1954 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346


  • A very stately looking Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire in 3.4L straight-six guise
  • A fully operational example that presents very well indeed
  • Boasting a lovely, original patina to its comfortable and capacious interior

The Appeal

Armstrong Siddeley was one of those interesting conglomerates from the first half of the 20th Century, that produced, seemingly, diverse products. In Armstrong Siddeley’s case that was luxury cars and aero engines. Armstrong Siddeley had cemented its reputation for stately conveyances when used by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) during his 1930 tour of Uganda. This led to the Armstrong Siddeley being known as "an elegant car appropriate for royal use."

The Sapphire 346, as seen here, was the first of the Sapphire range to be introduced when it was launched in 1952. The car was all about the luxury with leather seats and walnut veneered accents being standard. The car was ideally suited to civic and royal duties being smooth, quiet and refined. Even the Sphinx bonnet mascot was known as “the symbol of silence.” On our car, however, the Sphinx is fitted with tiny jet engines as a nod to the firm’s less quiet products.

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The History and Paperwork

  • Our car was first registered in March 1954 
  • Thanks to the dashboard plaque, we know it was supplied by Vincents of Reading
  • Not too much is known about the early life of our car
  • Prior to its current ownership it was in use by a wedding car company
  • The current owner acquired the car approximately two years ago
  • The car is regularly used and very original
  • So much so as it recently appeared in a feature film set in the 1970’s
  • Paperwork comprises just the current V5 in the name of the owner
  • An original hardbacked owner’s manual is present
  • The car is registered as a Historic Vehicle
  • As such it is MOT and VED exempt in the UK

The Interior

  • Our car features a beautifully patinaed leather interior
  • Finished in a light tan and wearing its years proudly, it is a lovely place to be
  • The front is fitted with a full width bench stitched into vertical box pleats
  • There is a folding armrest for use when required
  • Thanks to the column mounted gearchange, this is a bench that can accommodate three
  • The rear cabin is also fitted with an equally commodious, full width bench
  • This features a central folding armrest
  • Additional armrests are built into the side panels, at either end of the bench
  • The prominent dashboard is finished in wood veneer
  • A number of white on black Smiths gauges populate the dash
  • Bakelite pull / push knobs take care of other key functions
  • An original push button MW/LW radio is also fitted
  • Door cards are leather trimmed and populated with chrome door furniture
  • The cream-coloured headlining appears tightly fitted and in good, overall condition
  • The large boot presents in a good, if somewhat full, condition 
  • This is also home to tools and full-sized spare wheel

The Exterior

  • Our example abounds in characterful road presence 
  • This is due to the very 1950’s upright design of the Sapphire and the two-tone paintwork
  • This example is finished in black over Old English white
  • The two colours are dissected and separated by a thin and subtle gold coach line
  • The paintwork and bodywork appear to be in excellent condition for a 70-year-old car
  • The front end features the distinctive, Palladian style chrome grill
  • The chromed Sphinx, with jets, sits atop the grill
  • Large Lucas headlights and supplemental driving lights finish the look
  • At the rear, full spats feature and are picked out in black for extra drama
  • Another charming period feature are the semaphore style indicators in the B pillars
  • Our car rolls on 16-inch steel wheels
  • These are black painted and centred with chrome finished hub caps
  • Period correct, radial type tyres are fitted all round
  • Large and shiny chromed bumpers top and tail this stately and elegant car

The Mechanics

  • This 346 model is fitted with a 3,435cc straight six engine
  • This featured hemispherical combustion chambers and was good for around 120bhp
  • Power was fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual, full synchromesh gearbox
  • The pillowy ride is thanks to independent coil springs at the front
  • The rear suspension is a rigid axle and leaf springs set up
  • Brakes are hydraulically operated drums all round
  • This configuration enabled the car to reach 100mph in its day
  • The current owner attests to the car driving very well indeed
  • It is reported that everything works as expected with no known issues
  • The under-bonnet presentation appears to be good overall
  • The underside of the car appears to be in good order for a car approaching 70 years old


With the passing of time Armstrong Siddeley has, perhaps, become less well known for its luxury cars than contemporaries from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Daimler and Jaguar. This is unfortunate, perhaps, but does present an opportunity to luxuriate in a British built, stately limousine that offers an excellent value proposition.

This example looks amazing in its two-tone paintwork complete with rear spats and imposing and chrome-heavy front end. This is certainly a car to make an entrance in, yet in a less obvious and more considered way than some of its contemporaries. This is reported to be a useable and enjoyable classic limousine and an exciting and interesting ownership proposition.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1954
  • Make Armstrong Siddeley
  • Model Sapphire
  • Colour Black/White
  • Odometer 12,809 Miles
  • Engine size 3435
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Marlow
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
21 bids
  • mi•••• £9,000 30/03/23
  • mi•••• £8,000 30/03/23
  • wi•••• £7,100 30/03/23
  • mi•••• £7,000 30/03/23
  • mi•••• £6,200 30/03/23
  • wi•••• £6,000 30/03/23
  • mi•••• £5,900 30/03/23
  • wi•••• £5,700 30/03/23
  • mi•••• £5,600 30/03/23
  • mi•••• £5,500 30/03/23

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