1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885

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Lot 264
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer
Coachwork by Vanden Plas Registration no. GY 7177 Chassis no. 9885

Sold for £ 95,450 (US$ 127,340) inc. premium
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer
Coachwork by Vanden Plas

Registration no. GY 7177
Chassis no. 9885
Formerly the property of the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot
• Original and stunning Vanden Plas Tourer coachwork.
• Much work undertaken from 2018-2020
• Quintessential early Post Vintage Thoroughbred

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.

    The Speed Twenty embodied the company's tradition of fine engineering but had much superior handling than its predecessors for the improved roads of the 1930s. The six-cylinder overhead-valve engine, with its triple carburettors produced an impressive 90BHP, with the result that lighter tourer-bodied examples would exceed 90mph, startling performance for the day. The all-new low-slung chassis handled much better than its already successful predecessors. "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," observed Motor Sport's tester.

    Though the Speed 20 was in production in four series from 1931 to 1936, it is generally agreed that the earliest, the SA with its beam front axle, had a more appealing purposeful stance, and was the most responsive to drive. GY7177 carries the most desirable coachwork, the lovely 'low door' Vanden Plas foursome tourer, with that company's inimitable grace and style.

    Copy documentation on file shows that chassis number 9885 was sold new by London's main Alvis retailer Charles Follett to one Charles Percy Groseland, but he only retained the car for a year before moving abroad. The next owner was the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, of the car-building Talbot family; a recent owner wrote to the present Earl, and received a charming reply saying that the Speed Twenty had been his father's favourite car, of which a copy is on file.

    GY7177 changed hands several times in the post-war era, with a long period in the hands of a Mr Clark, then to John Whiting, before purchase in 2002 by a friend of his, Ian Murray, who retained it until 2019 with a benign regime of sparing but constant use, including touring. Though the car remained in fine driving condition, its cosmetics were beginning to show their age.

    The last time the car changed stewardship was in 2019, and the new owner decided (with a long experience of the finest pre-war cars) to embark on a programme of cosmetic refreshment. It was found that the coachwork was remarkably sound structurally, and it was refinished in the very handsome 'period' colour of Brewster Green. The interior still retained the original leather but after nearly nine decades it was passing beyond acceptable condition and accordingly it was re trimmed in a very well-chosen shade of red leather, with matching carpets and a new hood.

    One interesting aspect of the interior is that it retains the smaller lightweight dash panel typically found in the Charles Follett racing team cars. This would be a fascinating aspect of the car's history to pursue.

    Lifting the bonnet of any 1930s six-cylinder Alvis is always an enjoyable experience, and in this case it is unusually impressive, having undergone detailed preparation, with extensive attention to the wiring, generally a prudent aspect of maintaining a car of this age. The work was carried out by a prominent pre-war specialist, and the bill is on file.

    Additional documentation includes copies of the original Car Record, an old-style continuation logbook, a V5C Registration Certificate, and bills for the aforementioned works. This example has the appeal that these wonderful cars have always had for the discerning connoisseur of the best English sporting machinery.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the correct chassis number is 14609
Contacts
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
1932 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SA' Tourer  Chassis no. 9885
Auction information

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