Head of Sale
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The Gstaad Sale / 1934 Alvis Speed SC 20 DHC Chassis no. 11078 Engine no. 12426 (see text) Coachwork by Charlesworth
CHF80,000 - CHF120,000
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Head of Sale
European Sales Manager
International Chairman for Motoring
"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.
This particular Alvis is an example of the later-series (SC/SD) Speed Twenty with the 2.8-litre engine, all-synchromesh gearbox and independent front suspension, making it one of the more technologically advanced British cars of its day. Chassis number '11078' is one of only 32 Speed Twenty SC drophead coupés bodied by Charlesworth of Coventry, Alvis's most favoured coachbuilder.
This car was imported into Switzerland by its last owner in 1987. The previous British owner had had the Alvis since 1981. Before that there seem to have been six other owners, all in the UK. We are advised by the vendor that the car is a very sound and runs well, having benefited from a partial restoration prior to 1987, when the entire body was restored and repainted. Today there are a few cracks and dents, though the wooden framework appears to be in good condition. Panel fit is good and the chrome is in generally good condition, while the interior has the charming patina of an older restoration (one instrument is not original). The carpets are in good condition and the hood is old but very presentable. The mechanicals are working very well.
The last owner drove the Alvis on several rallies (including in China). He had a spare engine restored and fitted to the car (number '12510') together with a specially made four-blade fan (the original has only two). A modern oil filter and ball joints are fitted also. The exhaust is made of stainless steel and the tyres are 50% worn. The electrical wiring is original. It should be noted that the André shock absorbers and central lubrication system are not working.
Finished in two-tone grey with dark grey leather interior, this handsome 'Post-Vintage Thoroughbred' is offered with a copy of the Alvis build sheet; copy photograph of the car with its second owner; and a large file of documents, invoices and rally participation paperwork. The car's original engine, number '12426', is included in the sale.