A good number of followers are past owners of Alvis cars. We are always pleased to receive their news and recollections which often shed light on the history of cars, some of them long gone. One such owner also sent us a box of transparencies of the 1961 and 1962 Crystal Palace Alvis Days including this :
A gallery of other pictures is here 1961 – Crystal Palace
Alan Bond, now living in Watchet, Somerset, wrote: An old friend of mine, Mike Pratt, who lived in Hendon and latterly Watford, passed away on 12th June. He owns a speed 20 Charlesworth saloon but hasn’t used it for years. It is safely stored and, hopefully, it will run again one day. He was well known in Alvis circles for many years and I had known him as a close friend for more than sixty years. His funeral is at Garston Crematorium, Watford on 4th July at 10.20 a.m. All welcome to give the old lad a hearty send off. I shall be going. We were close friends for over 60 years so I have to pay my respects in person.
Back in the 1960s I owned a TA21 Alvis EWH 310 (24105) bought off the late Jock Stephen through the good offices of the late Mick O’Callaghan (or it might have been the other way round). I used the car until about three months before I got married in February of 1967 and then it was laid up in the driveway of my family’s house at Colindale for about a year as I had then moved and was living in Bletchley. My late father asked me several times to remove the car but since I was not in a position to do anything with it at the time it was eventually taken away by a scrap dealer who had premises off Colindeep Lane. I did eventually make arrangements to have it transported to Bletchley but it had been broken up before I could put those plans into action. I was very disappointed as it could have lived in my garage in Bletchley while I got it ready to go back on the road. Under Jock Stephen’s ownership, the problem with excessive oil use had been sorted and the car was running beautifully when I took it off the road due to the lack of ‘pfennigs’ because of my impending marriage.
Jock also had a D type Silversone Healey which he had fitted with a 3.8 litre jaguar engine with triple SU carburettors as a commission for a friend. The owner used it a couple of times, frightened himself with it and then sold it to Jock at a price that was a snip. Jock put in a lot of work with that car to make it go and, boy, did it go. Mrs Jock eventually wouldn’t ride in it as it was so hairy.
I was ever grateful to Jock as his Met police connections enabled me to blag my way on to a police ‘Roadcraft’ driving course not long after I passed my car test and that was a revelation. Those police Wolseley 6/110s were no slouches either and that course was the only time I was able to legally break the speed limits, albeit in a limited way. Chiswick training school was a doddle after that.
Keep up the good work – the site holds a great deal if interest for me in my dotage.
TTFN – 007
3 thoughts on “Back to the sixties”
Very sorry to hear about Mike. We talked on the phone a couple of times then we met at Watford in the beginning of January, always with the theme of my FWD and Jock Stephen (who owned it for sometime) in the background. Prodigious memory and a mine of information. May he RIP.
Mike was always an entertaining chap with his anecdotes and his prodigious memory for facts about not only Alvises, but vintage and historic cars in general. he has left a space that will be nigh on impossible to fill. I had known him for over 60 years. I will be going to his funeral on July 4th at Garston.
When I took these photographs at Crystal Palace in the late 1960s I didn’t think that I would still be running the same Silver Eagle 60 odd years later. I remember talking to Jock Stevens when I first had the car about oil pressure, which has always been low on the car, I was heartened when he said “oh don’t worry you can still race it if you’ve got 18psi”. The engine has never been rebuilt, on 40sae just about manages 18psi on a hot day.