Lot 238 - 1925 Alvis SC 12/50 Open Tourer by Cross & Ellis

Lot 238 - 1925 Alvis SC 12/50 Open Tourer by Cross & Ellis

Lot 238 - 1925 Alvis SC 12/50 Open Tourer by Cross & Ellis

Lot Number 238
Registration MB8006
Chassis Number MB8006
Engine Number 3759
Odometer reading 4,344 miles
Estimate £28,000 - £36,000

The Alvis marque was launched shortly after the end of the Great War, offering a lively quality, light car in the 1500cc class. The more discerning motorist was targeted who placed quality and satisfaction before price. The first three side-valve-engined models lived up to that promise, but it was the engine redesign in 1923 to feature overhead valves that created the famous 12/50 model; an all-time classic. It evolved through various subtypes, and the company was ambitious enough not only to launch a successful six-cylinder model in 1927, of largely similar design and dimensions, but also introduced a supercharged front-wheel drive production model, directly developed from the firm's innovative racing cars.

This car was originally supplied in 1925 as a sub-frame SC 12/50 with a 2-seater 'semi-coupé' body. It was extensively remodelled in 1930 whilst allegedly in the hands of George Tattersal, the Alvis works' competition manager. It was at that time given front wheel brakes and the body of a four seat Silver Eagle tourer.  There is considerable evidence to support the story that this body was originally supplied on a Silver Eagle chassis  to Philip Fotheringham-Parker  who and raced  it  at Brooklands in  1930.  Later that year the Alvis works agreed to exchange the Silver Eagle tourer body for a racing body off one of their team cars from the Brooklands Double 12 race.  In 1932 Fotheringham-Parker achieved notoriety with his car and its racing body (subsequently known as 'The Green Car') when they flew off the top of the Brooklands banking and landing in a tree. Both survived and the car is still racing today.

The body from the short chassis version of the Silver Eagle fits perfectly on the 12/50 chassis and offers a number of advantages over the standard 'narrow body' four-seater tourer. In particular it is wider and therefore more comfortable. It is largely constructed of wood and fabric which minimises any extra weight that could result from the increase in size. With the exception of the front axle, which was changed in 1930 when the front wheel brakes were added, every other part of the car is from the original 12/50 with all numbers matching. The rear axle retains the original double brake drums. The only recent change has been the substitution of a set of close ratio gears which, together with the 4.5 ratio back axle, make for very easy running. The original drop arm on the Marles steering box has been replaced by one of the designs approved by the Alvis Club to eliminate a tendency to crack that has come to light in recent years.


Latterly, the car was laid up from 1942 until 1990 when it was bought by Lord Tombs, a past chairman of Rolls Royce, who had it restored by Wilkinsons of Derby to its 1930 specification. It remains in exceptional condition with a notably quiet engine. Extras include full weather protection and a fold-down rear luggage rack which accommodates a capacious period trunk. Supplied with a history file and full 11 month MoT test certificate, this fine vintage Alvis has a fascinating past and a well documented link to the famous banked circuit at Brooklands that is so treasured today.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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