Graber

Alvis Graber keys

This is the last Graber coupe….

27474 front 210327474 rear27474 near side

27474 - the last Graber coupe, still with the first owner's family in California - photo Philip de Limur via Wayne Brooks - more photos on the Graber Era page
27474 – the last Graber coupe, still with the first owner’s family in California – photo Philip de Limur via Wayne Brooks

Read on for how it all began……

In 1946 Graber made a couple of Tropic coupes on the TA14 chassis, but none are believed to have survived. When the Three Litre arrived, the Alvis Graber partnership flourished.

Graber's personal car pictured in 1985 when the AOC Swiss Tour visited Wichtrach. Photo AAT Sanders collection.
25284 – Graber’s personal car pictured in 1985 when the AOC Swiss Tour visited Wichtrach. Photo AAT Sanders collection.
This car was on show at the Pantheon in Basel with other Graber bodied cars in a Swiss Carrossiers exhibition - AAT Fox Collection March 5th 2014.
This car was on show at the Pantheon in Basel with other Graber bodied cars in a Swiss Carrossiers exhibition – AAT Fox Collection March 5th 2014.

Peter Aeschlimann has sent photos of his 1955 Graber TC21/100 Special coupe which he is restoring in Switzerland. It first belonged to a surgeon who experienced overheating problems with the car.

From the Swiss Car Register archives comes this photo of the 1955 Paris Motor Show hosted by Jacques SAVOYE, Importateur, 237 Bd Pereire, Paris 17. Can anyone identify the six men admiring 25856 TC21/100 Graber (see Nick Simpson's article Rara Avis)
From the Swiss Car Register archives comes this photo of the 1955 Paris Motor Show hosted by Jacques SAVOYE, Importateur, 237 Bd Pereire, Paris 17. Can anyone identify the six men admiring 25856 TC21/100 Graber (see Nick Simpson’s article Rara Avis)
The original Graber 3-litre commissioned by Alvis in 1955 pictured on Holyhead Road Coventry before the factory was demolished and turned in to a supermarket. Willowbrook made replicas in Loughborough for a couple of years before Park Ward took over production that lasted until 1967.
The original Graber 3-litre commissioned by Alvis in 1955 pictured on Holyhead Road Coventry before the factory was demolished and turned in to a supermarket. Willowbrook made replicas in Loughborough for a couple of years before Park Ward took over production that lasted until 1967. The story of this period is told on the “RARA AVIS” page in an article by Nick Simpson.25938 has a Graber body finished by Park Ward, pictured in 1989.
25938 has a Graber body finished by Park Ward, pictured in 1989.

Following restoration in 2013
Following restoration in 2013
The unique wide grille and larger spot light recesses of the Graber/Park Ward prototype
The unique wide grille and larger spot light recesses of the Graber/Park Ward prototype
9 VMG at IAD 2013 - photo Steve Tillyer
9 VMG at IAD 2013 – photo Steve Tillyer
The unique recessed rear number plate panel and light
The unique recessed rear number plate panel and light
The TC108G Chapter in Dave Culshaw’s book – The Alvis Three Litre in Detail
25917 - Graber Treffen 2006 AAT Fox Collection
25917 – Graber Treffen 2006 AAT Fox Collection
25920 TC108G - where is it now?
25920 TC108G – where is it now?
25936 restored in 2016 by Dieter Schaetti and below as advertised when new
Graber 702 restored in 2016 by Dieter Schaetti and below as advertised when new

25936 probably

A photograph by Gordon Wilkins of Herr Graber with a TC108G taken in Geneva in 1958; Dan Geoghegan collection.
A photograph by Gordon Wilkins of Herr Graber with a TC108G, probably the same car taken in Geneva in 1958; Dan Geoghegan collection.

Aeroplane 1957 Leonides ad

The last TC108G made from 1958, Graber number 720.
The late fifties cars used Rolls-Royce Lucas light units

This TC108G (below)  is 705, and features TC style bumpers.

Visit Miguel Ernand’s website http://www.alvis.ch dedicated to his TC108G

26777 Graber TD21 Series II coupe, formerly owned and restored by Werner Graf
26777 Graber TD21 Series II coupe, formerly owned and restored by Werner Graf
26785 – This TD21 Series II  by Graber was entered into the Villa d’Este Concours in 2012 –   photo D Schaetti
The Geneva Salon was the annual showcase of the carrosier's art - this is 1963....
The Geneva Salon was the annual showcase of the carrosier’s art – this is 1963….
26895 1963 Graber TD21 Series II cabriolet, as displayed at the 1963 Geneva Salon. Currently owned and photo by Christoph Grohe.
26895 1963 Graber TD21 Series II cabriolet, as displayed at the 1963 Geneva Salon. Currently owned and photo by Christoph Grohe.
26895 1963 Graber TD21 Series II cabriolet, as displayed at the 1963 Geneva Salon. Currently owned and photo by Christoph Grohe.
26895 1963 Graber TD21 Series II cabriolet, as displayed at the 1963 Geneva Salon. Currently owned and photo by Christoph Grohe.
 It is very rare to find two identical Graber cars but these two TD21 Series II coupes at the June 2007 Graber Treffen might be the exception.
26978 and 26809 – it is very rare to find two identical Graber cars but these two TD21 Series II coupes at the June 2007 Graber Treffen might be the exception.

Graber 4 door at the 2011 Graber Treffen

Your scribe in Aladdin's cave a very long time ago...
Your scribe in Aladdin’s cave a very long time ago…

10 thoughts on “Graber”

  1. As a coachwork finisher at Park Wards/HJ Mulinner and responsible for the fitting of bonnet strips and front cowls during the early 60’s you can blame me, although every care was taken it was not always possible to be 100% accurate. A plumb line was used but bearing in mind the hand built aspect of the cars, several points were just not practical. And some did not line up as well as others. Anyone who has removed the above parts from the body work will have seen enlarged fixing holes and washers used to get a decent alignment. Its the curse of the hand built car I’am afraid.

    1. Neil: George Howell was my Dad – it’s nice to see at least one of his cars survives. After he was appointed to the board in 1957 he had at least six other Alvises before JHP, including a Grey Lady and various TDs and TEs. As you’d expect, as a Director he was given a new car every two years or so. But as you are aware he kept JHP for four years, the reason being that he stubbornly resisted efforts by Rover management to put him into one of those fat P5s! He reluctantly capitulated when the engine broke.

  2. The Graber cars are always interesting and exciting to look at as they are nearly all different. A man that was a stylist who new what his customers wanted and pioneering in design. The Alvis marque has a lot to be thankful to him for as he was at his most prolific on their chassis. In turn we are most grateful that we can enjoy seeing his cars today especially on this web site. Thank you to all of you working hard on delivering it to us. Keep showing us more of Heman Grabers cars.

    1. Yes, we know where these cars are and have posted a picture of the first drophead above. The first saloon is alive and well in Andorra. Neil Millington has another saloon as does Robin Willmott. There were quite a few. A new Register will be published this year

  3. Nice to hear from Rod Howell about his Father running JHP 903E whilst at Alvis. The car was originally silver but changed to peony red in 1987. It was sold to a Mr E Phillips of Wolverhapton in early 1972 and following three further owners I purchased it in Jan 1998. Apart from the change of colour it has had no major body or mechanical work and still retains its original interior.

  4. Lovely documentation. I own myself an Alvis Graber coupé from 1960. It is one of the most pleasant and reliable historic cars I owe. Some years ago we drove from Switzerland all the way to Normandie, in oder to participate in the Fouger Rally and back. Without any problems we covered over 2000km.
    best regards, Dr. Ph. Speiser

  5. Re 25946 – 1st production TD21. This was a Works car listed as Sales Dept. It was sold off in June 1960 via W.A.Skelly, an Alvis dealer. It had been re-regiistered XDA500 and when I viewed it in 1970 was a non-runner, derelict and in a very corroded condition. It was broken up for spares around this time by Vintage Racing Cars in Northampton.

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