Registration No: HUJ 259
Chassis No: 24489
Introduced at the March 1950 Geneva Salon, the Alvis TA21 was powered by a brand new 3 litre, straight-six OHV engine. Featuring a seven-bearing crankshaft and near ‘square’ (84 x 90) bore and stroke dimensions, it proved notably smooth and flexible. Based around a sturdy box-section chassis equipped with independent coil and wishbone front suspension, a 'live' Salisbury back axle, telescopic shock absorbers and four-wheel Girling hydraulic drum brakes, the TA21 was a natural rival to the Bentley MKVI and Lagonda 2.6 litre. Available in either Mulliner Sports Saloon or Tickford Drophead Coupe guises, it was deemed by Autocar magazine to be fitting for ‘discerning owners who appreciated quality and good handling as well as mere performance’. Decidedly rarer than its ‘tin top’ sibling, just 303 Drophead Coupes were made.
Thought to have begun life in Shropshire - if only because the ‘HUJ 259’ number plates it wears were issued by that county – the early history of chassis 24489 is otherwise a mystery. Acquired by its last registered keeper during 1991, he reputedly entrusted the Alvis to Kynaston Auto Services Ltd of Exeter for a bodywork restoration some nine years later (photos of which remain on file). Treated to a new mohair hood around the same time, the TA21 was despatched to renowned marque specialist Red Triangle in 2003 for some £7,738.21 worth of fettling (including a cylinder head overhaul). Returning to the Coventry-based firm during 2011, 2012, 2018 and 2019 for a major engine overhaul, servicing and attention to its steering, gearbox, cooling system, wiring, brakes and suspension etc, the associated bills total over £28,000. In addition to valuing the Three-Position Drophead Coupe at £40,000 in 2011, Red Triangle road tested it a decade later judging the engine, gearbox, clutch, final drive, steering and suspension as all ‘OK’, while noting the brakes needed ‘bedding in’ and that the fuel gauge was flickering. Pleasingly retaining its original Maroon leather upholstery, ‘HUJ 259’ started readily and ran well during our recent photography session. Used by the vendor for friends’ weddings and some gentle touring, this handsome TA21 is offered for sale with a V5C Registration Document, large history file and fresh MOT certificate.
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Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023
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Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am
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