20th Sep, 2023 12:00

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

 
  Lot 475
 

1933 Alvis Speed 20SB Vanden Plas Tourer
1 of just 42 made

Sold for £74,104

(including buyers premium)


Lot details

Registration No: JT 187
Chassis No: 10923
MOT: Exempt

  • 1 of just 42 Speed 20SB chassis to be fitted with Vanden Plas Tourer coachwork
  • Current family ownership since 1997 and a veteran of numerous tours to the USA, New Zealand and Europe
  • A well preserved older restoration retaining much of its original bodywork as well as the original chassis, engine and gearbox etc
  • Performed notably well on a recent test drive
  • A true Post Vintage Thoroughbred

"The driver has the benefit of rock steady steering, completely accurate, and without a trace of road shocks, while corners and curves merely give him an opportunity to show up the roadholding of the car at its best. Acceleration is greatly assisted by the new all-synchromesh gearbox, with very quick changes to be made absolutely silently right up through the gears" (Motorsport, February 1934).

Introduced at the October 1933 London Motor Show, the Speed 20 SB marked a shift in design philosophy for Alvis. Fitted with a massive cruciform brace, the newcomer's 'double dropped' chassis frame was notably stiffer than that of its predecessor, while the adoption of independent transverse-leaf front suspension, adjustable 'Telecontrol' rear shock absorbers and an all-synchromesh four-speed manual gearbox gave it a technological edge over rivals such as the Bentley 31/2 Litre and Lagonda M45. A welcome carryover, the marque's smooth but free-revving 2511cc OHV straight-six engine ensured that performance remained a strong suit. Featuring dual magneto / coil ignition, triple SU carburettors and an aluminium crankcase, the proven powerplant reputedly endowed the Speed 20 SB with a 90 mph top speed. Riding on nineteen-inch 'jelly mould' wire wheels, the Alvis further benefited from sizable fourteen-inch drum brakes, well-weighted Marles Weller steering and a Luvax-Bijur lubricating system.

The model's added sophistication and refinement were not only entirely in keeping with the wishes of influential dealer Charles Follett but also helped it win sales from the likes of Lady McAlpine, Sir Michael Nairn, Lord Carrington, James A. Sainsbury, Cecil Beaton, Lord Amherst, the Duke of Westminster, Norman Birkett KC, Clair Luce, H.H. The Rajah of Bhopal and racing driver the Hon. Brian Lewis. A corollary of its low-slung stance, 10ft 4in wheelbase and sloping bonnet line, the Speed 20 SB proved an ideal canvas for the coachbuilder's art. Although, the majority were bodied to factory-approved designs by Charlesworth and Cross & Ellis, a select few received rather more bespoke treatment. Despite the absence of any official Works programme, several Speed 20s were used for competition both pre- and post-World War Two at venues including Brooklands, Silverstone and Goodwood. The Speed 20 SB proved to be an effective rally car with Captain G.E. Stott and K.W.B. Sanderson both finishing the 1934 Monte Carlo Rally (a feat matched by Miss Dorothy Patten the following year) and Charles Follett, the Earl of March and the Hon Brian Lewis choosing it as the basis of an official Alvis Team for the 1934 RAC Rally.

According to Alvis historian, registrar and collector Wayne Brooks, Chassis 10923 was one of the four-seater Tourers that marque concessionaire Charles Follet commissioned from Vanden Plas. Originally finished in Black with Red leather upholstery, the Speed 20SB was supplied new to J. Robb Esq of Weymouth, Dorset on 9th December 1933. Allocated the local number plate ‘JT 187’, the Alvis is understood to have been laid-up at the outbreak of World War Two. Returning to the factory for an engine overhaul in 1950, the Tourer migrated to Scotland that same decade passing through the hands of J.R. Johnston Esq of Crailing House, Jedburgh, Brian Berrie Esq of Whiteshaw House, Strathaven and Dr William ‘Bill’ Souter of Bearsden, Glasgow. The latter won the Post Vintage Class of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club’s Veteran Rally in 1968 aboard ‘JT 187’ and retained possession until selling it to Bruce Earlin of Milford, Pennsylvania during June 1977. Minor right rear wing damage suffered whilst en route to Hershey in October 1978 prompted Mr Earlin to take the Alvis off the road and strip it for restoration. Found to be remarkably original with matching chassis, engine, gearbox and body numbers etc (and at that time even the Vanden Plas installed pneumatic rubber seat cushions), the chassis, mechanicals, exterior panels and brightwork were all refurbished before momentum was lost. Still requiring reassembly when bought by Wayne Brooks in July 1989, he sold the Tourer ‘as was’ to the vendor’s husband via Richard Proctor of Plus 4 Motors in Cheshire for $41,000 some eight years later.

A type-written summary of the numerous bills on file shows that Plus 4 Motors refitted the body and steering with The Vintage Workshop finalising the coachwork repairs and H. Taylor re-trimming the interior and renewing the weather equipment. Marque specialists Red Triangle and Solent Vintage Engineering provided various parts, while Patrick Henry refurbished the instruments and Bob Tongue checked the rewiring. Re-registered with the DVLA as ‘JT 187’ on 30th September 1997, it would be another two years before the Tourer was truly operational. Well-travelled since its rejuvenation, the Speed 20SB completed the Alvis Owners’ Club’s Tours of New England (with forays into Canada) and New Zealand in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Driven to France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland too, the Tourer was also used for various Vintage Sports Car Club sorties. The vendor tells us that shortly before she and her husband relocated from Cheshire to Norfolk in 2007 they attended the VSCC’s Oulton Park meeting and because ‘it was a good place to park, and you got to drive the circuit, we entered the Concours competition, and you can imagine our surprise and delight when we returned to the car to find we had won 1st place. The car is much travelled and hasn’t been idle. It has been a privilege to own ‘JT 187’ and the AOC is a very good Club’.

Recommissioned by a friend of the family who happens to be a dyed-in-the-wool marque enthusiast with numerous concours awards to his credit, ‘JT 187’ was driven from Norfolk to Essex earlier this summer following three years’ inactivity. Starting readily from cold during our recent photography session, the Speed 20SB is running on both coil and magneto and performed notably well during a brief test drive. Although no longer concours, the Tourer remains highly presentable and is deemed by the family friend to be in ‘very good overall’ condition with regards to its engine, gearbox, electrical equipment, bodywork, paintwork and interior trim. A true Post Vintage Thoroughbred and worthy of close inspection.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
damian.jones@handh.co.uk
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

 AUCTION VENUE  GET A VALUATION

Viewing

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

VIEW CATALOGUE

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:

               

Do you have an item to sell?

If so, contact one of our friendly specialists for your free valuation by completing the form below and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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

Contact Us Today!

 

Images

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.


Century of motoring history represented at H&H auction
World’s biggest production pick-up truck roars to auction
Mercedes-Benz 500SL delivered new to Sir Stirling Moss heads to auction
Cars from the 1910s to the 2010s head to auction for Buxton sale
H&H’s motorcycle sales off to a flying start in 2024 with market-leading 88 percent sales rate
Goon, Goon, Gone: Unique Peter Sellers 1960 Bentley heads to auction
Eclectic 150-plus classic car auction helps round out H&H’s milestone 30th year celebrations
One of the UK’s best driving Aston Martin DB5s heads to auction
Mid-century sports car icons race to Buxton auction
Former front cover ‘star’ heads to auction
Classic British motorcycles shine as 230 lots head to the National Motorcycle Museum auction
Racing legend Patsy Burt's Jaguar XK120 speeds to Buxton auction
22-strong single owner classic motorcycle collection heads to auction
Norton's racing heritage set to ignite the auction stage
Rare Frazer-Nash BMW with rich racing history to be auctioned
“The Rolls-Royce” of the motorcycle world, heads to      auction
Martini inspired Porsche 911 ‘RSR’ Tribute to head under the hammer
Rare ‘Car on Two Wheels’ heads to auction for the first time in 30 years
More than 100 classics sold in H&H’s 30th anniversary sale
Stunning classics worth more than £9 million offered in 30th anniversary auction
Rare Aston Martin DB1 heads to anniversary auction from long-term ownership
Rare Bentleys to star in 30th celebration auction
H&H Classics 30th Anniversary Auction
H&H unveils details of its 30th anniversary celebrations
Classic car owners handed ULEZ lifeline
H&H Classics auction Hurricane X-75 Prototype to National Motorcycle Museum
Vintage and modern classics lead the way at latest H&H sale
H&H offers exceptional range of vehicles spanning 11 individual decades
Pavilion Gardens. Wednesday 26th July 2023
A whimsical blast from the past: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang recreation heads to auction
From Italy with love: auction showcasing the essence of Italian design and sprezzatura
250 Motorcycles & Vintage Scooters Set To Go Under The Hammer!
March of the Mods: Lambretta owned by Paul Weller heads to auction
Lawbreakers to law enforcers: historic scooters with infamous connections up for sale
Jaguar SS100 among £2¼  million worth of classics sold at the Imperial War Museum
British classics to shine at H&H Classics’ sale
Historic Guinness Collection heads to auction
Browse The Catalogue Now! 135 Classic & Performance Cars To Go Under The Hammer.
Robbie Savage’s Ferrari F430 to be sold at H&H Classics
RAC Rally winning ‘Jaguar’ to be sold at auction
Former MP’s Bentley and Facel Vega ‘garage find’ among £1.3m worth of classics hammered away by H&H
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Auction Preview Video
Genuine ‘matching numbers’ 1967 Shelby GT500 Fastback among 89 strong classic car auction
Rare Facel Vega ‘garage find’ heads to auction
Indian 4 and Lambretta DL200
Golden opportunity to acquire famous limited edition Italjet scooter
H&H Classics commences landmark year with sale of 121 cars
‘Brand new’ Porsche 911 heading to auction after 21 years