20th Sep, 2023 12:00

30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 483

1952 Alvis TA21 Three-Position Drophead Coupe

Estimated at £26,000 - £30,000

Lot details

Registration No: HUJ 259
Chassis No: 24489

  • 1 of just 303 examples made
  • Subject to engine, gearbox, brake system and suspension overhauls by renowned marque specialist Red Triangle
  • Restored bodywork teamed with the original Maroon leather upholstery and a Black mohair hood

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.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
07855 493737


Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Now owned by its employees and trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe.


Buyers, bidders and attendees will enjoy a special day in the prestigious Imperial War Museum with some fantastic treats including.
Drinks Reception   |   Music   |   Guest Speakers

With each successful bidder receiving a specially selected hamper.

Watch the website for more details.


To take part in the bidding action please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page



Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am


View all lots in this sale

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


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If you prefer to speak to humans, don't hesitate to call our office on +44 (0)1925 210035

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