British car manufacturers have a reputation for producing elegant vehicles, and Armstrong Siddeley Motors was no different. Known for their range of Sapphire models, perhaps the company’s most impressive machine was the Star Sapphire. Although it was only produced for two years, the Star Sapphire was a great combination of speed and beauty. We’re taking a look at how the car was designed.
The origin of the Star Sapphire can be traced back to the 346 Sapphire that was introduced in 1952. This car was a large six-seater that featured a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine. The 346 proved to be a big success, showcasing Armstrong Siddeley’s engineering expertise.
By 1957, the 346 was coming to be seen as outdated, so the company introduced the Star Sapphire as a variant. It was brought out in 1958, with the intention of being the next big thing in the luxury car market. The Star Sapphire had an increased engine capacity of 4.0 litres and a three-speed automatic gearbox. It was also the first Sapphire to incorporate disc brakes. The car also had an independent heater, while the front doors came with hinges.
Reception and legacy
A model was tested by The Motor in 1959 and clocked in at 99.6 mph. The Star Sapphire was so well received that it won the Gold Medal and the Institute of British Carriage and Automobile Manufacturers 1st prize. It also won the £4000 four-door coachwork class at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show.
Production lasted until 1960, as Armstrong Siddeley chose to focus on the aviation industry. A total of 980 Star Sapphires were produced over the two year period. This was split up among saloons, limousine, hearse and ambulance variations.
Based on how it was designed, the Star Sapphire was certainly Armstrong Siddeley’s greatest model.
Image Credit: http://www.westendclassics.co.uk