On 23rd May 1917, T. G. John registered his own company with £3000 of his own money. He was the Managing Director with E. F. Peirson, an accountant, as Chairman, W. Maddocks, a solicitor and C. H. White, a gentleman of independent means from Criccieth, as other Directors. John’s brother-in-law, a successful businessman in the Pembroke area, held the first share. (Source: K R Day 4th Edition Alvis – The Story of the Red Triangle)
On 23rd May 1967, one of the last Alvis cars was despatched from the works to Sleaford dealer W. P. Maidens and sold to a Lincolnshire farmer, R P Watts – a TF21 saloon with automatic transmission – to be “F” registered LCT 329F in August
This TF was owned for almost thirty years by the English rugby player R.W.D. Marques (1932-2010) who was a serial Alvis owner having previously owned a Speed 25 and a TD21. David Marques wrote in Bulletin 293 of July 1978 “… our family had a 1939 Sp 25 Alvis saloon GPU 146 which I believe was owned before the war by Billy Cotton. We bought it about 1947 and gave it away to be raffled at a Harlequin Football Club ball in about 1958 – how short sighted could we be!”
Martin Boothman wrote in Bulletin 527 about David Marques and John Currie who played together in the English second row a record 22 times in succession during a wonderful period for English rugby. David also wrote in Bulletin 313 of July 1980:
“In 1957 I was using a Speed 25 and if the car had been left for any time the sound of the petrol pumps ticking away on starting to refill the three carburettors, used to hurt me, so I fitted a switch to the petrol pumps on the dashboard so that I could turn off the petrol approximately 1½ miles from home so that when I next started the car I had used the petrol in the carburettor instead of having it evaporated – in those days it worked out at a price of a bar of chocolate!
The sequel to my meanness was on one occasion asking a friend to drive the car into London from Twickenham. He arrived two hours later in a harassed state, the car having broken down 1 ½ miles from the ground and he could find no way of starting it and in desperation had come in by taxi – the explanation was simple. As he got in his large duffle coat wrapped round his knees had switched off the petrol pumps – the cost of the taxis on that one night outweighed all the savings I had ever made by a long, long way!
On 23rd May 2017 the Alvis Archive Trust starts its tenancy at Bowcliffe Hall. With luck, someone will be remembering that in 2067.
On 7th May the Alvis Owner Club published the Technical Compendia compiled by Nick Simpson on the AOC website and members can download them. This is a great resource for owners of Alvis cars pulling together the writings of owners and others since the cars were built. http://www.alvisoc.org/t/Members%20Only
Today, following agreement with and funding from the Alvis Owner Club, Neil Millington signed a lease on behalf of the Trust at Bowcliffe Hall, between Leeds and York, as the new home of the archives. Bowcliffe Hall was once the home of Robert Blackburn, pioneer aviator and serial Alvis owner. Later this year it will be possible to visit us, by prior appointment only.
During the course of the next twelve months we shall be applying for charitable status and we would like to thank those who have provided their advice and guidance during the process so far.
End Polio Now – the fight to end Polio Exhibition. We were pleased to be able to provide background information and photos of Capt G T Smith-Clarke whose iron lung innovation features in an exhibition in Bewdley Museum from May 12 until 16 July 2017. GTSC was born in Bewdley and his story is told in some detail in Ken Day’s fourth edition of Alvis – the Story of the Red Triangle. http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/page.php?PgID=633389&ClubID=1684
On 14 May 2012 www.alvisarchive.com was launched.
On 23 May 2017 our tenancy at Bowcliffe commences.
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.
We have just acquired some 1970 films of National Alvis Day. They are in Standard 8mm format and to see what they contained we have rerecorded them digitally without attempting to clean them up.
These can be viewed on a new page ALFLIX together with a couple of new additions to our film library.
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||16 NEC Report|
24 An Admirable Alvis- The Fourteen Part 2
45 The 200 Mile Race Car
|51||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
|108||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