Grey (Not Gray) Ghost: 1955 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire

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Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

I’ll bet a number of you don’t know what the heck this car is! Barn Finds reader Nico A. writes: These may not be all that rare in the UK, but I can’t imagine there being many in the states. It hasn’t been driven in ten years and the owner says he stopped starting it a few years ago. It will definitely need work, but it doesn’t look that bad. That’s just my opinion, I’m in no way an expert. Rust seems to be limited, although we all know you won’t know for certain until you start taking it apart. This one also has no reserve beyond the five grand opening bid. It’s for sale here on eBay and is located in Marine, Illinois. Bidding hasn’t progressed far beyond that opening bid.

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Yeah, those who know me well from reading my posts know I’m gnashing my teeth that I can’t go get this one. This seems like an unbelievable buy to me considering what you are getting for the money. The car was imported into the US and the current owner bought it in 1988, drove it for a few years and then garaged it, starting it occasionally until a few years ago. There’s no rust that I can see on the exterior body and only surface rust underneath.

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It is apparent that the grey paint (yes, grey is the British spelling) could stand to be freshened, but I’d really want to see what a good polish would do first! It’s so stately!

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I’ve been amazed at what leather restoration kits can do, and there’s nothing quite like old but supple leather in a car like this. You could even re-dye the hides if desired.

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I can’t tell if this one has the Wilson pre-selector gearbox or the Rolls Royce automatic; the seller states automatic but could consider the Wilson box as such.

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It’s a hemi! No, not the Chrysler version, but this is a hemispherical head inline six with twin Stromberg carburetors–pretty advanced for 1955, don’t you think?

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I had to include this picture as well; an almost complete original tool kit. Yes, some of the tools have some rust, but it would be an absolute joy to refurbish them (can you hear my teeth gnashing from where you are?) Ok, we know I want the car–do you? And since this car is rare enough I could only find it in foreign value guides, what do you think it’s worth?

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    By the way, after looking at the projects I have to sell, I’m not bidding. So go ahead and steal it from me…. 🙂

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  2. Dan h

    Looks a bit like a toned down Silver Cloud. Connolly leather no dought. Some folks (including me) would consider that interior beautifully aged!

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  3. Charles

    It looks like it needs a BB Chevy engine…

    Just kidding.

    This car looks like a time capsule. Hopefully it will be made to run again and preserved.

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  4. Mark S

    Beautiful car very stately looking indeed, how ever IMHO the rocker panels need to be addressed while it’s only surface rust. I’d put some small holes in them with a drill ad spray a rust inhibitor as well as a protector. Then the same on the outside. Also One of my concerns is how hard is it going to be to get part for this old beauty can anyone answer that? Jamie it’s unfortunate that your not in a position to buy this car as it sounds like you would be the right guy for the he job. Cheers.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      There’s a very active club that can help, but pretty much anything you want would come from overseas.

      Watching this auction is killing me…slowly…

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  5. barry Thomas

    Always loved this model and the slightly smaller one that came after it. A junior Rolls for sure.

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  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Worked in the UK in 1982.
    Looked for a MKVII-IX along with an Alvis and this model when I worked over there.
    Once there, it was obvious that these were in limited number and because of the era built, many never had any rust proofing or even paint.
    Did find a MKII to bring home, still have it.

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  7. brakeservo

    Opening bid amount is probably “all the money” on this one – unknown car with very small following, if any in USA. By the way I owned one once but mine was the “El Camino” version, called a Coupe Utility – very likely the most handsome pickup truck ever built, RHD with a Wilson Pre-Selector gear box. Ran, drove and shifted quite well.

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  8. charlie

    brakeservo, that is a very handsome vehicle

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    • brakesevo

      Thank you, Bonham’s sold it for me a number of years ago to a very well known jeweler. I’m sure he appreciated it.

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  9. Walt

    Wow and more Wow ! Sigh ! That’s why they call this Car Porn ! for me anyway.
    The wood looks amazing along with the leather—-good storage I assume.
    Stromberg kits are still available in catalogs.

    Wake up Walt ! Stop dreaming !

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  10. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    I just sat there and watched the end of the auction. $5,800 stinking dollars.

    This is one of the ones I will regret years from now.

    Oh well.

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  11. MikeH

    I’m glad/sad I didn’t read this until today. That car would have been mine for that price. Probably would never get my money out of it, but, damn, it would be fun to cruise.

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