Reliability update

Day One (18th April) saw the five cars depart from Brooklands and complete the first day of motoring.

Day Two had Bowcliffe Hall as the lunch stop and the MG duly turned in the drive at midday, on schedule.

The 1967 MG Midget was first at Bowcliffe


The rest of the field were not quite so lucky. Paul’s Daimler lost a wheel and an Alvis was substituted (the driver being taken by the Woodie to collect the Alvis), the Ford arrived mid afternoon and the lead Austin was back having an engine overhaul.


Paul eventually arrived with his Alvis, still in wedding mode looking rather smart.

Paul gets the bad news that the Austin needs an engine change
Paul’s new mascot, reduces the top speed a bit.

Postscript, from Paul

After all but the MG had retired or needed serious attention the cars were ready for the off Monday morning at Nassington
Matt Tomkins of Practical Classics describes some of the Austin’s running issues to John Pitchforth who runs the Heritage Skills Academy at Bicester Heritage
Paul’s substitute Alvis managed some 900 miles and looks worried that it might get into the auction line at Anglia car auctions.

Anyway, the sunshine and Bowcliffe Hall made for a photo opportunity for the Alvis supporters.

Herr Graber at his finest


A new book – A Life with Eagles


Mac Hulbert has self-published a limited-edition book “A Life with Eagles”. The A4 format book of over 250 pages details how Mac’s involvement with Silver Eagles commenced at the age of seventeen, describes the Silver Eagles that have been family members and chronicles the competition adventures of all the Eagles in which Mac has competed up until late 2017. It continues by describing the varied Silver Eagle celebratory events and tours that he has organized. The generously illustrated book also contains biographies of tour participants and others involved with the Hulbert Eagles. Appendices to the book contain details of Silver Eagle production and the construction of the supercharged Silver Eagle racer that Mac campaigned for many years. It will certainly be of interest to Eagle owners, and also to those interested in Alvis competition history. The book can be ordered from Mac at  for £30 plus postage and packing.

The 1000 mile trial visits Bowcliffe

Save the date – Thursday 19th April

Paul Chasney writes: The initial idea of the Run was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Federation (FBHVC).  While we were thinking about the structure of the Run, Practical Classics were restoring one of the last remaining Austin Westminster estates with the intention of auctioning it with proceeds going to the Lennox Children’s Charity.  We therefore came up with the idea of taking a small team around the country ending on Drive It Day covering 1000 miles as a homage to the 1000 Mile Trial which of course is the rally commemorated by Drive It Day.

During the planning for 2018 we have received support and encouragement for an apprentice focussed rally for 2019.  Essentially 2018 will be a trial for the main event in 2019 when we hope to have up to 10 teams of apprentices covering a 1000 mile route.  Clearly the run cannot be speed competitive but we plan to have competitive events at the stops – changing a tyre against the clock or some Alvis type gymkhana events.  All that is for 2019.

Clubs are invited to join in at the stops to take part in photoshoots and support the charity etc.

Taking part is the well known Paddy Steel Alvis Woodie making its first visit to Bowcliffe Hall.1000 Mile Reliability Run
Wednesday 18th April 8.30-10.00 Brooklands Start
10.00 to 12.00  74 miles to National Motor Museum
13.00 to 16.00  130 miles to JLR Classic
17.00 to 18.00   32 miles  – day total 236 miles
Overnight – Plough and Harrow, West Midlands, B16 8LS
Thursday 19th April
9.00 – 12.00 127 miles to Bowcliffe Hall (Wetherby)

Bring your Alvis to join others and take the opportunity to visit our Archive Office at Bowcliffe Hall. Please leave a comment below if you can make it.

13.30 to 15.30  77 miles to Angel of the North
16.30 to 18.30 74 miles – day total 278 miles;  514 so far
Overnight –  The White Swan, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1TD
Friday 20th April 9.00
9.00 to 11.30  107 miles to Queensferry Crossing
12.30 to 17.30 216 miles – day total 323;  837 so far
Overnight: Farrington Lodge, Preston, PR25 4QT
Saturday 21st April 9.00
9.00 to 12.00  140 miles to British Motor Museum, Gaydon,
14.00 to 14.30  11 miles to Rootes Archive,
16.30 to 17.00  19 miles – day total 170 miles; making 1007
Overnight: Chipping Campden, Charringworth Manor, GL55 6NS
Sunday 22nd April  7.00
07.00 to 08.00   39 miles to Bicester Heritage
16.00 to 18.00   65 miles – day total 104; making 1150
Overnight: Queen’s Head Inn, Nassington nr Stamford, PE8 6QB
Monday 23rd April
9.00 to 10.00   44 miles to Anglia Car Auctions, Kings Lynn

Racing drivers and innovations

Much new material has been added this month with articles on Major Harvey, Sammy Davis, innovations of the 1930s, and the 1999 Brooklands Exhibition.Photo galleries have been added for each item so that some previously published black and white photos can now be seen in colour.

The Crested Eagle was first to have ifs and a synchro gearbox. A pristine lubrication chart has been scanned, courtesy of Eric Ody, to add to the data on this model.

And as if there were not enough attractions at Bowcliffe Hall, another new one has flown in….Click on these links to open the new pages…..

Major Harvey

S C H (Sammy) Davis

Synchromesh Gearbox

Independent suspension

Crested Eagle Lubrication Chart

1999 Brooklands Exhibition

Rivers Fletcher

Among the many files we hold in the archives is one marked “Rivers Fletcher Photos” and they came to the top of the pile for scanning. Some are easier to identify than others and here are the ones we need help with….

rivers fletcher collection to identify
rivers fletcher collection to identify
rivers fletcher collection to identify
rivers fletcher collection Speed 25 Charlesworth Dhc

More of Rivers’ Speed 25 photos have been added to the Speed 25 page, click here

rivers fletcher collection 14317 4.3 EGT 51 13367 Speed 25 BVC 834 -where are they now?

A new page has been added to Alvis People, click on Rivers Fletcher

A selection of detailed photos taken by Tony Phillips-Smith of an SB Speed 20 Vanden Plas have been scanned by Chris Bluer and can be seen on the SB page, together with some photos from the new owner of the March Special in its restored condition and David Salter’s latest acquisition, click on BKP 564.

Some reproduction Vanden Plas plates are available from Steve Horne, click on VDP

Some new detail on the construction of the Three Litre prototype 3L2 has been revealed from the George Moseley collection which is held by the W O Bentley Memorial Foundation. Will Morrison has written an article on Harold Radford coachbuilders in the Bentley Drivers Club Review of February 2018 which also features the Speed 20 of Archie Scott-Brown.

The Silver Eagle of the month can be seen by clicking on Silver Eagle

Library additions

Some new pictures have been posted on the Speed 25 page and the Silver Eagle page including details of a Silver Eagle special being sold from a deceased estate.

The son of a former SA owner is trying to trace a car:

I talked to your good people at the Classic Car Show (NEC) about an Alvis Speed 20 owned by my father. I attach photos of the car, taken from an Isle of Man Tourist Board film made in the late 50’s or early 60’s. It had, I understand, raced on the Island before WWII – perhaps in the Mannin Beg race/s ? It carried the registration JMN 849. I would be very interested indeed to hear if you have any knowledge of the car.   Best regards   Peter Standen

Thanks to enthusiastic scanning of our archive material by Chris Bluer we have enhanced the COACHWORK page with more period announcements from Autocar. We are grateful to Haymarket for permission to reproduce these items.

Among the library additions is a montage of Speed reviews from the 1950s:Two further Used Cars on the Road Tests have been added to the page Speed 20 SA

A recent auction found a new home for a one owner TD21 Series II drophead but had little pre-sale publicity.

26905 TD21 Series II

The deceased AOC member had a further three Alvis which we are trying to trace.

7287 FWD FD Le Mans replica

Mark Hayward is planning to take part in the Le Mans Classic in July in his front wheel drive.



4.3 Litre Stories

Wayne Brooks has been busy adding to his website with the ever lengthening histories of this sought after model.

14832 Carlton Dhc 4.3 ALV 100 in the 2018 London New Year Parade

The four-three Alvis is one model that many consider superior to the contemporary Bentley and perhaps the only period during which Alvis and Bentley were in competition. However, as Tony Rudd, a Rolls-Royce apprentice engineer at that time, remarked on our gala dinner night on the 1991 Tour of Britain “Alvis didn’t make enough of them for Bentley to be worried”. On that evening Tony and his wife Pam had been chauffeured by Wayne from their home to the dinner at the Hotel Nelson in Norwich in the 4.3 tourer BSF 345, which now resides back in USA with a Bentley owner.

14810 4.3 Cross and Ellis tourer BSF 345 – Wayne receiving a bill of sale in 1990. This car was copied for the green Franklin Mint model with the unpainted bonnet.

Many prominent Bentley owners also own an Alvis or two. The post war cars were complementary to the Crewe products, offering coachbuilt quality cars of more modest dimensions. Park Ward were of course a Rolls-Royce owned company. Our Patron, Mike Dunn, became chief engineer at Crewe, responsible for the Turbo R development and was a consultant on the new Phantom after he retired.

Both Alvis and Bentley will be celebrating their centenaries in 2019 and we have been discussing inviting the best of both marques and other selected British marques to an exclusive event in June 2019 at Bowcliffe Hall, on the Friday and Saturday prior to International Alvis Day which is based in York.

If you are interested in showing your Alvis or Bentley, please leave a comment below with details of your car.

Click on 4.3 Stories to see Wayne’s site.