Red Triangle RH Insurance

Running an Alvis Today

Alvis cars were made to be driven hard and they respond well to enthusiastic handling. The larger engined cars are capable of cruising at or near to the speed of modern traffic, but it should be borne in mind that the braking characteristics are quite different to modern cars. The Park Ward Three Litre cars, TD 21 onwards have braking performance more closely resembling that found on cars nowadays. All the Three Litre cars benefit from modern radial tyres in terms of road holding and braking, especially on a wet road.

1932 TL 12/60 Cross & Ellis Saloon Over 4,000 Over 4,000 Alvis cars are known to survive, and occasionally another emerges from hibernation. In the UK, the two main Alvis clubs are the Alvis Register and the Alvis Owner Club. Many enthusiasts are members of both.

1953 TC 21/100 Tickford DHC on tour in Spain Support for Alvis owners is very good. The Alvis Owner Club (“AOC”) provides technical support in the form of spares location assistance and practical maintenance advice for its members. The emphasis in the AOC is on models built from 1932 onward.

Earlier cars, 1920 - 1932 (but excluding the Firefly and Speed 20), are eligible for the Alvis Register, which supports these models with superb technical information and extensive new spares. Both clubs organise competitive and social events at which a friendly and informal atmosphere prevails.

Healey G Series with Alvis 3 Litre engine. Not an Alvis, but AOC eligible and very nice too. The wheels and mirrors are not original.There are also a number of firms, large and small, specialising in Alvis repairs and restorations. Many of these advertise regularly in Club publications and on the AOC website (www.alvisoc.org).The straightforward design of most Alvises and the high standards of engineering and excellent materials used make them simple to repair and overhaul for those familiar with designs of the era. The most prominent firm is Red Triangle Autoservices Limited of Kenilworth, who took over spares and service provision shortly after Alvis ceased car production, and who continue to offer an amazing range of parts, including some original Alvis items, from their stock. New spares are produced to meet demand. The company has a large archive of original Alvis drawings allowing them to have parts made to meet original specifications. This company also undertakes many aspects of Alvis restoration and maintenance in its own workshops.

Other firms produce Alvis spares and undertake work on the cars. Many owners prefer to use local firms where they can keep an eye on the work being done (and the bills accruing!) from time to time, or use firms run by AOC members whom they know and trust. Club members will usually give advice freely about different firms' pros and cons, and can often recommend the one most likely to meet another member's needs, often through the AOC website’s Bulletin Board.

This simplicity of design and robust construction also makes Alvis cars popular with the DIY owner who likes to undertake his own mechanical and restoration work. Few, if any special tools are needed and most Alvis components will continue to function even when worn out, making a "rolling restoration" a feasible project.

Bibliography

The Vintage Alvis Hull, P.M.A., and Johnson, N.H., 2nd edition, pub. The Alvis Register, 1995.
Alvis: The Postwar Cars Price Williams, J., pub. Motor Racing Publications, 1993.
Alvis Speed Models in Detail Walker, N., pub. Herridge & Sons, 2001.
Alvis Three Litre in Detail Culshaw, D.J., pub. Herridge & Sons, 2002.
The Alvis Car 1920 -1966 Day, K.R., 1st edition, pub. K.R. Day, 1966.
Alvis The Story of the Red Triangle Day, K.R., 4th edition, pub. Foulis/Haynes.
The Alvis 12/50 Engine Radford, M.A, pub. Speed & Sports Publications, 1971.
The Vintage Motor Car Clutton, C., and Stanford, J., pub. Batsford, 1954.
The Thoroughbred Motor Car Scott-Moncrieff, D., pub. Batsford, 1963.
British Sports Cars Grant, G., 5th edition, pub. Foulis, 1958.
The A-Z of British Coachbuilders Walker, N., pub. Bay View Books,1997.
Alvis the Gold Portfolio 1919-1967 Brooklands Books.

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