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Property of a deceased's estate
1934 Siddeley Special Sedanca Coupé
Coachwork by Vanden Plas
Registration no. BUW 7
Chassis no. 3348

Born out of the 1919 merger of Armstrong-Whitworth's car division with the Coventry-based Siddeley-Deasy, Armstrong-Siddeley was more noted for its automobiles' high quality of construction, rather than their outright speed. Nevertheless, the firm did produce one outstanding high-performance model in the 1930s - the 30hp Siddeley Special, which debuted in chassis form at the 1932 Motor Show at Olympia. The following year a Vanden Plas-bodied tourer took one of the concours prizes at the RAC Rally, and by the time manufacture ceased in January 1937 no fewer than 17 different coachbuilders had conceived bodies in a wide variety of styles for the 253 chassis produced, of which no more than 20 survivors are known to the Armstrong-Siddeley Owners Club.

Crafted in hiduminium alloy - a spin-off from the firm's aeronautical activities - the Special's magnificent six-cylinder overhead-valve engine produced 125bhp at 3,200rpm. A seven-bearing design displacing 5.0 litres, this paragon of power units transmitted its abundance of low-speed torque via a Wilson pre-selector gearbox, and could propel the heavyweight Special smoothly from walking pace to over 90mph in top gear.

The Special's blend of engineering excellence and a performance to match Bentley's 'Silent Sportscar' guaranteed its appeal, though the high price meant that ownership was necessarily restricted to a wealthy elite, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Tommy Sopwith among them. Nevertheless, its blend of performance and quality must have been of some concern to Rolls-Royce.

According to original company sources, chassis number '3348' was completed early in 1934 and filled with Sedanca Coupé coachwork by Vanden Plas (body number '3074'). Its similarity to the model exhibited by Vanden Plas at Olympia in 1933 is striking, although the rear windows are thought to be a later addition. It is believed to be one of only two Siddeley Special with Vanden Plas coachwork surviving today. The body was extensively rebuilt in the 1970s, while the interior has been re-trimmed more recently. Otherwise 'BUW 7' is described as very original all round.

Offered from long-term ownership, this is an imposing and important motor car that must be considered to be in the same league as the contemporary Rolls-Royce Phantom II. In the words of a former Armstrong-Siddeley Owners Club historian: "in terms of Armstrong-Siddeley cars, 'BUW 7' sits at the top of the tree". Described as 'on the button', this unique and distinctive sporting carriage is offered with sundry bills, an owner's manual, and a V5 registration document.

Bonhams 1793
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department