Grand Prix cars and iron lungs

We are very pleased to announce our first “Lunch with…..” event in the Drivers Club at Bowcliffe Hall on Wednesday 18th September.

The day starts with a the opportunity to browse the archives in Hycilla with the archivists over a cup of coffee and to meet Dr Adrian Padfield who has written the biography of Capt G T Smith-Clarke who is best known in Alvis circles for his work on the Grand Prix cars.

As a retired anaesthetist, Adrian has also been fascinated by Smith-Clarke’s work in medicine and other scientific fields and will give a talk over a lingering lunch. If you would like to attend please leave a reply below and we will provide further details.

For contemporary reports, click Grand Prix cars


How to comment on photos

One of our contributors has pointed out that it is not obvious you can make a comment on any photo that appears on the website, simply by clicking on the photo and scrolling down to “write a comment” and POST COMMENT.

A new page of photos has been added, without captions, of the 2001 AOC Jubilee event at Blenheim Palace, when over 300 Alvis gathered including the largest ever group of Graber cars driving from Switzerland, marking not only 50 years of the AOC but 50 years since Graber exhibited a 3-litre at Geneva, thus starting a partnership that survived until 1967.

In typical Julian Collins style, this was comprehensively reported in Bulletin 471, original copies of which are available from the archives together with the professional video of the event co-starring our own Chris Taylor commentating on the assembled collection.

Go to 2001 Blenheim Palace AOC Jubilee and feel free to comment.

August additions

New photos have been added to the site covering some of the car models, coachbuilders and products together with some press cuttings of “Used Cars on the Road” and Road Tests.

The owner of this 1953 TA21 Tickford in the 1960s is keen to find if it still exists.

Our records only go up to 1974 when LER 834 was in Naples, Italy. Does anyone know where it is now?


Did you know Alvis manufactured colour printers?

A new page Printers has more photos and a video link.


To find the new photos and articles click on the following which all open on new tabs so you can return to this post:

1920s – VINTAGE  

TD21 : 1958-1963

Vanden Plas 


Crested Eagle  

Silver Eagle

Which Australian Speed 20 is this with wipers at the top of the screen and twin side mounts? On the reverse is written Gordon Nicol of Rose Bay, New South Wales but was he the owner?
Wayne Brooks found this photo circa 1955, of 11993 with Roy Clement at the wheel of his father, Toby Clement’s car, registration FP 101
Who is this with John Parkes?
Who is driving what, where and when? And what is on the scuttle? Tony Cox thinks it is definitely Racing Car No. 1. See Hull & Johnson, 2nd Ed, page 89 Plate 41. You can match the bonnet handle, gear lever and handbrake, bonnet strap, the alignment of the exhaust pipe, and the seam in the offside panel of the scuttle. The fact that it has a windscreen in your pic does not rule this out. That could have been added or removed at any time, and the car was much modified in other ways during this early period. I do not recognise the driver, but he is most probably either Tommy Simister, an agent who Alvis used to promote the performance of Alvis cars and to whom they sold this one, or Jack Linnell, who bought the car from Simister in September 1924.

More films and photos

A couple of accessions this month have added greatly to our film and DVD library and our ability to show them at Bowcliffe. Over thirty  films of Alvis events by the late Terry Poppelwell during his long ownership of his well known 12/60 have now been catalogued.

Terry Poppelwell’s 1931 12/60 TL Batley 4 seater owned from 1963-2010

The addition of another large screen TV also makes it easier to show the many VHS tapes we now hold. The first TeePee film we tried strangely started with the donor of the TV introducing the event.

Thank you, Colin Newby
Taking a break from scanning, Chris Bluer views some 1960s Alvis events

Last week we had a visit from Melanie Aspey, Director of the Rothschild Archive in London. Three trustees had an entertaining and informative day learning of the activities and procedures of a large and important archive and some insight into fund raising methods and record keeping. It was pleasing that our adoption of the FileMaker database was heartily endorsed.

Lincolnshire folk were treated to a fine display of coachwork on Alvis chassis at Doddington Hall last Sunday. No fewer than 24 immaculate models graced the courtyard and four of them had pride of place in front of the Hall.

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This replica Vickers Vimy was built for that enterprising and enthusiastic gentleman Steve Fossett, and was flown across the Atlantic as a tribute to the 1919 flight of Lt John Alcock and Lt Arthur Whitten Brown. The picture was taken at the 2005 Fly-in at Turweston Airfield in Northamptonshire – 1932 12/50 TJ Special by Peter Wright NG 3638, from The Alvis Register Bulletin No. 231, Summer 2007.

From the Consultant Historian – Another Centenary: It is one hundred years ago ( 14th/15th June 1919 ) that John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown made that epic first transatlantic air crossing. This was done in a converted Vickers Vimy bomber with extra fuel tanks in place of the bomb racks.  It is not widely known that on 12th July 1921, the by then Sir Arthur Whitten Brown took delivery of an Alvis 10/30, chassis 6247, registered HP 1821. One would like to think that he made a bee-line to Alvis for engineering reasons. Actually the reason is probably more prosaic.  Vickers were making the Alvis chassis at the time.

Neil Millington finds the price tag on this used Rolls parked outside Bowcliffe – it starts with a 3…..

Bicester Super Scramble

The Bicester Super Scramble on Sunday June 23rd was the first of the new format of Scrambles to include Demonstration laps of specially invited cars.

Mark Hargreaves’ TC21/100 Graber cabriolet takes to the track

Alvisianado Dan Geoghegan, serial Alvis driver and Graber connoisseur, sought to gather the largest selection of Grabers ever seen for the event since the AOC 2001 Jubilee at Blenheim when several Swiss owners brought their cars to Oxfordshire. Since then some cars have found new UK custodians so that some eight Alvis Grabers, a Bentley R Type and a Rolls-Royce 20/25 joined a Park Ward drophead in a woodland setting to demonstrate the diversity of Alvis styling from 1953 to 1966. A photo selection can be found in Graber.


Open Day at Hycilla

We were delighted that so many of the Alvis owners attending the International Weekend chose to visit us with their cars.

First in from the Netherlands was Coen van der Weiden in his TE21 drophead who helped guide visitors into Hycilla

Vital signs all good en route to Bowcliffe – TE21 dhc
TE21 dhc, 27100 in front of Bowcliffe Hall
Archivists proudly installing our new signage for the day, on ladders sinking into the soft ground

Our next visitor – a 4.3 short chassis Vanden Plas saloon, 14870 EVC 240, originally Ultramarine Blue
…..followed by another 4.3 Charlesworth saloon now with Paul Chasney. AOC President Frank Kay’s Speed 20 in the background.

Some 65 visitors from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, France (Patrick Rollet, President of FIVA), Germany, Austria, Norway, Florida and New Zealand then kept us busy answering questions for the rest of the day.

Ash McKenzie’s TA21 in New Zealand
Speed 20 SA, TE21 dhc, TA14 drophead (in the same family for 60 years) and Speed 20 SB Charlesworth
TC108G and Speed 20 SA
13668 Speed 25 SB Charlesworth saloon from Kent
TA14 Carbodies from Cheshire and Speed 20 SB Vanden Plas 10892
12125 Speed 20 SC Charlesworth from Northern Ireland
27411 TF21 Radford Fisherman’s coupe
27386 TF21
27436 TF21
27449 TF21
The 4.3 shows off the razor edge design as it leaves Hycilla

Photos Coen van der Weiden, Chris Taylor, John Fox

More photos on 2019 Alvis Day at Elvington

Alvis weekend in Yorkshire

We look forward to welcoming visitors to our Hycilla office at Bowcliffe Hall on Saturday 15th June. Our postcode is LS23 6LP and, just before Bowcliffe Hall gates, please follow Alvis Archive Trust signs turning right a few yards down the hill to our parking area in the direction of Bramham Park.

On Sunday 16th June the Alvis Owner Club will be displaying members’ cars at the Elvington Air Museum near York. Members who have not pre-booked can still attend either in their Alvis via the Alvis entrance, subject to sufficient space, otherwise by the public entrance as can non-Alvis cars.