Alvis at Gstaad

11978 Speed 20SC Charlesworth Dhc, UK reg AKB583 is the only pre-war car being offered for sale in Bonhams Gstaad Auction on Sunday 3rd July 2022. Lot 130 has been owned for 35 years by Daniel Fischlin, a regular visitor to the Gstaad Palace in Switzerland.

Buying and selling a car at auction has become a popular activity to watch both on TV and the internet. The fortunes of Alvis participants have been mixed in recent sales – several failing to reach their reserves but others finding new homes. Reports of last weekend’s Bonhams sale at Goodwood, with no Alvis, showed less than a third of the lots sold at or over their estimates and over a third were not sold. The upcoming Bonhams sale at Gstaad includes 57 interesting cars, many from static collections with no reserve

More digitisation of archive photo collections has been completed this week and can be seen here 1979 – Knebworth

Back to the sixties

A good number of followers are past owners of Alvis cars. We are always pleased to receive their news and recollections which often shed light on the history of cars, some of them long gone. One such owner also sent us a box of transparencies of the 1961 and 1962 Crystal Palace Alvis Days including this :

1927 12/50 TG YE 8743 Carbodies saloon – Crystal Palace 1962- photo David Hinds

A gallery of other pictures is here 1961 – Crystal Palace

Alan Bond, now living in Watchet, Somerset, wrote: An old friend of mine, Mike Pratt, who lived in Hendon and latterly Watford, passed away on 12th June. He owns a speed 20 Charlesworth saloon but hasn’t used it for years. It is safely stored and, hopefully, it will run again one day. He was well known in Alvis circles for many years and I had known him as a close friend for more than sixty years. His funeral is at Garston Crematorium, Watford on 4th July at 10.20 a.m. All welcome to give the old lad a hearty send off. I shall be going. We were close friends for over 60 years so I have to pay my respects in person.

Back in the 1960s I owned a TA21 Alvis EWH 310 (24105) bought off the late Jock Stephen through the good offices of the late Mick O’Callaghan (or it might have been the other way round). I used the car until about three months before I got married in February of 1967 and then it was laid up in the driveway of my family’s house at Colindale for about a year as I had then moved and was living in Bletchley. My late father asked me several times to remove the car but since I was not in a position to do anything with it at the time it was eventually taken away by a scrap dealer who had premises off Colindeep Lane. I did eventually make arrangements to have it transported to Bletchley but it had been broken up before I could put those plans into action. I was very disappointed as it could have lived in my garage in Bletchley while I got it ready to go back on the road. Under Jock Stephen’s ownership, the problem with excessive oil use had been sorted and the car was running beautifully when I took it off the road due to the lack of ‘pfennigs’ because of my impending marriage.

Jock also had a D type Silversone Healey which he had fitted with a 3.8 litre jaguar engine with triple SU carburettors as a commission for a friend. The owner used it a couple of times, frightened himself with it and then sold it to Jock at a price that was a snip. Jock put in a lot of work with that car to make it go and, boy, did it go. Mrs Jock eventually wouldn’t ride in it as it was so hairy.

I was ever grateful to Jock as his Met police connections enabled me to blag my way on to a police ‘Roadcraft’ driving course not long after I passed my car test and that was a revelation. Those police Wolseley 6/110s were no slouches either and that course was the only time I was able to legally break the speed limits, albeit in a limited way. Chiswick training school was a doddle after that.

Keep up the good work – the site holds a great deal if interest for me in my dotage.

TTFN – 007

1962 Crystal Palace photo from David Hinds