The Alvis Owner Club Stand this year supports the Show’s theme “Heroes” by featuring two of the cars of Douglas Bader. The show runs from November 11 – 13 (Friday-Sunday) http://www.necclassicmotorshow.com
Bader lost his legs in 1931 then rejoined the air force in October 1939 and was declared fit to fly in February 1940 after war had broken out.
In August 1941 he was shot down in France and was a prisoner of war in Germany where he escaped and recaptured and then transferred to Colditz. This story was documented by military historian Mark Felton in a book called “Zero Night”
Douglas Bader started owning Alvis Cars with a 1954 TC21/100 Drop Head Coupe (DHC), the “Grey Lady” with Manumatic transmission.
Next were two TD21 dropheads before moving on to his final TE21 DHC which is also on show.
Douglas Bader was not shy of adventure, so the fact that he stuck with Alvis cars until well after the end of their production, is testimony to their quality and performance.
He was also a member of the AOC and appeared at the 1972 National Alvis Day at Crystal Palace where he led the cavalcade with J.J. Parkes, who was Chairman and Managing Director of Alvis Limited from 1946 to 1973.
Also on show – a 1958 GraberTC108G first owned by Madame Ceppi of Leon Frésard S.A. of Bossecourt in Switzerland who made presentation boxes for watches. She part-exchanged it for a Graber TF21 in 1966.The display includes two Speed 20s, a Charlesworth drophead and a Vanden Plas 2-door saloon.NEC photos by Paddy Steel
The Lake Hotel at Llangammach Wells was first visited for an AOC Welsh weekend event in 1997, organised by the late Ken Cameron. Ann and Hugh Bradnum took it over in 2005 and revived it for 2016 in memory of Ken and Pat Cameron. An impressive array of Alvis took part.
The standard wording on the daily news sheet is “it will be drier tomorrow” but the wipers were not needed.
1916 saw the introduction of the tank see http://tank100.com/ and from our archives here are some shots by Ben Lentall, Bulletin Editor, of when one joined in the Driving Tests at Midland Alvis Day 1987 at the Alvis Works on Holyhead Road ….
The 1987 Bulletins also included the first Model Registers of the Speed 20 SB, SC and SD models.
Now this little girl in Holland at the wheel of grandad’s TE21 got married in August….
If you appreciate good photography Rob Rowe has penned an article in the October 2016 Bulletin 561 which is reproduced on the Photo Competition page. More entries are welcome sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is one I took last month on the south bank of the Humber. I hadn’t spotted the birds until I zoomed in afterwards.
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.
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?
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?
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
Meanwhile TF21 Model Secretary Tudor Francis was entered in his 1961 TD21 GraberThe oldest car there hadn’t been seen for some time….
If you have any IAW 2016 photos you would like posted in the Archive Trust’s Photo Competition, still open, email them to
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.
DO YOU OWN OR HAVE YOU OWNED A TF21? IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP US UPDATE THE TF REGISTER PLEASE LEAVE A NOTE OF THE REGISTRATION NUMBER AND/OR CHASSIS NUMBER IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW. THANK YOU.