First up was a trip to the Lincs Aviation Centre where the Lancaster “Just Jane” is undergoing restoration and fund raising to get her airborne again. Coinciding with a visit from veterans of 619 Squadron, we met a former Speed 20 owner from the 1950s. The Petwood evokes the era of our cars. Two Bader cars joined us on Saturday.
Thirteen Alvis met at East Kirkby.
It was also an opportunity for Graber owners to meet
Drive it Day saw us at the Model Car Museum “On Your Marques” at Mumby Then to the sea….
We like Discoveries, not just that bewildering array of Jaguar Land Rover products, but Alvis products that turn up from the past. In the last couple of weeks the Inbox contained details of a Speed 20 unknown for forty years and the new owner, Club member, knew more about it than we did. Sadly another chopped Charlesworth saloon to make a tourer. If owners don’t join the Club or use Alvis for their servicing and spares, their cars fall into the category of LHO (last heard of) a long time ago, state unknown.
We were also delighted to receive a photo of another TC108G Graber which hadn’t been heard of for a very long time, the history is coming our way shortly but probably falls into the category of long term family ownership. As all Grabers differ in detail the side profile is interesting, given it was completed in 1957.Another surprise was a request from Nigel Smith who is writing a book on Lancefield and wanted confirmation of the Alvis products which he had carefully researched in the VSCC library. We were able to confirm that seventeen Alvis are known to have been made but only two currently survive in the hands of Club members. A new page under the Coachwork section will appear shortly but if you have details of the history of any Lancefield Alvis, we and Nigel would be pleased to hear from you.Do you own a 1927 SD 12/50 Carbodies Beetleback registered NF 6195? If so, an enquirer has some documentation for you dating back before 1982. Leave a comment if it is you or you know who owns it.
The trustees are meeting this weekend to review the past year and more importantly to determine what happens next. Sunday is St George’s Day and Drive-It Day and we shall be taking a few Alvis friends to the east coast to visit the Model Car Museum at Mumby, near Alford, and then take the sea air at Huttoft Car Terrace, the nearest you can get an uninterrupted view of the sea by car.
It is said we are all only six people removed from everyone in the world but if you are an Alvis Owner it could be fewer. Three examples arose recently.
Clive Taylor is collating material for a series of books on Alvis in Competition and his plea for information has yielded some good results via the usual sources of the AOC, the VSCC and the Register. So when the current owner of the ex-Birkin Speed 20 got in touch it generated interest in its history. We were able to make contact with a previous owner who was delighted to share his information and in the process he asked about two other Alvis he had owned, not least the ex-Le Mans front wheel drive WK 8045 and a TA14 which were also researched.
The photo caption of the Fischlin Speed 20 in the February Bulletin omitted to mention the man in front of the car is Patrick Rollet, President of FIVA and the brains behind the Fougeres Rally, popular with Alvis folk. The Fischlins acquired a Graber cabriolet a few years ago, a well known car, but they hadn’t known that the first owner, Cookson, was Patrick’s wife’s godfather. We met up with the Fischlins for lunch yesterday and exchanged some car books. Perusing the VCCSR’s Revue annuelle 2016, I came across this photo – a Speed 20 not known to the AOC for some years – a Rivers Fletcher special chassis 11859. More material for Clive’s book.
Last month Neil Millington came across a business park in Yorkshire that had office space to let and enquired on behalf of the Trust. He left a message on the answering machine. The next day just happened to be when a few Alvis friends had decided to have an away day in Yorkshire and were meeting for lunch. I thought he was having a joke when he said he had received a call back, the lady who called was most enthusiastic, even knew what an Alvis was and would welcome the AAT as a tenant. It turned out that not only was the property manager the niece of an enthusiastic TD21 owner but that the current owner of the park was in the process of researching the car owning history of the previous owner of the park who, we had discovered from looking at their website, was a serial Alvis owner.
Eliane Schleiffer has announced this year’s Graber Treffen is being held in the Lucerne area on May 27/28 staying at the Hotel Waldegg in Engelberg, one we enjoyed on the 2005 Swiss Tour, and displaying the cars at the Swiss Classic World show on the Sunday. If you are a Graber owner and have not received the invitation, leave a comment.
AOC members can look forward to the thirtieth Bulletin edited by John Lang in February with another 120 page bumper edition of news, articles and event reports from around the world. John follows a long line of Editors who work hard for club members to produce a substantial publication six times a year aided and abetted by a Managing Editor and proof readers. John, who lives in Australia, said “It has been a bit full on but I love Alvis people. We have a fabulous club in Victoria (includes interstate & internationals) of which I am now in my 15 or 16th year as editor. I enjoy the stimulation from the Bulletin in trying to make it work each couple of months and the people I communicate with overseas that otherwise I wouldn’t know existed. Just like having pen pals when everyone else these days has FB “friends.””
While the internet can provide easy access to news and information the greatest asset of the Alvis Owner Club has always been a printed Bulletin you can touch, smell, pick up and read. Given the choice, most people still prefer to reach out and pluck a Bulletin from the bookshelf, but it is also nice to refer to any one of 563 editions at the click of a few keystrokes.
So what are you missing if you are not receiving Bulletin 563? Firstly, a long list of Alvis people waiting to help you enjoy Alvis ownership; news of the Club events; reports of Alvis owners’ activities, such as in France….
THE BULLETIN No. 563 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2017
9 Board Draft Minutes
16 NEC Report
24 An Admirable Alvis- The Fourteen Part 2
45 The 200 Mile Race Car
Letters to the Editor
62 Competition Round Up
69 Quelques nouvelles de Suisse
72 Chantilly Art & Elegance
77 NZ Report
78 Landing the 12/70 in Australia
82 London New Year’s Day Parade
92 Brooklands New Year’s Day
96 Barn Find TB14
In the Workshop
102 Silver Crest
106 Does Your Clock Work?
108 TA21 Twin SU Conversion
AOC members might not have spotted that a new Membership List is available on members’ section of the AOC website as a 120 page PDF download. It does not include any car details as a census has yet to be completed. Members might like to check that their details are correct or in fact there at all and you should contact the membership Secretariat with any corrections. If you are not an AOC member but still own an Alvis do please update us by clicking on UPDATE YOUR DETAILS
Following comments from some readers that they found the Piano Black theme on the website a tad funereal and hard to read we have changed it – do you like it?
More items have been added to the site with new answers to ASK A QUESTION, a Used Car Road Test on the TD21 page and the announcement of a power steering option on the TE21 page – you can navigate there from the index on the right of the page, or click on these links
If you own or have owned a Speed 25 please let us know. While there are over 100 25s with current AOC members the are at least 150 more that have been recorded with owners since 1953. Where are they now? Click UPDATE YOUR DETAILS
There are some additions this month with a 1938 article on the Speed 25 page about EXK 225, one of the many surviving Cross & Ellis Tourers, and new article on serial Alvis owner Sir George Burton can be found by clicking here.