1956 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire

236 4dr Saloon 2.3 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1956 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 236 4dr Saloon 2310
valued at £13,500
£130.00 / year*

History of the 1955 - 1957 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire

1955 - 1957 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire
1955 - 1957 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire

The Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 234 and 236 are four-door five-seater, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive saloons made between 1955 and 1958. Both are now retrospectively seen as the marque’s bold attempt to appeal to a new sector of the market.

The 1955 Earls Court Motor Show marked the debut of the Armstrong Siddeley 236 and 234 which were sometimes known as the “baby" Sapphire’. The chassis and coachwork were new and very different from the larger Sapphire 346 Mk II, with the body constructed of Hiduminium 22 alloy. There were drum brakes fore and aft, recirculating ball steering and front independent coil springs with a rear live axle and semi-elliptic springs. The cabin had a distinctively high roofline to accommodate occupants wearing formal hats. The upholstery was a combination of ICI vinyl with nylon inserts; unusual for a British prestige car of that era.

Power for the 236 was from a modified version of the engine from recently demised Whitley with clutchless Manumatic transmission and the 234 had a four-cylinder version of the Sapphire 346 engine. AS the more sporting of the two, the 234 also featured a tachometer and a manual gear change; the last-named was also available on the 236. Wire wheels, leather trim and overdrive were extras.

The Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 236 ceased production in 1957 and the 234 in 1958.

The 236 had a 2,310cc S6 OHV engine with a single Stromberg carburettor and the 234 a 2,290cc S4 OHV unit with twin SU carburettors. The transmission was by a four-speed all synchromesh gearbox with optional overdrive or, on the 236, a Manumatic semi-automatic box.

Neither the 236 nor the 234 was commercially successful and the two models are frequently cited as the reason why Armstrong Siddeley ultimately moved away from car production. However, both the 234 and 236 now have a strong following as well-made and magnificently engineered touring cars with individualist aerodynamic bodies. The former is a very able and low-key 100 mph sports saloon; the 234 was only 5bhp less powerful than the Sapphire 346 and weighed considerably less.

The Armstrong Siddeley 236 and 234 are both prone to corrosion, and the region around the doors is especially vulnerable. Finding an example of either car will be a major challenge as both versions are now very rare, with Armstrong Siddeley selling fewer 236s than 234s. A car with a poor condition interior will be expensive to restore.

Rivals to the 234 and the 236 vary from the Daimler Conquest Century and the Jaguar 2.4 Mk 1, to the Riley Pathfinder and the Rover P4 90 and 105S.

All 1956 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1955 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 234 4dr Saloon 2.3 L £ 8,100 13,600 17,100 20,200
1955 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 236 4dr Saloon 2.3 L £ 8,000 13,500 16,900 20,100
1952 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346 4dr Saloon 3.4 L £ 7,900 12,800 16,300 19,900
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