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.