8th Sep, 2021 13:00

Imperial War Museum Duxford

Lot 85

1953 Alvis TA21 Drophead Coupe
No Reserve

Sold for £28,125

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: NYU 817
Chassis No: 25116
MOT: Exempt

  • 1 of just 303 made, current ownership since 2012 and extensive history file
  • Treated to a bare metal restoration in 1996 and subsequently awarded various concours awards at Alvis Owners' Club meetings
  • Uprated in period with a more powerful TC21 engine and more recently enhanced via the installation of a five-speed manual gearbox, power steering and Halogen headlights etc

Originally earmarked for the American market where Alvis had hoped sales would be plentiful, chassis 25116 was converted from left- to right-hand drive and completed on 9th October 1953. Delivered to marque concessionaire Brooklands of Bond Street, London W1 the following month, it was issued with the local registration number ‘NYU 817’. The Drophead Coupe’s first years are a mystery but by the mid-1960s it had relocated to Aberdeen and been upgraded with a more powerful TC21 engine. Belonging to J. Buchan and A.J. Burrell that decade, the four-seater then passed to George Winram of the Aberdeen Blind Company in whose family it would remain until being bought by hotelier Neil James of Inverurie during 1996. Mr James entrusted the TA21 to the Kinghorn Bodyshop of Aberdeen for a photographically documented, ‘bare metal’ restoration with assorted parts being sourced from marque specialists Walkers Radiators and Red Triangle. Featured in various Alvis Owners’ Club Bulletin magazines thereafter, ‘NYU 817’ achieved a degree of success in concours competitions. Migrating to Edinburgh and the custodianship of Dr Richard Legge in 2003, the Drophead Coupe was then resident in Brecon with Andrew Morton before being bought by Londoner Nicholas Broadhead during 2010. The latter had Red Triangle fettle the brakes and suspension, carry out some minor bodywork repairs, convert the engine to unleaded fuel, replace the exhaust and renew the underseal not to mention fit an alternator, Kenlowe fan, modern stereo, power socket (with USB insert) and halogen headlights. The associated invoices on file total some £20,000. Further improved since entering the current family ownership in October 2012, the vendor’s late husband – a skilled welder and fabricator with numerous restorations to his credit – installed variable rate electric power steering and a five-speed manual gearbox for more relaxed high-speed cruising. Still highly presentable albeit not concours, ‘NYU 817’ started readily upon inspection and ran well during our recent photography session. Offered for sale with V5C Registration Document, restoration photo albums and history file.

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.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
07855 493737


Auction: Imperial War Museum Duxford, 8th Sep, 2021

Imperial War Museum
CB22 4QR

About Imperial War Museum


Tuesday 7th September from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 8th September 2021 from 9am

12.5% (plus VAT @ 20%)

View The 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!



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

Dozens of ‘no-reserve’ classics head to auction
Recently restored Audi Quattro press car heads to auction
Classic motorcycle auction highlights buoyant market
Rare barn find stars in classic motorcycle auction
Highly original Jaguar SS100 flies away at Duxford sale
Modified classics add a twist to H&H’s next motorcycle sale
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