Alvis Car Company

Introducing the all new Alvis 4.3

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Alvis, one of Britain’s most innovative car manufacturers, is resuming production of the famous Alvis 4.3 Litre model, 72 years after the last 4.3 Litre car was produced.

This Alvis model was the fastest non-supercharged production car of its day, and the all-British “Continuation Series” will live up to that heritage. Manufactured from the original works drawings, the car will be powered by the Alvis 4.3 Litre six cylinder engine faithfully produced to the 1936 design and retaining all its period character and quality, but utilising modern technology for emission compliance as well as delivering even more power.

The Alvis Car Company Limited will produce the 4.3 Litre car in newly completed facilities at its Kenilworth site in collaboration with its sister company Red Triangle. For the last 40 years Red Triangle has been providing parts and restoration services to Alvis owners and has also been the custodian of the original designs, plans and the complete historic records of all the Alvis cars produced.

There is evidence from the 1938 Alvis Board Minutes that 77 of the 4.3 Litre chassis that were officially sanctioned for production were never completed because car manufacturing had to be suspended in 1940. As a result the new 4.3 Litre “Continuation Series” will be limited to the production of these remaining 77 chassis, thereby fulfilling the original intention of the Alvis Board.

Alvis Car Company

Alvis - The Company

Alvis cars were produced by the manufacturer Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd of Coventry, United Kingdom from 1919 to 1967. The company also produced aero-engines and military vehicles, the latter continuing long after car production ceased.

TG John The original company, TG John and Co. Ltd., was founded in 1919. Its first products were stationary engines, carburettor bodies and motorscooters. The company's founder T.G. John was approached by Geoffrey de Freville with designs for a 4-cylinder engine with aluminium pistons and pressure lubrication, unusual for the period.

Some have suggested that de Freville proposed the name Alvis as a compound of the words "aluminium" and "vis" (meaning "strength" in Latin) although de Freville himself vigorously denied this theory. Perhaps the name was derived from the Norse mythological weaponsmith, Alvíss, but the true origin is unknown.

The first car model, the 10/30, using de Freville's design was an instant success and set the reputation for quality and performance for which the company became famous. Following complaints from the Avro aviation company whose logo bore similarities to the original winged green triangle, the more familiar inverted red triangle incorporating the word 'Alvis' evolved. In 1921, the company changed its name and became the Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd. and moved production to Holyhead Road, Coventry where from 1922 to 1923 they also made the Buckingham car.

Captain GT Smith-ClarkeIn 1923 Captain GT Smith-Clarke joined from Daimler as Chief Engineer and Works Manager and was soon joined by WM Dunn as Chief Draughtsman. This partnership lasted for 25 years and was responsible for producing some of the most successful products in the company's history.

The original 10/30 side-valve engine was developed progressively becoming by 1923 the famous overhead-valve 12/50, produced until 1932 and one of the most successful vintage sports cars of all time. Exhilarating performance and rugged reliability meant that around 350 of these 12/50hp cars and 60 of the later (and latterly concurrent) 12/60hp survive today representing some 10 percent of total production.

1927 saw the introduction of the six-cylinder 14.75 h.p. and this engine became the basis for the long line of luxurious six-cylinder Alvis cars produced up to the outbreak of war. Not only were these cars extremely elegant but they were full of technical innovations. Independent front suspension and the world's first all-synchromesh gearbox came in 1933 followed by servo assisted brakes. A front wheel drive model was introduced (from 1928 to 1930), a model bristling with innovation with front wheel drive, in-board brakes, overhead camshaft and, as an option, a Roots type supercharger.

Smith-Clarke designed remarkable models during the 1930s and 1940s — including the handsome, low-slung six-cylinder Speed 20, the Speed 25 (considered by many to be one of the finest cars produced in the 1930s) and the 4.3 Litre model. As with many upmarket engineering companies of the time Alvis did not produce their own coachwork relying The Speed 25instead on the many available Midlands coachbuilders such as Cross and Ellis, Charlesworth and Vanden Plas.
Several cars also survive with quite exotic one-off bodywork from other designers. In 1936, the company name was changed to Alvis Ltd and by the beginning of the war, aero-engine and armoured vehicle divisions had been added to the company.

World War Two


In September 1939 following the outbreak of war car production was suspended, but was later allowed to resume and production of the 12/70, Silver Crest, Speed 25, and 4.3 Litre continued well into 1940. During World War II the car factory was severely damaged in the German Luftwaffe raid on Coventry in 1940 though strangely the armaments factory emerged fairly unscathed. Much valuable gear cutting and other equipment was lost and car production was suspended for the duration of the war only resuming during the latter part of 1946. Despite this, Alvis carried out war production on aero engines (as sub-contractor of Rolls-Royce) and other aeroplane equipment.

Post war


Car production resumed with a four-cylinder model, the TA14, based on the pre-war 12/70. A solid, reliable and attractive car, the TA14 fitted well the mood of sober austerity in post war Britain, but much of the magic attaching to the powerful and sporting pre-war models had gone and life was not easy for a specialist car manufacturer. Not only had Alvis lost their car factory but many of the prewar coachbuilders had not survived either and those that had were quickly acquired by other manufacturers. In fact, the post war history of Alvis is dominated by the quest for reliable and reasonably priced coachwork.

Smith-Clarke himself retired in 1950 and Dunn took over as chief engineer. In 1950 a new chassis and six-cylinder 3 litre engine was announced and this highly successful engine became the basis of all Alvis models until production ceased in 1967. Saloon bodies for the TA21, as the new model was called, again came from Mulliners of Birmingham as they had for the TA14, with Tickford producing the dropheads. But with the first of these becoming part of Standard Triumph and the second being acquired by Aston Martin Lagonda, it was clear by 1954 that new arrangements would have to be made. By this time some of the most original and beautiful designs on the three litre chassis were being produced by master coachbuilder Hermann Graber of Switzerland and indeed these one-off designed cars are highly sought after today. With a licence in place, from 1955 all Alvis bodies became based on Graber designs. Early examples, the TC108/G, were built by Willowbrook of Loughborough but at such a high price that very few were made. Only after 1958 with the launch of the TD21 did something resembling full scale production resume as Park Ward, coachbuilders for Rolls-Royce and Bentley, contracted to build the bodies at a much lower price. These cars, the TD21 and its later variants, the TE21 and finally the TF21 are well built, attractive and fast cars. However it was clear by the mid sixties that with a price tag of nearly double that of the mass produced Jaguar the end could not be far off.

There were several 'might-have-beens.' From 1952 to 1955 Alec Issigonis, the creator of the later Mini worked for Alvis and designed a new model with a V8 engine which proved too expensive to produce.

Rover took a controlling interest in Alvis in 1965 and a Rover-designed mid-engined V8 coupé prototype named the P6BS was rumoured to be the new Alvis model but with the takeover by British Leyland this too was shelved. By the time the TF21 was launched in 1966, (available, like its predecessors in both saloon and drophead form and with either manual or automatic gearbox), the model was beginning to show its age despite a top speed of 127mph - the fastest Alvis ever produced. With only 109 sold and with political troubles aplenty in the UK car manufacturing business at that time, production finally ceased in 1967. The Alvis name lived on with armoured fighting vehicle production.

Modern


As part of Rover, Alvis Limited was incorporated into British Leyland but was bought by United Scientific Holdings plc in 1981. Subsequently the company's name changed to Alvis plc. In 1998, the armoured vehicle business of GKN plc was taken on and the main UK manufacturing operation moved from Coventry to Telford. The site of the Alvis works in Holyhead Road is now an out-of-town shopping complex, but its name, Alvis Retail Park, reflects the heritage of the site.

In 2002 Alvis group purchased Vickers to form the subsidiary Alvis Vickers Ltd which was subsequently purchased by BAE Systems in 2004. BAE Systems have ended the use of the Alvis distinctive 'red triangle' trademark.

Today


Alvis, is resuming production of the famous Alvis 4.3 Litre model, 72 years after the last 4.3 Litre car was produced.

This Alvis model was the fastest non-supercharged production car of its day, and the all-British “Continuation Series” will live up to that heritage. Manufactured from the original works drawings, the car will be powered by the Alvis 4.3 Litre six cylinder engine faithfully produced to the 1936 design and retaining all its period character and quality, but utilising modern technology for emission compliance as well as delivering even more power.

Alvis Car Company History

Alvis - Milestones

  • TG John

    1919

    T. G. John begins manufacturing Alvis cars in Coventry with coachwork supplied by Cross & Ellis and Carbodies.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1921

    The first Alvis model, a 10/30, wins a gold medal in the London to Holyhead Trial.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1922

    Introduction of the 11/40 and 12/40 models.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1923

    First 12/50 model launched. Alvis works 12/50 wins the 200 Miles Race at Brooklands at an average speed of 93.29 mph.

    Alvis take 39 class records in one day at Brooklands.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1925

    A supercharged Alvis front wheel drive laps Brooklands at 104 mph.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1926

    Alvis design and race the first straight eight front wheel drive Grand Prix racing car.

  • Alvis

    1927

    A supercharged Alvis straight eight front wheel drive Grand Prix car laps Brooklands at 121 mph. 14.75 model introduced as the first six cylinder car..

  • Alvis

    1928

    Alvis win the 1500cc class at Le Mans in a front wheel drive. The Alvis Company manufacture and market the world's first front wheel drive production car.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1930

    Alvis straight eight FWD sports cars take the first three places in the 1500cc class at the Tourist Trophy.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1931

    Production of the 12/60 Sports begins. The Speed 20 SA first appears at the Scottish Show.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1932

    Four cylinder Firefly model introduced to replace the 12/50 and 12/60 models.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1933

    Alvis design the world's first all synchromesh gear box and initiate the first British car with independent front suspension. Vanden Plas and Charlesworth are designing coachwork for the speed models. Crested Eagle and Speed 20 SB are announced.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1934

    A new Firebird model replaces the Firefly.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1935

    Speed 20 SC is launched and a all new six cylinder 3.5 Litre model is revealed.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1936

    The final Speed 20 development, the SD model is introduced and the new Speed 25 and Silver Crest models are announced along with the 4.3 Litre, the fastest production saloon available with a top speed of over 100 mph.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1937

    The four cylinder 12/70 is launched.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1938

    Alvis begin the design and manufacture of aero engines and armoured vehicles.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1939-1945

    The Alvis Company controls 21 'shadow' factories producing aero engines for the RAF.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1946

    Alvis return to car production with Mulliners and Tickford designing coachwork for the TA14. They continue producing aero engines and military vehicles.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1950

    Production of the TB14, a sports version of the TA14, is launched and Alvis introduce the new 3 litre straight six engine and start production of the TA21. Swiss coachbuilder Herman Graber begins designing coachwork for the new Alvis chassis.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1951

    TB21 sports roadster goes into production.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1952

    Alec Issigonis joins Alvis to design a prototype 3500cc V8 engine.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1953

    The TA21 is replaced by the TC21 and further upgraded to the TC21/100 - the '100' designating a true top speed of 100mph.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1955

    The TC21/100 is replaced by the TC108G. The UK version is built by Willowbrook under licence to Graber.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1958

    Alvis announce the new TD21 Series I with coachwork built by Park Ward based on a body design by Graber of Switzerland.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1959

    History is made when the first hovercraft SR.N 1 crosses the Channel powered by an Alvis Leonides engine.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1961

    The TD21 Series II is launched with disc brakes.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1962

    The TD21 Series II is further refined when a five speed ZF gearbox is phased in.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1963

    The TE21 is introduced with five speed transmission as standard and twin 'stacked' headlights.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1965

    Alvis merges with Rover.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1966

    The 150 bhp TF21 Series IV is announced and is the last Alvis model to be produced.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1967

    After 47 years and manufacturing almost 22,000 motor vehicles Alvis cease car production.

  • Alvis Timeline

    1968

    The ex-employees, helped by the Alvis Company, create Red Triangle. Alvis pass everything to the new company - the complete stock of parts, nearly 22,000 Car Records and over 50,000 works drawings, technical data sheets and correspondence file.

Alvis were true automobile engineers. Everything from the concept to the finished rolling chassis was designed and engineered by Alvis, complemented by a range of eye-catching bodywork from leading coach builders of the time. The result - cars of outstanding reliability, impressive performance and stunning good looks. Alvis were hand built cars of exceptional quality, designed and manufactured by a British company.

Alvis Car Company Galleries

The Continuation Car - Gallery

Alvis Car Company Video

Videos



Alvis Car Company

Alvis in the Media

"THE AUTOCAR," August 26th, 1938.

In the scheme of things there are cars, good cars, and super cars. When a machine can be put into the last of these three categories and yet is not by any means in the highest-priced class, considerable praise is due to the makers. The model in question is the latest 4.3 Litre Alvis sports tourer. Taking into account its obvious quality, its equipment, its performance, and the manner of that performance, it is certainly not expensive at just below £1,000.

The running at 60 to 70 m.p.h. or more, for that matter is akin to gliding, so quiet and smooth is the behaviour of the whole mechanism. In fact, about 70 m.p.h. is the natural speed out on the open road. It is the effortless motoring, with no sense of the car being forced, at high but not phenomenal speeds which most appeals. Also, it stands up exceptionally well to the hardest work.

One of the most satisfactory sides of the machine is the refinement which has lately been added to the already accepted performance capabilities of the Alvis. The engine is softer and much quieter, and the handling is notably lighter. There is no doubt, especially in the case of a big car, that quietness amounting to silence is a most attractive quality. This Alvis has practically no trace of exhaust; there is just a muffled suggestion of a powerful engine coming from the twin tail pipes.

The bare fact of the car reaching the speed it does, interesting and satisfying though it is, is negligible by comparison with the way in which it runs and handles as a whole. The driver feels that he is truly in control and that he has under him a thoroughly road-worthy machine, safe at any speed.

The brand new "Continuation" Series 4.3 Litre.

blue-printThis new car is an exact recreation of the original 1930’s model. The original blueprints were scanned and converted into CAD friendly drawings to enable the parts to be crafted, including the engine, chassis and the ash frame.

The 2012 "Continuation" 4.3 Litre car has been fitted with various modern elements including brakes and injection systems, making sure that safety and legal issues have been met. However they have been subtly integrated making them difficult to spot.

With the "Continuation" 4.3 Litre you are not only buying a beautifully engineered and hand built car but also its history, tradition and emotion. The 4.3 Litre was regarded as the fastest non-supercharged production car of its day, with a 0-60 mph time of circa 11 seconds and a top speed of over 100 mph. This was genuine supercar stuff in the 1930s.




The new cars will be built to order by the Alvis Car Company to the classic Vanden Plas design and, chassis included, manufactured to original specification. Even the in-line six cast iron block engine is built to the specification from original blueprints using remanufactured parts, and capable of generating 137bhp and a hefty 250lb.ft
of torque. The current demonstration test model weighs in at 1750 kg, and has four speed all synchromesh gearbox and cable servo assisted brakes, but production cars will be available with a five or six-speed gearbox, and hydraulic brakes.

The car runs on standard unleaded fuel and environmental regulations require fuel injection over the original carburettors of the 1930s car

"An outing in the Alvis creates a true sense of occasion for driver and passenger alike, and a wholly original step back to a bygone era. It's torquey and surprisingly smooth, but ultimately a rewarding challenge to the enthusiast whose task will be to master its progress at speed."


The Alvis 4.3 "Continuation" Production

The Antecedents


  • The first Batch to be laid down circa October 1936 -
    Numbered 13156 to 13185 inclusive - TOTAL: 30
  • Second Batch to be laid down circa February 1937 -
    Numbered 13636 to 13655 inclusive TOTAL: 20
  • Third Batch to be laid down also February 1937 -
    Numbered 14296 to 14345 inclusive TOTAL: 50
  • Fourth Batch to be laid down circa November 1937 -
    Numbered 14799 to 14948 inclusive TOTAL N.B: 150

With the intervention of enemy action on Coventry on November l4th 1940 resulting in the destruction of the Alvis factory, the chassis numbered between 14872 and the intended 14948 were never completed, making chassis 14871 the last completed 4.3 Litre to leave the factory.

Summary

It is clear that a total of 240 4.3-Litre cars had been originally sanctioned of which 77 were never completed. The number of Pre- Continuation 4.3's made is thus 163 of which 12 were 4.3 Litre tourers.There are 99 of these cars known to survive today of which 11 are 4.3 Litre tourers.As a result the new 4.3 Litre “Continuation Series” will be limited to the production of these remaining 77 chassis, thereby fulfilling the original intention of the Alvis Board.

Alvis Interior
Alvis Car Company

Technical Specification

Alvis 4.3 Litre Continuation Series
Standard Specification, Equipment List & Optional Extras


The 4.3 Litre Alvis Short Chassis Tourer was the fastest non-supercharged production car of its day,
and our new continuation series lives up to that heritage. The all-British design and manufacture
using our original works drawings, including the Alvis 4.3 Litre six cylinder engine, is faithful
to the 1936 original design. It retains all its period character and quality, whilst utilising
the advantages of todays technology.


Standard Specifications
  • Engine
  • Capacity
  • Maximum Speed (1939 specification)
  • 0-60 mph
  • Bore & Stroke
  • Fuel System
  • Clutch
  • Gearbox
  • Brakes
  • Petrol tank
  • Crankcase Capacity
  • Gearbox Capacity
  • 6 cylinder in line
  • 4387cc
  • 110 mph (choice of upgrades available)
  • under 10 seconds
  • 92mm x 110mm
  • Alvis Fuel Injection
  • Single Plate
  • 4 Speed all synchromesh
  • Servo Operated
  • 17 gallons (77.2 litres)
  • 2 gallons (9.1 litres)
  • 3/4 gallon (3.5 litres)
    Standard Finishes & Equipment
  • Single solid colour
  • Black Hood with Hood Bag
  • Wheels black or silver
  • Standard leather in 12 colours
  • Standard carpet in 10 colours
  • Satin ebony dashboard
  • Seat belts
  • Head rests
  • Tool kit

  • Paint Options (Coachwork)
  • Single colour metallic
  • Two colours both solid
  • Two colours solid/metallic
  • Two colours both/metallic

  • Paint Options (Wheels)
  • Body colour (single solid colour)
  • Body colours (single solid metallic colour)

  • Hood Options
  • Coloured PVC in 8 colours
  • Double Duck Black or Tan
  • Mohair in 4 colours
    Optional Weather Equipment
  • PVC; Double Duck or Mohair
  • 1/2 Tonneau
  • Full Tonneau
  • Deluxe Tonneau
  • Side Screens (set)
  • Quarter light wind deflectors (2)

  • Interior Options
  • Wilton carpets
  • Wood veneer dash board
  • Over mats
  • Deluxe leather
  • Sun visors
  • Map reading light
  • Cigar lighter/sat-nav power point
  • Coloured seatbelts
  • Radio/CD IPod connection
  • Rear seat luggage conversion with cargo net
  • Detachable rear body luggage rack

  • Mechanical Options
  • Built-in battery conditioner
  • AGM / Twin battery upgrade
  • Overdrive
  • 5/6 speed gearbox
  • Automatic transmission
  • Power assisted steering
  • All aluminium 'high efficiency' radiator
  • Touring spares
Alvis Car Company

News

1st April 2012

Alvis resumes production of the famous Alvis 4.3 Litre model

This, of course, is not the real copy for this news story. The real words will be written once you have approved the headline. Rest assured, the words will expand the concept.

With clarity. Conviction. And even a little wit. Because in today’s competitive marketing environment, the body copy of your news story must lead the reader through a series of disarmingly simple thoughts. All your supporting arguments must be communicated with simplicity and charm. And in such a way that the reader will read on. (After all, that’s a reader’s job: to read, isn’t it?) And by the time your readers have reached this point in the finished copy, you will have convinced them that you not only respect their intelligence, but you also understand their needs as consumers.

As a result of which, your story will repay your efforts. Take your sales; simply put, they will rise. Likewise your credibility. There’s every chance your competitors will wish they’d placed this story, not you. While your customers will have probably forgotten that your competitors even exist. Which brings us, by a somewhat circuitous route, to another small point, but one which we feel should be raised. As a car marketer, you probably don’t even believe in body copy.

Let alone long body copy. (Unless you have a long body yourself.) Well, truth is, who‘s to blame you? Fact is, too much long body copy is dotted with such indulgent little phrases like truth is, fact is, and who’s to blame you. Trust us: we guarantee, with a hand over our heart, that no such indulgent rubbish will appear in your news story. That’s why God gave us big blue pencils. So we can expunge every expedient example of low-witted waffle.

Alvis Car Company

The Order Process

We will require:


  • Deposit with order (10%)
  • Stage 1, Rolling Chassis & Engine (25%)
  • Stage 2, Coachwork (25%)
  • Stage 3, Paint, Trim & Bright work (20%)
  • Stage 4, Final Assembly & Road testing (10%)
  • Stage 5, , Prior to Delivery (10%)

All payments to be made in Sterling by Bank Transfer.

All payments to be received within 14 days of Proforma Invoice.

Each Invoice to be raised at the start of each stage.

All prices quoted will be subject to VAT at current rate unless proof of export to non EEC is obtained.

Price includes UK registration

Price includes delivery to any UK address, port or Shipping agent.

Alvis
Contact Alvis Car Company

Contact Alvis