The 4.3

14824 OCE 43 see comment from Ben Lenthall
14824 OCE 43 see comment from Ben Lenthall

Bon Continuation (images by John Fox at Midland Alvis Day 2013, Gaydon)

14846 vdp SC tourer circa 1969 as found by Svein Storsveen in a Norwegian scrap yard1
14846 vdp SC tourer circa 1969 as found by Svein Storsveen in a Norwegian scrap yard

14303 4.3 Litre SA Mayfair Carriage Saloon, DXU 870 scrapped in Clink's Pump Farm in 1967
                                                                        DXU 870 scrapped in Clink’s Pump Farm in 1967
14303 4.3 Litre SA Mayfair Carriage Saloon, DXU 870
14303 4.3 Litre SA Mayfair Carriage Saloon, DXU 870

One of the lost 4.3 Litre cars.  4.3 Litre SA Freestone & Webb Saloon, chassis 13164, finished in Beverley Blue with Gold hairlines and Cinnamon coloured hide was an Olympia Show Car on the Freestone & Webb stand.  Despatched from the Works to J. Smith & Co., Ltd., 27-28 Albemarle Street, Picadilly, W.1.  Registered  EJJ 663 by the London County Council sometime after September 1937.  The first owner, on 7 October 1937, was A. C. Grimshaw of Garth, Nr. Dolgelly, Merioneth.  Last Heard Of, by me, with R. R. John Champion of Kings Lynn, Norfolk, circa 1963.

There is hope that EJJ 663 will resurface.  Circa 1992 it was reportedly seen in the barn of a collector, with its Freestone & Webb Saloon body intact.

13163 Vanden Plas Pillarless saloon EML 461
13163 Vanden Plas Pillarless saloon EML 461

Another 4.3 Litre mystery.

4.3 Litre SA Vanden Plas Pillarless Saloon, chassis 13163, finished in Blue Pearl Essence with Beige Leather, an Olympia Show car on the Vanden Plas stand, despatched on 31 October 1936 to Anglo African Shipping Co. of London.

Chassis 13163 is believed to have been registered EML 461, issued by the Middlesex County Council between September and December 1936.

Clive Hutchinson told me Stan Pollard acquired EML 461 from South Africa.

Along the way EML 461 received a number of modifications to modernize its appearance.  In the two photos I have seen the basic pillarless saloon body appears to be unchanged.  The front wings have been modified and extended to meet the rear wings, rear spats have been added, the headlamps have been enclosed and a splash pan has been added between the front bumper and body.

The reportedly intact chassis of EML 461 is believed to have last been heard of with Walter T. Scott of Bolton, Lancashire, circa 1983.

It appears that the histories, documents and possibly some parts of chassis 13163 and 13167 may have been mixed at some time.  They may both have been in the hands of Stan Pollard.  If so, that may have been where the mixing took place.

EML 461, possibly now on chassis 13167, has a 4 door tourer body by Comptons of Welshpool.

EML 461 Compton

The mysteries:

1. Where and with whom did 13163 spend its time in Africa?

2. When, why and by whom was the body modified?

3. When, why and by whom was the body discarded?

4. If components of chassis 13163 and 13167 were combined, when, why and by whom?

EML 461 front ns

KPC 362 article 221212

4.3 Litre SB Windovers Saloon 14804, ERW 780, finished in Jewelescence Pearl with Special Red Leather. A one off body ordered by the original owner, John Wormell a roofing contractor of Berkswell, Warwickshire
4.3 Litre SB Windovers Saloon 14804, ERW 780, finished in Jewelescence Pearl with Special Red Leather. A one off body ordered by the original owner, John Wormell a roofing contractor of Berkswell, Warwickshire
A Mayfair 4.3 – probably a publicity photo


A period photo, circa 1938, of 4.3 Litre SC Offord short chassis Drophead Coupe 14333, DOM 655. I have two copies of the photo, one from Ernest Shenton, the other via Mike Cummins and Dave Culshaw, reportedly supplied by a former M. D. of Galts of Glasgow. Written on the back of one is “J. R. Weir + Gerald Kafferata + his 4.3”. 4.3 Litre 14333, originally “Black. upholstery – Red leather as pattern approved by client”, was despatched from the Alvis Works on 12 November 1937 to Patrick Motors, Ltd., Bristol Road, Birmingham. The original owner, also on 12 November 1937, was G. W. Cafferata, “Fairways” Radcliffe on Trent, Notts. % Messrs. Cafferata & Co., Ltd., Newark on Trent, Notts.
We know from 1992 correspondence between Bernard Nield and George Roy, son of James Roy, that in 1939 DOM 655 passed through the hands of James Roy, an Austin dealer in Edinburgh for over 30 years, who dealt extensively in nearly-new British, Continental and American quality cars. It was sold to a Mr. Gerald Cree of Balermo, a suburb of Edinburgh. Somehow DOM 655 later found its way to South Africa. In the early 1980s it was with Selby James Cunningham of Johannesburg. Back in England in the late 1980s, in a Cambridgeshire collection, later in Germany where the current photo was taken, see below and


Period photos of 4.3 Litre SB Offord Drophead Coupe, 14803, DRW 361, circa 1941- 1946, when owned by Leonard J. “Leo” Joseland, supplied, via Greg Wrapson, by Mark Joseland, archivist and former Secretary of the Midland Automobile Club. Leonard Joseland, Mark’s father, was the brother of Charles Percy Joseland, an early employee of T G John Ltd. The car was in use throughout the War, as Mark’s father had an essential user’s petrol ration. After the War, the car was returned to Alvis to be refurbished as new, but the size of the bill prompted him to sell it.
Scott Greenhalgh & Baddy Walker drove DRW 361 on the Peking to Paris rally in 2010
4.3 Litre SA J. Gurney Nutting Saloon 14342, ETC 542, the 1937 Earls Court Motor Show Car on the Gurney Nutting stand. Curiously, not despatched from the Works until 24 July 1939 to Kings Road Garage, Annes-on-Sea for the first owner, John Irlam of Lythan St. Anne’s. The last recorded sighting of ETC 542 was with Scottish Motor Services, the used car arm of James H. Galt, Ltd. of Glasgow, in the early 1950s. The following ad appeared in The Autocar of 17 February 1955: ALVIS 4.3 Litre Gurney Nutting 4-door sports saloon, first-class condition throughout; any inspection; £325. John Patterson, Ltd., 269-275, Upper Newtownards Road, Knock. Only 2 Gurney Nutting bodies are known to have been built on 4.3 Litre chassis, the other car, chassis 13159, is believed to have been in Salisbury, Rhodesia at the time. So, the car advertised in Knock, Northern Ireland may have been ETC 542. Has it survived? If so, where is it now?
14342 Gurney Nutting
4.3 Litre Abbey Coachworks Dhc 14298, EXK 80, for Erwin Goldschmidt – more details in the pdf link below

 4.3 14298 Erwin Goldschmidt

This is a Charles K. Bowers & Son publicity photo of 4.3 Litre SC Vanden Plas s/c Tourer 14330, EGP 759. A note of the back of the photo reads: “8th Oct. 1937. Picture: V. Brodzy (owner) with model”. Julian Collins wrote that, through a newspaper cutting from the Illustrated London News of 31st December (1937?) the young lady in the Bowers photo is revealed to be Miss Pearl Argyle, “the well-known ballet dancer”.
Circa 1941 photo of 4.3 Litre SC Vanden Plas short chassis Tourer, chassis 14320, AJY 33, which was supplied by Michael Mather-Lees. AJY was with his family from 1939/40 to 1966. First with his mother, when the photo was taken, and later with him. His mother’s brother, home on leave, is in the photo.

4.3 Litre SA Offord Dhc 13158, CYX 658, the 1936 Olympia show car.  First owner, Sir George Stanley White Bt. of  The Bristol Aeroplane, Co..  Believed taken at White family home in Rudgeway, South Gloucestershire.  Last heard of with M. D. Dye, 14 Comiston Road, Muswell Hill, London N.10 circa 1959.
This Offord Dhc is the ex Arnold Lees 4.3 Litre 14316, DYW 68 (see SWISS TOURS). The original owner was Brian McIlwraith McGowan of 10 Victoria Road, London W.8. Just prior to the war it is believed to have been with Capt. A. C. Dick of Tonbridge. After Arnold Lees it went, circa 1959, to W. W. B. Sroner of Chelmsford and circa 1962 to Ed Norris of Cambridge. After his death it was advertised by Clink in March 1989. Then to Diana Russell of Vintage Racing Cars who sold it to Col. Phil Adair, now resident in Virginia, who has owned DYW 68 since 1969.

The Offord Dhc , DYW 68 when with Capt. A. C. Dick of Tonbridge. This photo with the car full of people is (via Nick Walker) from Richard Dick, son of Capt. A. C. Dick.
4.3 Litre SA Vanden Plas Pillarless Saloon 13156, CKV 161, from The New Zealand Observer of 29 November 1939 captioned “Combining Speed, Comfort and Hansome Appearance – Mr. Pascoe’s Alvis with its sweet lines and Imposing front end is one of the outstanding cars in New Zealand at the present time.”

For a history of DHP 223 click on DHP233summary

The glorious driver’s view from a 4.3 pictured at IAD 2012 – AAT photo

and these are more photos of the same car…..

4.3 Litre SC Whittingham & Mitchel short chassis Concealed Hood Drophead Coupé 14844, DVB 1. From the Car Record: “Special Body Throughout, Black, Wings & Wheels Black. Special Brown Leather. Adjustable arm rests fitted to both doors. Phillips radio set fitted. Stop watch fitted. Special high compression engine fitted.” Rumored to have been prepared to be entered in the1939 Monte Carlo Rally. Interesting, but not yet confirmed. I have a copy of the original log book. All owners are known.
The only photos known, probably publicity shots, of 4.3 Litre SA 14334, Maltby’s, Ltd. Redfern Saloon-Tourer, supplied by Charles Follett, for His Exalted Highness Sir Osman Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Redfern Saloon-Tourer featured a hydro-electrically operated hood. Two compression plates were supplied and fitted to lower the compression ratio. Apparently premium fuel was not readily available in Hyderabad. Some of the Nizan’s cars are known to survive. Is the 4.3 Redfern Saloon-Tourer among them? The photo below was first published on the front of Bulletin 246 in June 1974
14334 Maltby
A 4.3 saloon chassis 13171 when owned by Clive Hutchinson.

The three photos (below) from Joseph Santos-Fernandes are of 4.3 Litre SC Vanden Plas 3685 short chassis Razor Edge Saloon 14969 15354 20239 BD 11 12 despatched 11 October 1939 to Fernando E. S. Moniz Galvao, Ruacomercio 107, Lisbon, Portugal, the original owner and now still in Portugal with Louis Manuel C. Sousa Riberiro.

14969 rear ns 14969 side 14969 rear

14969 currently with Louis Manuel C. Sousa Riberiro
14969 currently with Louis Manuel C. Sousa Riberiro
Following the popularity of Wayne’s 4.3 page on this website Wayne has assembled a wealth of further information which we have now put on a separate website

18 thoughts on “The 4.3”

  1. Hallo There – wonderful documentation abt the 4.3ltr. I have a question : I own chassis nr 14343 car nr 19925 OFFORD and SONS cabriolet ex FGW 409 – is this the only 4 door cabriolet known to have been build by OFFORD & SONS or are there any more cars known ? Thanks -yours for the longer bonnet Lutz Burchard nr 6748

  2. Dear Lutz,

    As far as I know, from Alvis records, your chassis 14343 is the only Offord & Sons 4 Door Cabriolet on an Alvis chassis. In addition there were nine Offord Drophead Coupes on the 4.3 chassis, one 4 Door Tourer and two Drophead Coupes by Carlton Carriage to an Offord Design. All but three Offord and one Carlton Drophead are known to survive with their original bodies.

    I know of three Offord bodies on the Speed 25 chassis, two Drophead Coupes and a 2 Seater Tourer. One Drophead and the the Tourer survive.

    Yours for longer bonnets,


  3. What a great facility.
    I owned EGP759 in the early 1970’s , Bought, I think, from the dealer Mike Berry in central London, at that time it looked rather drab in maroon. I had the wings and usual two tone areas painted black. Sadly I didn’t enjoy the car, much preferring the SA speed 20 that I also owned. I sold it via the Alexandra Palace auction.

  4. Wayne: as you know my 4.3 Alvis now resides in the Uk where it belongs, I have made a copy of the Reg papers (not complete) so you can fill in ownership of some of the people. also have Reg # of KClark or other owner from a magazine archive. See if Reg #OL 5679 shows up anywhere, I have no further info on that one, hope to see you at Hershey again this yr.

  5. Hi Wayne, Do you know the current whereabouts of DVD1/OCE43 the 1937 Charlesworth saloon ex Mike Cummins which I once owned? I’m feeling nostalgic!

    1. Ben,
      Peter Blenk told me he sold the 4.3 in 1990 to James Boland, Bolands of Clondalkin, New Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, 22 Ireland, 01 4643913 / 0818 333 223,, an Opel dealer & “Fairwaws”, Dublin Road, Naas, Ireland. The last I heard it was with him. Have never had any communication with Mr. Boland. A couple years ago on a rally I met a chap from Ireland who claimed to know Mr. Boland said he has a collection of old cars and the 4.3 was still in that collection.
      Happy New Year.
      Yours for longer bonnets,

  6. Anybody looking at the 4.3 DHC on eBay in the UK? Nice car, in the archives, known to the club I’m sure. eBay item #231145935694 on

  7. Posting this on behalf of the grandson of the chauffeur in the picture who has just found the photo. Bonnet louvres etc suggest it’s a 4.3, but who was the coachbuilder? Suggestion on is possibly Mayfair? Photo taken on the Camborne estate in Cornwall (date unknown but likely in the 40s) and car belonged to the Rosewarne family.

    1. Mark,

      Thanks for the link to the most interesting photo.

      I don’t believe it is a 4.3 Litre, at least not one that I’m aware of. However, I knew the very distinctive body looked familiar. I believe it is 3½ Litre Mayfair Coupe de Ville, chassis 13089, engine 13539, car 17644, registration CGW 693, despatched from the Alvis Works on 31 July 1935 to Charles Follett, Ltd. 18 Berkeley Street, London W.1. The original owner was Lionel Edward Richard Bellairs, The Hall, Binfield, Berkshire. CGW 693 is said to have had a fixed metal head with a removal hood over the chauffeur’s compartment. 3½ Litre CGW 693 was last heard of (by me) with Colin Fine Thompson of 14 The Green, Bonehill, Tamworth, Staffordshire, circa 1951.

      I would like to know more.

      Charles Louis Rosewarne of Chy-an-Goon, Gwinear Road, Connor Downs, Hayle, Cornwall had a number of Alvis:
      ’35 Silver Eagle Holbrook saloon BCV 999
      ’36 Speed 25 Charlesworth Saloon DGW 599
      ’37 Speed 25 Charlesworth Saloon CVC 313
      ’51 TA21 Mulliners Saloon OAF 306
      Possibly others
      Bentley, might be a Mk VI, registration LRL 2

      Wayne Brooks

  8. That is a most informative reply Wayne, thank you very much. I will pass this on to the chauffeur’s Grandson. He has said that he is contacting the Camborne estate to see if they have any info and if comes up with anything else I will pass it on.

    Best regards,


  9. Isn’t the photo printed the wrong way round? Either that or it’s a left hand drive Alvis which I think highly unlikely. Anyway, a superb body and surely a worthy subject for recreation on a chassis which has lost its original.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s