Robin Bendall

Chris Taylor writes:

With great sadness I have to report the death of Robin Bendall who died peacefully on Sunday, 11th April 2021.  Robin was a dear friend and Alvis colleague who took a very active role in AOC matters when semi-retirement allowed him the time.

As Chairman Robin steered the AOC Northern Region to great heights and set himself very high bars to jump over to make events ever more exiting and enjoyable. It seemed his imagination as to what could be achieved knew no bounds as ‘exporting‘ over 70 Alvis cars to the USA for a tour bore testimony. Needing something more than the ordinary for Northern Alvis day we formulated a scheme to try to extricate the then unseen for years TD owned by Prince Philip. Immediately Robin rose to the challenge and using the good offices of the owners of Harewood House he set about finding the car and getting permission to borrow it, however that wasn’t enough for Robin he then set about to reverse years of neglect and being the car back to life and I was honoured on Robin’s instruction to drive the car to Hoghton Tower to an IAD hosted by the Northern region under its own power which was Robin’s dream and as ever realised.

Robin steers the TD to the trailer- photo Judy Willmott

Robin and I organised several tours for the Alvis’s many of the arrangements fitting where they touched which gave a certain level of excitement and unpredictability to the proceedings which have left many indelible memories with the participants. Robin was instrumental in steering the club towards incorporation which led he and I to a blazing row over several bottles of a half decent local plonk called Pomerol by a swimming pool somewhere in France,  but such was the strength of our friendship all was good in time for more Pomerol over dinner. 

Robin started to slim down his collection of cars about ten years ago but thought nothing of starting yet another project of bringing Susan Woodrow’s SA Speed 20 VDP tourer back from having been taken from together by Doug Woodrow some 40 years earlier and the car is now absolutely resplendent  and the pride of Susan’s fleet. 

Events have turned out that Robin’s final involvement with Alvis was to use the team of experts he had gathered round him in the Norfolk area to ply their skills on the restoration my latest project which is the resurrection of the long dead Speed 20 VDP straight back saloon that is undergoing a paint job in King’s Lynn as I write this so whilst the project won’t be completed under Robin’s instruction it will certainly be completed in his memory. 

I am sure we all pass on our sincere condolences to Julia, Robin’s life partner in love, wife and above all friend and also to his family of devoted daughters and beloved grand children of whom I know Robin thought the world. 

Robin dear friend, RIP.

This is how Robin would wish to be remembered in Alvis circles, this was one weekend of us working on the Sue Woodrow Speed 20 resurrection 

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

It is with great sadness we record the passing of Prince Philip whose remarkable life is remembered today in all media. For Alvis, he was the highest profile royal owner and driver of their products.

A 1961 photo of HRH The Duke of Edinbugh at the wheel of his TD21 drophead OXR 1

An account of the restoration and display of this car can be found here OXR 1.

Prince Philip examines the Hurricane mascot on the restored Alvis TE21 drophead formerly owned by Group Captain Douglas Bader