Lot 252 - 1951 Alvis TA21 Three Position drophead by Tickford
|Odometer reading||62,000 miles|
|Estimate||£18,000 - £23,000|
The Alvis type TA21 was announced in 1950, looking much like its TA14 predecessor but featuring independent front suspension and a new, overhead-valve, six cylinder, three litre engine. Styled along classic, pre-war lines, the three Litre was reckoned by Autocar magazine to appeal to 'discerning owners who appreciate quality and good handling as well as mere performance.' Additions to the range of models were not long in coming; a sports two-seater and a Tickford bodied two-door drophead coupé being announced for the 1951 season. The introduction of open-top models was calculated to boost sales in the United States market, where Alvis was beginning to make an impact. Perhaps the best thing about it is that many of the handling characteristics of the sportscar have been built into the chassis which, combined with a low centre of gravity and a reasonable amount of space, make this fine car something of a compromise, suited to those who want both family car and sportscar features all in one package.
This excellent Alvis TA21 on offer today had a very interesting start to its life; according to research of the archive records carried out by the Alvis Owners Club, it can be confirmed that the body on this car was from the 1950 Earls Court Motor Show car. There was a lot of swopping around of drophead bodies on the early TA21s which has led to a lot of confusion over allocation of body numbers to the early Tickford bodies, 23871 is one such vehicle. With this detailed information to hand, it cannot be claimed that 23871 was the actual 1950 show car, but it can be confirmed that it still has the body used on the 1950 show car. There are no records as to when 23871 was originally completed or when it left the Alvis factory but this must have been in 1950, or at the latest early 1951. The car was converted to lefthand drive, fitted with the 1950 Earls Court show body and sold to Hauser of Switzerland (the Alvis Agent in Zurich). There are no records of private ownership in Switzerland and it is likely that the car remained in the dealership. It was clearly used for demonstration and evaluation as the car returned to Alvis in shop-soiled condition for re-conversation to righthand drive in May, 1952 and sent to Dunham & Haines of Luton for sale. It was registered on 23rd February, 1953 and the first registered owner of this car was a Mr. Lee who owned it until February 1960. It was still in England in 1973, after passing through four more owners but by the late 1970's was in the USA where the next owner had some work carried out to the brakes in California in August 1988. The car was returned to the United Kingdom in 2001. Finished in grey with a maroon stripe, maroon leather interior and matching maroon cloth roof, this TA21 is supplied with a V5 registration document, an Mot test certificate which expires in August 2015, a Buff log book, Californian Certificate of Title, a number of invoices relating to when the car was in the USA, a letter from Alvis Owner Club confirming the drophead body being used at Earls Court Motor Show and a number of old MoT test certificates. This is a rare opportunity to purchase a stylish three position drophead coupé built by one of the most famous coachbuilders in the World.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.