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My First Car: Whirlwind romance with my Hurricane

13:57 04 December 2015

Candy Kourakos and her father proudly standing beside her first car –  a 1948 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane drophead coupe.

Candy Kourakos and her father proudly standing beside her first car – a 1948 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane drophead coupe.


It was love at first sight when an Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane drophead coupe drove on to the garage forecourt where Candy Kourakos worked.

I found this old photograph of me and my dad proudly standing beside my first car – I think it was in 1967. It was a 1948 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane drophead coupe.

I was working as a pump attendant at a garage at Addlestone in Surrey – actually one of the first self service stations in the country – when it drove on to the forecourt and I fell instantly in love!

That owner obviously knew a sucker when he met one and sold it to me for £50... which I thought was a huge bargain.

The brakes needed pumping to work, it involved a lot of hand signalling and, when we went round corners, my little dog used to slide over the lovely beige leather front bench seat and into the capacious glove pocket in the door.

I would drive to the local garage to stick in a couple of gallons, which probably lasted me all of 30 miles, and there would be a rousing cry of “Here comes Rockefeller” but I didn’t care. I thought it was the most beautiful car on the planet.

It was a nightmare to park but I would drive so proudly into London, thinking how jealous people must be of my huge motor car. I was obviously totally delusional!

Sadly, I just couldn’t afford to keep it for very long but it went to a good home with a man who supplied cars to Shepperton Film Studios and I still look to see if I can see it in old movies but I think it would break my heart to see it again now.

1 comment

  • My father had a number of Armstrong Siddeleys during the 1950s and early 60s. They certainly looked good around London - a sort of "poor man's Bentley". The last two were both Sapphires but he had a Hurricane which I can just remember as a child - my mother loved it. The Armstrongs were built like a tank: once my father drove one right through the closed garage doors - made of solid oak! - and into the wall behind (his foot slipped on the accelerator, he said). The body was pushed back several inches on the chassis but it was successfully repaired. We once had to drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel, not long after it opened. This led to a problem at the toll booths as they had no record of Armstrongs and didn't know how much to charge us! They were very comfortable cars but the soft suspension made me a bit sick.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Monday, December 7, 2015

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