The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557
Lot 365
1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Charlesworth Registration no. WS 7223 Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557
Sold for £34,500 (US$ 53,883) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557 The Olympia Motor Show,1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon  Chassis no. 13011 Engine no. 13557
The Olympia Motor Show
1935 Alvis 3½-Litre Speed Twenty SD Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Charlesworth

Registration no. WS 7223
Chassis no. 13011
Engine no. 13557

Footnotes

  • 'The new Alvis Speed Twenty is the type of car which looks right, feels right and is right. From the driver's point of view the controls are all just where they are required and the power, speed and acceleration provided by the "hotted-up" but, nevertheless, silky six-cylinder engine are literally an eye-opener to anyone accustomed to driving about in a more or less sedate manner in ordinary motor cars of medium size.' - Motor magazine in praise of the new Alvis Speed Twenty in March 1932.

    Introduced for 1932, the Alvis Speed Twenty was a fine quality, sporting car in the Coventry marque's best traditions. Carried over from the preceding 20hp Silver Eagle, the 2,511cc, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine produced 90bhp on triple SU carburettors, an output sufficient to propel the touring-bodied versions past 90mph. The low-slung Speed Twenty chassis was all new, addressing criticisms levelled at the 'tall-in-the-saddle' Silver Eagle, offering levels of grip and controllability matched by few of its rivals. 'When cornering it is not only free from rolling – the low build sees to that – but the layout is such that it clings to the intended path at quite unexpected speeds, and when centrifugal force does eventually produce a skid it is of the rear wheels only and easily controlled,' observed Motor Sport's tester.

    Sturdily built and endowed with a generous wheelbase, the Alvis six attracted some of the finest examples of the pre-war coachbuilders' art, though the Speed Twenty's chassis-only price of £600 meant that ownership was necessarily confined to wealthy connoisseurs. This particular Speed Twenty wears four-door sports saloon coachwork by the Coventry firm of Charlesworth, a company perhaps best known for its contract work for various of manufacturers, most notably Alvis, as well as bespoke designs on other high quality chassis. 'WS 7223' is an example of the 4th-series (SD) Speed Twenty with the all-synchromesh gearbox and independent front suspension, making it one of the more technologically advanced British cars of its day. This particular car was displayed at the Olympia Motor Show in 1935, the chassis and wheels at that time being resplendent in chromium plating. The Alvis subsequently formed part of the Farr Museum Collection for many years before being purchased at auction in 1986 by Magnus Mansson of London SW1. While in Mr Mansson's ownership the Speed Twenty featured in an article in the Alvis Owners' Club's Bulletin in which its enthusiastic owner recounted his experiences of owning several of the Coventry firm's products (copy on file).

    The car's next owner was Mr Stephen R Jones, who acquired it in 1993. On his death in 1996 the car passed to his executor, the current owner, now deceased. Correspondence on file states that the Alvis was in full working order and had been in (fairly) regular use up to the time of the preceding owner's passing in 1996, while the Charlesworth body was described as mostly original and the interior likewise. Also on file is a list of works carried out (dated 1998), which mentions that the engine, drive train and brakes had been rebuilt circa 1987 and that 10,903 miles had been covered subsequently. The fitting of a stainless steel exhaust system (1993); re-coring the radiator (1994/95); and rebuilding the wheels (1995) are mentioned also. 'WS 7223' has had four different engines over the course of its life, one of them a 4.3-litre unit, and is currently fitted with the triple carburettor 3½-litre engine from a Speed Twenty-Five, endowing it with better-than-average performance (see documentation on file). As well as the aforementioned paperwork, the history file contains a copy of the factory Car Record, two old auction catalogue descriptions, additional correspondence and an old-style V5 registration document. Kept garaged and not used since 1996, this handsome British post-Vintage thoroughbred will require re-commissioning before returning to the road.
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