"Having finished the restoration of a Whitley I was keen to
buy another. I liked the 1930s cars and purchased the 20hp from it’s
second owner. The car’s complete history is known as the first owner
owned the car from 1935 until his death in 1978. Remarkably the purchase
order survives to this day.
In addition to the preselector gearbox for which AS was
renowned, this car was also fitted with the optional fluid flywheel. This
meant it could be stopped in gear in the same way a car with automatic
gearbox can be today. At the time, in order to protect the local
coachwork industry, fully imported cars were subject to high tariffs.
This car was imported as a chassis complete with front guards, bonnet etc
and the remainder of the body constructed by Creswell of Sydney.
The car was in poor condition, so over the following 4
years a body-off chassis restoration was carried out. Much of the timber
frame in the roof had rotted and there was substantial corrosion in the
front guards. The chassis frame needed straightening at the rear. The
rear doors had been shortened, (the reason for which remains unclear) so
the restoration included reinstating the doors to correct length. The
rear bumper bars and support brackets were missing altogether so new ones
were fabricated. Suspension, brakes and steering were overhauled and
subsequent mechanical work has been required to the engine. Finally, a
GMH acrylic paint was chosen for the exterior and the interior was
re-trimmed and the dash/door caps restored.
With its 3.2 litre engine, I find the car is easy to
drive. The sleek, 30s styling always attracts admiring glances. My love
affair with this car has resulted in the purchase of other pre-war AS