26th Jul, 2023 13:00

Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire

Lot 73

1936 Alvis Speed 20 SC Charlesworth Saloon

Sold for £43,043

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: EZ 1047
Chassis No: 13038
MOT: Exempt

  • 1 of just 131 Charlesworth-bodied Speed 20SC Saloons
  • Treated to a 'chassis up' mechanical and cosmetic restoration
  • Said to be 'very suitable for long-distance touring'
  • 2.7 litre OHV straight-six engine and four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox
  • A true post-Vintage thoroughbred

Introduced at the 1934 London Motor Show, the Speed 20 SC was among a new breed of Alvis cars that combined high performance (long a recognised marque virtue) with luxury and refinement. Based around a sturdy cruciform-braced ladder-framed chassis, the new model came equipped with sizable fourteen-inch drum brakes and 'jelly mould' wire wheels. Boasting such technological novelties as independent transverse-leaf front suspension and synchromesh on all (four) forward gears, it was notably more sophisticated than rivals such as the Bentley 3.5 litre and Lagonda M45. Powered by a smooth but free-revving 2762cc OHV straight-six engine featuring dual magneto / coil ignition, triple SU carburettors and an aluminium crankcase, it was reputedly capable of 89mph. A corollary of its low-slung stance and long bonnet line, the Speed 20 SC proved an ideal canvas for the coachbuilder's art.

The Alvis Speed 20 with chassis number 13038 is a rare find, being one of only 131 Charlesworth-bodied Speed 20 SC Saloons believed to have been built and which pleasantly still retains its original 2.7-litre straight-six engine. This particular vehicle was dispatched from the Alvis factory on the 4th of January 1936 to Messrs. J. Hanna, the Alvis distributors in Belfast. Initially, the car was purchased by a mill owner in Belfast who held onto it for approximately one year. Subsequently, the vehicle changed hands and was sold to Mr. Ivan McKeekin, a fellow mill owner from the village of Cogry near Ballyclare, Co. Antrim. After several years of use, the Alvis was stored in a shed at the mill. Later on, Mr. Jack Coulter acquired the vehicle but left it untouched in the shed for about six months. Eventually, Mr. Crawford Harkness, the owner of a successful motor business in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, purchased the Alvis while still stored in the same shed. At this point, the car remained unrestored. On the 30th of July 1987, Mr. Andrew McCosh from Islandmagee, Co. Antrim, bought the Alvis. He embarked on a full restoration project, undertaking a meticulous chassis-up rebuild that paid careful attention to both the mechanical components and the coachwork. The chrome elements were replated, and the interior was reupholstered with Green Connolly hides, complemented by a new headlining. The car now boasts an attractive Dark Green over Cream colour combination. In December 1993, Mr. Alan Bridgham became the proud owner of the fully restored Alvis Speed 20. The current vendor acquired the vehicle from him on the 10th of April 2019 and has since maintained it in excellent condition. The interior and paintwork continue to impress, displaying exceptional quality. This Alvis Saloon comes with an extensive history file that includes a wealth of invoices dating back to the 1980s, a collection of old MOT certificates, copies of chassis records, and a current V5 document. The car is ideally suited for long-distance touring and is now seeking an enthusiastic owner who will appreciate and enjoy it in the next phase of its journey.

UPDATE: Please note that this Alvis Speed 20 is fitted with a full stainless steel exhaust system.

For more information, please contact:
Julian Pinkster
07889 223 904


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:


Auction: Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire, 26th Jul, 2023

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held in the beautiful surrounds of the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire.  



Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking at the venue is available and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door. 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click the Get A Valuation button. All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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



Tuesday 25th July 2023 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 26th July 2023 from 9am

View all lots in this sale

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