September Bulletin

In this month’s Bulletin …

Ron Walton remembers the Fourteen, Then and Now.

Nicholas Parsons is pictured taking part in “My favourite Car”

IAD is reported on by Chris Podger

Welsh members visit the birthplace of T G John

Ken Forbes reports on participating in the FIVA World Rally

The Chairman notes the lack of racing reports in recent Bulletins

Nadine Fox reports on the Graber Treffen in Switzerland

Ben Lenthall writes on Alvis Colours

Plus the usual letters and section reports.

Oh, and it’s 1996.

John Price-Williams was Editor of the monthly AOC Bulletin in 1996 – here is September’s to download and read.

Click to access bulletin-439-september-1996.pdf

To supplement the Bulletin which twenty years ago was only printed in black and white, a gallery of photos from the AOC archives of IAD 1996 has been added to the Albums and a new gallery of photos of the 1996 Graber Treffen has been added to Swiss Tours.




Some cars were specials when they were made - although in Graber's case this probably meant it was unique
Some cars were specials when they were made – although in Graber’s case this probably meant it was unique

As a number of other marques come to terms with allegations of criminal behaviour in relation to the building of “Specials” purporting to be original cars the question of provenance (as mentioned in the August 2015 post) has raised its head again in the Alvis world.

Chris Taylor, our senior Concours Judge, asks in his latest newsletter “This brings me to seek your opinion regarding this year’s judging at International where Mick Fletcher and I were judging the pre-war entries for concours. However there were not enough cars to field full entries for all sections so, in line with standard practice, entry classes were amalgamated but that meant this year specials were put with standard cars causing a newly re-bodied special to take the top pre-war prize for concours. This has led to quite a lot of emails and I would be interested in any opinions you may have on the subject for us to get it right next year.”

So the dilemma facing the judges and organisers of events is the classification of cars. The Preservation Class introduced a couple of years ago did not attract many entries and was intended to encourage those with original cars nicely presented but not in top condition to enter the competition. This year’s criteria for judging did not include “originality”. So Alvis owners, what do you think?

Meanwhile cars are still being advertised as original or as a particular model when examination of the archives database show they are not as described. A quiet word with the advertiser will hopefully ensure that a potential buyer will not be duped. Hopefully any potential buyer will enquire of the Model Secretary before parting with large sums. We know from experience that often buyers ask us about a car after they have bought it. So, is it incumbent on publishers of adverts to insist on accurate descriptions, including chassis number, Model Type and the actual body builder if the original body on the chassis has been changed?

The standard rear lights in this case on a Series II TD21
The standard rear lights in this case on a Series II TD21

Alvis and their coachbuilders always used proprietary brands of light units, to their own specification, usually Lucas such as on the Park Ward cars (also used on Humber Hawks and Aston Martins). These recently acquired photos show an experiment with another contemporary car’s unit – can you name the car?

Three views of a proposed use of ????? lights which, thankfully, did not replace the standard units used since 1958
Three views of a proposed use of  ****** *** lights which, thankfully, did not replace the standard units used since 1958

International Alvis Day – 22nd May 2016

For once we were pleased the forecasters got it wrong and the threatened rain was limited to a quick shower on Sunday at 5pm on the way out of Wroxall Abbey Estate. Over 120 Alvis came to the final Midland Section hosted event a few miles west of Kenilworth. Fourteens were on parade celebrating their 70th Anniversary and TF21s joined in with their 50th including two Grabers

Alan Stote's 1966 TF21 Graber coupe
Alan Stote’s 1966 TF21 Graber coupe
Paul Chasney's 1966 TF21 Graber
Paul Chasney’s 1966 TF21 Graber

Meanwhile TF21 Model Secretary Tudor Francis was entered in his 1961 TD21 GraberDSCF8317The oldest car there hadn’t been seen for some time….

Derek Tourle's 1927 12/50 TG Thorn Bodies Shooting Brake
Derek Tourle’s 1927 12/50 TG Thorn Bodies Shooting Brake
Mark Hayward's 1928 FD front whhel drive Le Mans replica
Mark Hayward’s 1928 FD front wheel drive Le Mans replica
Andrew Broughton's 1932 12/60 Cross & Ellis 4 seater
Andrew Broughton’s 1932 12/60 Cross & Ellis 4 seater
David Salter's prize winning Fourteen Duncan
David Salter’s prize winning Fourteen Duncan
Mike Wilson's prize winning TB21
Mike Wilson’s prize winning TB21
Wroxall Abbey adorned with Alvis
Wroxall Abbey adorned with Alvis
If you would like an Alvis badge like this, (1950s Graber script) leave a comment
If you would like an Alvis badge like this, (1950s Graber script) leave a comment

If you have any IAW 2016 photos you would like posted in the Archive Trust’s Photo Competition, still open, email them to


Fifty Years of the TF21 – 1966-2016

On this day fifty years ago the first three Works TF21s were registered FVC 895D FVC 896D and FVC 897D in readiness for the announcement at the Geneva Salon of the Three Litre Series Four. In August 1966 GVC 473D was registered, in September GVC 861D was Mr Boxall’s car, GKV 832D in November, JDU 961E in January 1967, JHP 903E in February for Mr Howell; March 1967 saw JRW 445E, JRW 446E for Mr Russell and JRW 594E. 12% were registered by the Works. Six of the 106 produced went to Graber.129


Vintage motoring, aluminium and the database

Two new articles have been added to our pages this month.

On the Vintage page is the promised article by John Archer about his grandfather’s remarkable diary of early Alvis motoring with several period photos, click Vintage

Our indefatigable historian has put finger to keyboard to produce a fascinating insight into the construction of the early Three Litres using aluminium on the PPS by Dave Culshaw page, Click here

Our plea for help in creating an index of 64 years of Alvis Bulletins has met with an enthusiastic response from New Zealand. Clive Taylor has started the index but it is a big job best divided between several people. If you fancy indexing a year (or more) of Bulletins do get in touch by leaving a comment. Once it is done all references to a particular car can be flagged up, easily found using the Bulletin DVD and then copied into the database.


The Doug Woodrow Collection

We have received copies of a fine collection of 60s photos take by the late Doug Woodrow from Sue Woodrow. This one poses some questions…

Can you name the people, the car, the place and the date? At least one current AOC official is in the picure.
Can you name the people, the car, the place and the date? At least one current AOC official is in the picture.



Sue says:

“I think the car TWX 266 in the photo is probably the ‘Special’ belonging to Norman Routledge who had a garage at Seacroft near Leeds.  It is a long time ago but I think that is Norman at the wheel; Doug and I used to frequent his garage and on one occasion he offered the car to Doug for £200 as he was selling up and going to live in the Isle of Man.  We often came home with Alvis bits in the boot of our car which we had not actually bought but Norman thought Doug would like!  The car was very much ‘lightened’ but unfortunately Doug was too big/tall and could not get in to drive it consequently had to turn the offer down.  It was sold to John Wiggins near Thirsk and is now owned, I believe, by his son. The photo I believe was taken at Northern Alvis Day at Riccal in 1964/5.”

Now we all agree it is the Routledge Special, a search through the Bulletins shows that Norman appeared in 101 Bulletins with 156 mentions, several of these as adverts.

DVD search Routledge