The ASCC was formed in Sydney in 1960. The first branch of the ASCC was formed in South Australian in 1963 and was chaired by John Bull. Unfortunately the branch failed in the late 60's as a result of lack of support. 1970 saw the rebirth of the SA branch. This branch quickly prospered and is still strong today, nearly 40 years later.
George Hume had purchased his first AS in 1964 and had been a member of the original SA club. He recognised the resurgence of interest in the cars with owners requiring information and spare parts for maintenance and restoration of their unique vehicles. He along with a few like-minded owners determined to revive the branch.
Armstrong Siddeley enthusiasts and interested persons were asked to attend an outing on August 2nd, 1970 at 10.30 am beginning from King William Road, Adelaide. 11 Sapphires, 1 Whitley, 1 Mercedes, 1 Daimler and 1 Austin 1800 left in procession, headed by a 1925 AS owned by Graham Knott. Advertisements were placed in the local newspapers and the event was telecast on Channel 9 and 7. The procession of cars made their way to the Birdwood Mill and participants enjoyed a Barbeque lunch, between the light showers of rain. Two more AS cars arrived swelling the numbers.
A short meeting was held at 2.30pm to thank those who attended and to inform people of the intention to form a new branch of the ASCC. A meeting was planned for August 23rd at 2pm at Hart St., Semaphore (an address which became familiar to many within the branch for years to come) to inaugurate the new club. Some 20 people attended what was to be the first monthly meeting of the branch. A few of those who attended had been involved in the original branch but the majority were people who had only just discovered the marque.
George Hume took the Chair with Robert Loughhead as the first secretary. Graham Knott was the Publicity Officer and Events organizer, Garth Pennington was Historian and Librarian, John Grindlay was the Treasurer. In December 1970 Mr Loughhead was unable to continue as secretary and Garth Pennington took on this role. Barbara Pennington became Minute secretary, Robin D. Hall Librarian and Andrew McBride took the role of Historian. Meetings continued to be held at the Hume residence and regular committee meetings were held at the Grindlays’ home.
Certain principles related to the aims of the club were established during the first few meetings. These included: that a person could join and not necessarily own an Armstrong Siddeley; that regular outings be held at locations of interest; that guest speakers or entertainment be organized for meetings. The minutes of the meeting held in December 1970 recorded a request that young members were asked to come along to meetings to learn how to work on their cars.
Early outings included a drive to Clare to view a local collection of Vintage cars and the Monastery, an outing to Victor Harbour, a visit to Wick’s car collection at Balhanna, attendance at the Australia Day long weekend Veteran, Vintage and Classic Car rally in Mt Gambier and our first gymkhana held in March 1971.
Early meetings included guest speakers, Mr. Stan Norris who spoke about the history of the Nagant Hobson car; and Bill Colmer showing slides of the 1970 International and Federal Vintage and Classic Car Rally. Other entertainment included films from Castrol Oil on Rallying and High speed driving, and a talk on Sapphire cooling system. Whilst focused on our cars the club had a general interest in all things automotive.
The branch developed quickly and enthusiastically and by Easter 1973 was confident enough to host a very successful National Rally in Swan Hill, Victoria.
Since these early days the club has continued to develop and remains an active branch with approximately 40 members (many of whom have been with us for many years). The branch continues to provide an important service to the owners of Armstrong Siddeley Cars as the web site can testify. Benefits include regular contact with other enthusiasts, some with many with years of experience and extensive knowledge of the cars; access to spare parts which are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, a library, historical records of most cars, and regular, pleasant motoring activities.
For more information on the history of the national organisation of the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club access the national web page on http://www.armstrongsiddeley.org