423 FLD

Hello all fans of Alvis, I’m sending you as an interesting photo of this car, which was taken accidentally in Pilsen (Czech Republic) in 1971.
Sincerely, Slavomir Altman, Pilsen: This TD21 Series II bears a London registration which now appears on a 1965 Bristol 408 last mot’d in Kent. Does the Alvis survive?

4 thoughts on “423 FLD”

  1. My name is Richard Peck and was born in 1964. I can explain how this car came to be in Pilsen. It belonged to my father Lionel Peck. My mother, Felicity (Fay) Peck MBE had a glass business in the UK known as Watford Crystal. The business manufactured cut crystal glassware and ordered its blanks from glass factories all over Europe especially Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia (as then was). My father had an engineering business but would accompany my mother on these trips. As they were going to a number of countries, they would always drive. On this occasion, I’m pretty sure I went on this trip as well along with my sister who is 7 years older than me. She ran the glass business later so would know what glass factories were visited. The only thing I remember about these trips was staying in Hotel Alcron in Prague. I visited Prague last year and had lunch at the Alcron and despite the 48 year passage of time, the place seemed familiar. I loved going on these long continental trips.

    Back to the Alvis TD21, my father kept it until the end of 1970s but in 1973, he bought a dark blue Bristol 408 Mark 2 from R F Fuggle Ltd in Bushey, Herts, a well known dealer in 2nd hand Bristols. I was unaware until reading this post that he had transferred the number plate 423 FLD from the Alvis to Bristol. I remember that he really liked the number as for him, the FLD part stood for Fay Lionel David. David was his younger brother who he worked with in the engineering business. For quite a while in 1970s, he just kept the Alvis in our garage and eventually the engine seized up. However, he got the engine rebuilt and gave it to his young manager as a company car!!. Eventually, when the manager left, he kept the Alvis. I have lost contact with him but when last saw him at one or both of my parents funerals in 1991 & 2003, I think he still had the car.

    In fact, my mother had 2 Alvis convertibles at the same time as my father owned the TD21 saloon above, which was battleship grey. My mother’s first Alvis was a TD21 which I believe was light metallic blue. I don’t know its registration number. Her second Alvis was a TE21 with the registration number 29 HLF.. I think we purchased this in about 1970 and I believe it was a pale metallic brown but she had it resprayed white, which we all thought looked awful. I remember the car had very very heavy steering but this didn’t stop my mother from driving on the roads of the high corniche in the Cote D’Azur. In 1981, my mother had an accident in the car (caused by the heavy steering no doubt) and the insurance company paid her out for the car but allowed her to keep it. We then sold it to someone who was going to restore it. I believe that all told, we got about £2,500. The next time, I saw the car, it was on the cover of a book about gardening, “The Curious Gardeners”. This was to accompany a TV series where 2 garden designers visited gardens across the UK in the Alvis. It had clearly had a lot of money spent on it and had been repainted a pale metallic blue and looked fantastic. In 2015 or 2016, I saw the car in the flesh as I discovered that it was being offered for sale by DD Classics for £90,000 – £100,000 having had more than £70,000 spent on it in the intervening years. Much needed power steering had been fitted. Also being offered for sale by DD Classics at £40,000 was dark blue Bristol 408 Mark 2 registration number 423 FLD. My parents’ 2 cars were re-united for a short time!!

    Looking it this picture, it looks my parents were in the car. Maybe we all were! I’m curious to know who would have taken the picture. Was it the secret police or was it a Czech car enthusiast?!!!

    1. Thank you Richard – a few more pieces in the puzzle but still to solve as to which are the two TD21s. The coincidence of the two ex family cars together at DD was a bonus and by chance I also went to see 29 HLF at DD for a Swiss friend with a view to him buying it (he didn’t) but it was last heard of in Germany

  2. I believe the grey TD21 had a manual gearbox and the person who took it over from my father was Andrew Webber.

    1. Thanks Richard, Andrew Webber was a club member and the specification fits to chassis 26942, registed in 1963 with metallic grey paint and zf five speed gearbox. Its current whereabouts in unknown

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