1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355
Lot 234
1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation
£120,000 - 160,000
US$ 160,000 - 210,000

Goodwood Revival

9 Sep 2017, 13:00 BST

Chichester, Goodwood

Lot Details
1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355 1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation  Chassis no. 14355
1937 Alvis Short chassis 4.3-Litre Continuation
Registration no. YXG 438
Chassis no. 14355
*Developed by Red Triangle as its 'Continuation' demonstrator
*Restored between 2011 and 2014
*Circa 12,777 miles since completion
*Arguably the ultimate pre-War British sportscar

Footnotes

  • 'In the scheme of things there are cars, good cars and super cars. When a machine can be put into the last of these three categories and yet is not by any means in the highest-price class, considerable praise is due to the makers. The model in question is the latest Alvis 4.3-litre sports tourer.' – The Autocar, August 1938.

    Pre-war development of the six-cylinder Alvis culminated in the announcement of the 4.3-Litre in August 1936. The 4.3-Litre was based on the 3.5-litre Speed Twenty Five introduced the previous year and was powered by an enlarged version of Alvis' new seven-bearing, overhead-valve engine. The cruciform-braced chassis featured the kind of advanced thinking long associated with the marque: independent front suspension and a four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox, introduced on the preceding Speed Twenty, were retained with the additional refinements of driver-controlled Luvax hydraulic dampers and servo-assisted brakes. Claimed to be the fastest un-supercharged saloon on the UK market, the Alvis 4.3-Litre was certainly one of the few pre-war saloons capable of a genuine 100mph. 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 4.3-Litre's chassis-only price of £750 meant that ownership was necessarily confined to wealthy connoisseurs. A mere 198 cars had been delivered when the outbreak of war stopped production.

    Originally a Charlesworth-bodied saloon, this Alvis 4.3-Litre, chassis number '14355', was despatched new to Messrs Hanna of Belfast, Northern Ireland in March 1937. In 2011 the car was acquired from Northern Ireland by renowned marque specialists Red Triangle to be developed by them as the demonstrator for their 'Continuation' series. Alvis had sanctioned the construction of 150 Vanden Plas-bodied tourers back in the late 1930s, only 73 of which had been completed before war broke out.

    London-based coachbuilder Vanden Plas had forged its not inconsiderable reputation by a most fortuitous alliance with Bentley, bodying some 700-or-so of the latter's chassis during the 1920s, including the Le Mans team cars. The firm survived Bentley's demise and resurrection under Rolls-Royce ownership, diversifying into other makes, Alvis being one of the most prominent customers.

    Red Triangle planned to use the remaining 77 allocated chassis numbers for its series of new 'Continuation' cars, and this original 4.3-Litre was used in the early development of the concept. On arrival in mainland UK, the Alvis was registered with the number '332 YUH', but the vendor subsequently asked the DVLA to issue the car with a pre-war number and they registered it with the current registration, 'YXG 438'.

    As Red Triangle's demonstrator, this car was developed with fuel injection and disc brakes, and fitted with an overdrive, the latter being still in place. The car was developed by Red Triangle with a Vanden Plas-type body, and was fitted with the first of the 'Continuation' series engines. The odometer reads 12,777 miles, which is believed to be the distance covered since the car was first developed by Red Triangle.

    The vendor bought 'YXG 438' from Red Triangle in April 2015, and as part of the arrangements they agreed to return the car to drum brakes and SU carburettors so that it was in 1937 specification. While waiting for those components to arrive, the vendor ran the car on borrowed carburettors and brake drums and entered several rallies, including the Flying Scotsman, 1,000-Mile Trial, and Three Castles. Eventually the aluminium brake drums arrived and were fitted to the car, while the new SUs took even longer to materialise but have now been installed. It is understood that the car could be refitted with fuel injection and disc brakes if a buyer so desired.

    The private vendor describes the Alvis as in generally very good condition in every respect, but is of the opinion it is too nice for the events that he enters, his Talbot being considered much more appropriate, hence the decision to sell. Accompanying documentation consists of V5C Registration Certificate, a copy of the Car Record, sundry post-purchase bills, and an article about the Continuation series.
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