Manfred has also produced a number of backdrops for the show including a comprehensive file on aircraft with the Leonides engine which can be downloaded from here
The sad news of the loss of one of the organising team has prompted a new page with a contemporary report on the 1995 Swiss Tour
Some feedback on the Firebird article has reunited the car’s seller, now 90, and buyer in the 1960s, see comments under Firebirds are go!
Over two years ago Wayne had a call from Steve Patience, the owner of WM 1800 since 1972 who said he still hopes to get around to re-restoring the car sometime. Wayne posted the comment and has had a response from the former owner’s son who wanted to contact Steve. Wayne takes up the story:
Sometimes you can learn a lot by asking questions. Called Steve Patience who said he would be pleased to hear from Chip Hellie. Sent Chip what I had on 9877. Received the following:
Thank you for the prompt reply!
I have always been smitten by our old Alvis 9877 and often think of it. I was just a lad of 5 years old when my father owned it. It really left a lasting impression on me. We always were a car family and have had countless numbers of fine machinery but for some reason that car stands out above the others.
I can easily see why Alvis collectors are so passionate about them, they are remarkably beautiful cars, especially the Speed models.
My father William Hellie Sr. who purchased the Alvis is still alive at 90. In fact, here is something truly remarkable. His phone number that is listed in the cars advertisement in the 1959 Road & Track magazine will still get him! 60 years on!
He was doing well and still driving until last December when he broke his back. He’s been bed ridden since. His memory has slowed down but he’s still pretty sharp once he warms up!
What I remember is he bought it off of an advertisement in Motor Sport magazine in England. He shipped it to Portland Oregon on the Dutch ship Dintledyk. It was the freighters maiden voyage. I think he paid around £250 for it from a Doctor. I actually have his name and will look it up for you. Plus I have photos of the car in England just prior to purchase. I believe it was painted all in black. Have pictures of it torn down here in Salem Oregon and then when finshed.
He painted it Cobalt blue metallic with white chassis, suspension and wheels. Sounds odd but was most striking. He had a man from Albany Or. by the name of Pete Sukalac photo it for the Salon section of Road & Track. Pete was a fairly well known automotive photographer shooting pictures for various magazines.
Later on, my dad two toned the car by doing the side panels in silver. Absolutely a knock out!
I remember riding in the back seat and on weekends we’d take her to the Drive in for cokes, sometimes ice cream! There was a popular drive-in where the girl car hops would roller skate to the car. I remember they were playing an Elvis song one time and my mom told us we’re listening to Elvis in the Alvis! I thought that was so funny but remember I was only five.
I’m pretty sure the car sold to a Rodney W. Tripp. He owned a real estate company in Albany area and had many nice cars. I remember him having beautiful 30’s Rolls and a 32 Lagonda with cycle wings. Looked like a Bentley LeMans racecar.
I have all this information and lots of photos I can share.
About 15 years ago a fellow stopped by and talked about the Alvis. He said it was the Olympia show stand car in 1932. His name was Everett Smith. A real Alvis enthusiast. Sadly he has passed. You may have known him. He lived in Northern California when he died. I’m not sure where he got the information but it very well could be true.
We dug around in the shed above my dads house and I found one of the original headlight lenses! We were looking for the running boards also as my dad didn’t put them back on the car. Couldn’t spot them but I might have missed them.
Thanks so much for the contact info for Steve.
I’ll send you some more things for your archives.
Thanks for the info you sent. It was most interesting and I’ll read your note to my father.
Hopefully, more information will follow.
Yours for longer bonnets,
The son of a TD21 owner has provided some fascinating Alvis owning history of his family. The story of 423 FLD involves registration changes, quite common on the 3 litre, and finding two former family cars for sale at the same time at DD Classics. Just click on the photo…