1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959

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Lot 220
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by John Charles & Co Registration no. FAS 40 Chassis no. 11959

Sold for £ 84,380 (US$ 104,869) inc. premium
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by John Charles & Co

Registration no. FAS 40
Chassis no. 11959
*Matching numbers
*Original coachwork
*Restored in the early 1980s
*Repainted circa mid-2000s
*New cylinder head

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, 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 2½-litre, 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.

    First registered as 'AUG 11' on 8th December 1934, this unique Alvis Speed Twenty is an example of the later-series (SC or SD) model with the more powerful 2.8-litre engine, all-synchromesh gearbox, and independent front suspension, making it one of the more technologically advanced British cars of its day. According to the factory records, chassis number '11959' was ordered by Bamber's of Leeds and bodied as a three-position drophead coupé by John Charles & Company of Brentford, Middlesex to a design commissioned by coachwork suppliers, Brainsby-Woollard. Noteworthy features include over-riders monogrammed 'BW', and the coachbuilder's commission plaque on the boot sill.
    The car's early history is not known, but by 1962 its owner was Mr Sidney Richard Cain of Henley-on-Thames. Mr Cain owned the Alvis until 1982 when it was purchased by another Henley resident - Mr Raymond R Sargeant - the registration changing to 'FAS 40' at around this time. During Mr Sargeant's ownership, Rob Green of Gloria Coachworks carried out a complete chassis-upwards restoration that included new timber body framework and fresh panelling where required.

    In 1984 the Alvis was sold at auction to a Mr Daouk of Richmond, Surrey. Its next owner was Mr John Harris of Okehampton, Devon, who some ten-or-so years ago commissioned a cosmetic refurbishment that included a bare-metal re-spray (photographs on file).

    Marque specialists Red Triangle supplied a new camshaft and followers in the early 2000s, while more recently (within the last 1,000 miles) the engine received a new cylinder head complete with valves and valve guides. The dual purpose BTH magneto/distributor has been rebuilt, and a restored HT changeover switch was fitted recently. In 2016 the Alvis was in Jersey, Channel Islands, where Le Riche Automobile Restorers stripped and cleaned the brakes, and also carried out a service and engine tune. A set of new tyres was fitted in 2016.

    Today, the Alvis Speed Twenty is a highly sought-after model, open versions especially so, being eligible for numerous prestigious historic motoring events. The marque enjoys excellent support from specialists such as Red Triangle and Earley Engineering, while membership of the Alvis Owners Club provides access to the Alvis Archive Trust's comprehensive records. Accompanying documentation consists of a V5C Registration Certificate, a copy of the Alvis Car Record Card, Alvis Speed Twenty instruction manuals, and a history file of invoices dating back to the 1960s.

    With its versatile three-position drophead coupé coachwork, this fast and elegant Alvis Speed Twenty is a practical all-weather touring car ideally suited to European rallies and other events.

Saleroom notices

  • This Car hasn't had new tyres fitted as catalogued. We have noticed an issue with the starter motor and the vendor has confirmed that a replacement will follow post-sale.
Contacts
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SC' Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. 11959
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