Where are they now?

Robin Morgan sent this photo which unfortunately does not show the full registration number –  enquiring about his late father’s Alvis, known as Liz to the family who lived in Bushey, Herts in 1959.

There were plans to carry out some major maintenance on the flywheel just before father was posted to Aden and there was no time to arrange storage whilst we were living overseas.   I believe it was a 6 cylinder car but have few other details.

Liz was sold to an Alvis club member who had a Silver Eagle at the  time and wonders if any club member can shed any light on this car.”

Checking both Register and AOC records showed no one declaring ownership with a 3953 registration. Could this have been you?

Detective Culshaw agreed there are only about three possible permutations of this period with ‘B’, as the second stem letter and that of these, the most likely is ‘U’, as the first.  “Conveniently, a known Silver Eagle drop head coupe by Hoyal, UB 3952,  chassis 8322 eng 8770, car 13222, to Bambers of Leeds on September 16th 1930.  The next step is to locate any saloon deliveries to Bambers at the same time and chassis 8306, eng 8752, car 13200 stands out, with a 10th September delivery so it is a 95% certainty that this car is the  *B 3953 of the photograph”.

Robin agreed that our initial guess would actually fit, “as the car was stored through WW2 at the BOCM mill in Selby , Yorkshire and my grandfather was the general manager of the mill.  The car had belonged to a senior member of staff who I believe may have not survived the war and the mill allowed it to be stored there until we acquired the car around 1955/6.  My father had just bought our first family house so the new Ford Popular had been sold to assist finances!  The car was bought for a very low amount as the back seat had succumbed to vermin attack and a Bedford Cord replacement was found in a local scrap yard.”

Look forward to any further info you might unearth and I will contact Red Triangle as you suggested.

January 14, 2017

Have you any records regarding the fate of two cars owned by my father in the 1960’s please TD21 26444 REGISTRATION 2332WA and TD21 SERIES 2 26739 REGISTRATION 788 XKJ, The first car was initially owned by Lonnie Donnegan.

Many thanks

Alastair Cummings

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:43
Subject: Re: [] ASK A QUESTION

Dear Alastair

Thanks for your question and for adding your father to the ownership history. The fate of 26444 was unknown after Lonnie Donnegan’s ownership.

pps-26444-1pps-26444-2AOC Bulletin 470 July/August 2001: 26739, however has been around a bit – from Wayne Brooks :

TD21 SII auto ww Park Ward 18874 Saloon 26739 AHJ 1 / 2 BTU / APA 735A, Blue, despatched 6 May 1963, Owners: C. Rowe, 5207 SE,  London E.6, circa 1974 – ?; Auction 25 July 1984 (Not Sold);   H. James, 7299 S, James Brothers, Pulborough, West Sussex, circa 1986 –  ?;  Robin Fenton, Connought Street, London W2 & Clifton, York YO30 6AX, circa 1988 – ;eBay seller in Orlando, Florida, USA, November 1988

Classic Cars, November 1998, Page 202, ad with photo of a dark Blue TD21 saloon with a registration that looks like APA 735A:  1963 TD21 saloon, dark blue.  Excellent running engine, Borg Warner auto gearbox.  Some bodywork needed.  £12,000 ono.

AOC Calendar, August 2000, ad with photo:  1963 TD21 SII saloon 26739, APA 735A, auto, dark blue, original interior, engine & body restored and in good order, complete history, last owner 12 years, £6,000 ono, Robin Fenton,  Repeat ad September 2000

AOC web site, December 2000:  1963 Series II TD 21 Automatic. Wire wheels, navy blue with grey leather. Just passed new MOT. Masses of history and only 50,000 miles. Need a little tidying. Full Webasto sunroof. Chassis No. 26739, bargain, £4,950. Guilford Surrey area.

eBay March 2003, Alvis TD21 Saloon 1963, 6 – Cyl., UK Vin. 26739, 51824 Miles, Automatic Transmission, Blue Metallic, Blue Interior, Leather Seats, Sunroof

This is a Alvis TD21 model 3500cc straight six, two-door car with automatic gearbox, right hand drive and wire wheels. I purchased this car two years ago in the UK. The car is running and in fine mechanical shape and used daily until six months ago. I had the sills replaced on both sides, a new engine oil seal fitted and exhaust. I had the car repainted in ice metallic blue paint. The car is very sound and runs really well. It is fast and very unique.  It has a full length webasto sunroof which I have had restored. This is a fine and unusual car, to use as it is or to bring up to a very high standard easily. You are welcome to come and see the car or feel free to email me any questions. The car does not have a title because it is from the UK. I will provide a copy of the original bill of sale, a notarized bill of sale to the purchaser along with a copy of the import documents. This is all you need to obtain a title for a UK registered imported vehicle. I am only selling this car as my job is relocating me back to the Uk again and it cost me $4,500.00 to get it here. My loss is your gain. Happy bidding.  Vehicle Condition – The repaint could have been better as some bits on the rear and wing of the car are raised. I relocated to Orlando Florida with my job and had the car transported here in a container. There was slight damage to the bottom of the front wing unloading it. All this is shown in the pictures. I have not refitted all the interior panels or carpet but they are with the car in the trunk. The interior leather is classic and old but very useable as is. The headlining has a few splits.

Onschatbare Klassieker Magazine, September 2004, Page 94, ad with photo of a light blue TD21 saloon, registration APA 735A by Joop Stolze Classic Cars, De Lier, Netherlands.

There the trail ends.


Thank you for the information, both cars were owned by my father when he lived in Hollytree gardens Rayleigh Essex, he acquired 2332 WA from the former Alvis agent in  Torquay in August 1965, trading a 3.8 Combs Jaguar,  it had previously been owned by a solicitor in Launceston for 3 years, after Donegan. and had steel door skins, which were deteriorating, it had been repainted metallic silver grey, over original two tone grey (dark roof). 

After having wire wheel trouble on the way through France to Italy in 1966, we continued slowly to Graber near Berne to buy and have fitted  4 new wheels, and while waiting were shown the  coach building facility by the man himself, producing very high quality coachwork, and repairing damaged customer cars, I recall that these had cast aluminium A posts which  stiffened the bodies compared with the Park ward cars.   

I passed my driving test in 2332 WA in September 1967.

The series 2 then registered 788 XKJ was bought via an advertisement in Motorsport, from Elmbridge motors in 1968, trading one for the other in a transaction which took place in Battersea Park, with a cheque covering the difference.

Interestingly the mileage of the series 2 (788 XKJ) was about 40000 when bought and 85000 when it was sold in 1970, as it was my father’s only car at that time, so the claimed 50,000 miles 40 years later in the advertisement shows the usual poetic licence!!

Even during his ownership, and despite being very good when acquired, and maintained correctly, it needed rear wing fillets (series 3 TE which curve upwards), and a complete glass out repaint, together with extensive mechanical work, new torque converter, timing chain, new pistons, rings, and a top end overhaul, the mechanical work by Tollerton and Burke, under the railway arches, in Camdon town, where I coincidentally met Nicolas Parsons collecting his TE21..

They were however charismatic cars and out handled contemporary MK2 Jaguars, and despite owning a number of possibly more exotic cars were always missed and viewed fondly by my father and myself.

Once again thank you, for your efforts providing the information which I have really appreciated 

Kindest regards

Alastair Cummings 

Advert from Holland26739

January 14, 2017 at 1:21 pm


Thank you for your efforts regarding the current whereabouts of 26739, I believe I still have the veneered radio, blanking panel for this car and the original damaged grill badge. Strangely I did see the adverts seeking buyers in the 1990’s/2000’s, but because of the plate, and colour, did not associate them with the car. I would have bought it and dealt with the restoration later. Incidentally the Webasto must have been fitted post 1970, which is an odd thing to do with a then 95000 mile plus used car  The original owners were JH Rayner, who were shipping agents/commodity traders, in the city.

There was I recall maybe some 8 mm film of our visit, including Wichtrach, I’ll try to locate it in my father’s things. We were very enthusiastically received, and everything was ‘dropped’ to attend to the wheel tyre change. I think this was paid for with AA vouchers as there was strict exchange control at the time. We were both impressed by the elegance and quality of the Graber coachwork, which was evident by the tight shut lines, and flawless hand finishing of the larger flat surfaces. The Park Ward cars were not comparable.  It would seem that the cast A posts, we saw were specifically introduced to improve stability of the door action / fit and to further stiffen the scuttle .

Incidentally my father is standing behind the TE 21 driven by Douglas Bader, at Crystal Palace, (hat and sunglasses), and I am the 18 year old almost out of shot to the left (long hair)

Thanks again, I am so pleased to hear about the cars, and grateful for your efforts

kindest regards

Alastair Cummings


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