3 Sep 2016
More weird and wacky
How's this for an oddity- an Armstrong Siddeley ute? Armstrong Siddeley was a British aircraft engine manufacturer which also manufactured upmarket and rather majestic saloon cars. After the second world war British manufacturers were implored to export or die and they were allocated precious steel based on their export performance. At the same time farmers in Australia were seeing record prices for wool due to strong demand from Europe and for uniforms for the Korean war. Armstrong Siddeley improbably spotted a lucrative market and created the ute version of their stately saloon. Splashing their cash Australian farmers, or graziers as they are known down here, bought over 1200 of these wonderful vehicles. Of course Armstrong Siddeley did not call the model a "Ute". It was the much more refined "Murrel Station Coupe". I would love to see one unrestored and with a few merino sheep in the back bashing down a dirt track in the outback.
You do see them frequently at car shows in Australia so quite a few must have survived. The owner of this one was in keeping with the stately British demeanor of his vehicle rather superor in tone when I went to talk to him. Perhaps I got off on the wrong foot by calling it a ute.