The first car ever to be registered in Malta was brought back to the Maltese roads on Saturday 20th September, 2014 in St.Francis Square, Victoria, Gozo. Although in the early 1900s there might have been more than one car on the island this 1904 Siddeley was the first ever car to be officially registered by Maltese Authorities, which today's equivalent is the Transport Malta (TM) - we are pretty sure there was no CO2 issues and VRT issues back then!

1904 Siddeley Malta first car

This 1904 Siddeley is all original with the 6 hp, 1,173 cc single-cylinder water-cooled engine, three-speed gearbox with shaft drive, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and mechanical brake on gearbox with hand brake to rear wheels, and can fetch more than €50000.

Maltese car number 1, this green 1904 Siddeley started its memorable life in 1907 in Gozo when it was purchased by three sisters. It was the first vehicle, other than that of the horse-drawn variety to be seen. The sisters’ brother, a priest, thought the car drew too much attention to his female siblings, so placed it in a windmill in Victoria, Gozo and the car was forgotten about for almost sixty years.

One of the persons discovering this 60 plus year old barn find was David Arrigo. Although in a dilapidated state, it was complete, making it an exciting and much sort after restoration project of which a British collector took upon.

The 110 year old car, spent 44 of its later years in the UK where just recently David Arrigo managed to buy the car back from the British collector and bring the Siddeley back to Malta with the help of Express Trailers.

During the ceremony the Minister thanked David Arrigo, saying that after almost a century Gozitans were now given the opportunity to see the car back to its original state and it is truly a part of the Gozitan history and wishes to find a location near the Bus Terminus to display the car. 


In the car - David Arrigo (driver and owner), Franco Azzopardi (CEO of Express Trailers), Moira Delia (presenter) and and Dr Anton Refalo (Minister for Gozo).

David Arrigo would like for anyone to come forward with any information on motoring in Malta during the years 1901-1912, especially period photographs of cars in Malta during those pioneering years. If you should have anything interesting his contact information is: Phone - 9942 0578 or email - arrigodavid@gmail.com

 

More about the manufacture Siddeley:

John Davenport Siddeley had worked for Humber and Dunlop. In 1902 he established the Siddeley Autocar Company at Coventry to sell Peugeots and soon began fitting “Siddeley” badges to the Peugeots, becoming, in effect, a motor manufacturer in his own right. With backing from Lionel de Rothschild, he approached Vickers, then owners of Wolseley, and leased one of their factories at Crayford to build his own motor cars. From early in 1904 single-, twin- and four-cylinder models were available.

In 1905, Siddeley succeeded Herbert Austin as General Manager at Wolseley, and some of the cars were identified as Wolseley-Siddeleys. Siddeley became one of Britain’s leading industrialists through his association with Siddeley-Deasy from 1909 to 1919 and Armstrong-Siddeley from 1919 to his retirement in 1936. He was knighted in 1932 and became Lord Kenilworth five years later.


Tags: malta, vintage, Siddeley

Published in: News

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