Wed, 18th Apr 2007 0:00

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 65
Lot 65 - 1934 Alvis Speed 20 SC Tourer

1934 Alvis Speed 20 SC Tourer

Sold for £40,500

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: BUV 276
Chassis No: 11939
Mot Expiry: Oct 2007

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. Although, the majority were bodied to factory-approved designs by Charlesworth and Cross & Ellis, a select few received rather more bespoke treatment.

Finished in cream with red leather upholstery, this particular example is variously described by the vendor as being in "good" (gearbox), "very good" (chassis, wheels / tyres), "excellent" (bodywork, paintwork) or "concours" (interior trim) condition. Dispatched from the Works on October 26th 1934, chassis number 11939 arrived at coachbuilders Vanden Plas shortly thereafter where it was fitted with a drophead coupe body (number 3290) commissioned by renowned London dealer, Charles Follett. Road registered as 'BUV 276' in March 1935, the Speed 20 SC was supplied new to a Mr White of the University Pitt Club, Cambridge. Said to have had just three keepers in the last forty-six years (though, sadly its earlier history remains unclear), the Alvis was apparently treated to a "body off restoration 1980 - 1989" that saw it "converted into a four seat tourer", "painted cream" and given "modernized suspension" etc. Reportedly benefiting from a rewire (2000), refurbished rear axle / driveshafts (2003) and extensive engine overhaul by marque specialist Red Triangle (December 2006) since entering the current ownership in 1996, 'BUV 276' is understood to have covered some 8,600 miles over the last seven years. A former exhibit at various Alexandra Palace and NEC car shows, this stunning Post Vintage Thoroughbred Alvis is offered for sale with MOT certificate valid until October 9th 2007 and historic class (free) road tax valid until May 31st 2007.

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