until I retired due to ill health.
“The car is only used for show, I might take it for a spin on weekends”.
The original registration plate was LAD 14 which Kim still owns but the plate was transferred and the DVLA issued a new, year related number for the car.
The Whitley also has the famous Armstrong Siddeley Sphinx mascot on the bonnet. The first sphinx was used by John Davenport Siddeley when advertising the Siddeley Deasy car before the First World War, the company then adopted the sphinx and used it until their last car was made in 1960.