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The Heritage Trust obtains the original"test bed" for the first MOT tests in 1960

346 'test bed'


Back in1960 when Ernie Marples was Transport Minister, the MOT was launched as a road worthiness
test for cars 10 years and older. Very quickly, on the basis of nationwide experience, in 1961 the test
was amended to apply to vehicles 7 years and older. By 1967 the age applicable was reduced to 3 years and older. The Principal Private Secretary to the Minister was a Civil Servant named John Garlick (later to become Sir John Garlick), who had an interesting life story related to roads and transport in some considerable measure. Siddeley Times, the now bi-annual magazine sent to Heritage Trust members will carry an expanded article shortly.

John, a canny Scot, tended to purchase good second cars I am told - and so it was in 1960 he owned a January 1954 Armstrong Siddeley Mk.1 Sapphire 346 registered KCY379, a vehicle of suitable age and ready to hand, so ideal for reference and testing. Thus KCY379 became the test bed for the subsequent official test.

This year I was approached by Marian Headicar, Sir John Garlick’s daughter offering the car to the Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust. The car has been gratefully accepted as with this provenance it will generate much interest. Would KCY379 pass the MOT test today? Probably not –but soon will we hope.

Iain Campbell
Chairman Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust

Posted in General News on the 17th March 2015 at 1:28pm.