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Lot 002: 1929 ALVIS SILVER EAGLE SUPERCHARGED SPECIAL

Van Dijk Collection, H&H Sales Limited (3 October 2005)

To pit oneself against a legendary locomotive gliding across mirror smooth tracks for the 746 mile journey between St Raphael and Calais was one thing, to beat its time by over three hours was quite another and yet such a feat proved to be comfortably within the capabilities of Eugester's Silver Eagle (indeed Woolf Barnato only just managed to eclipse the golfer's time during his Bentley Speed Six mounted run a week later). Introduced in 1929 as successor to the 14.75hp, the six-cylinder Silver Eagle went on to further distinguish itself by being the only Alvis model ever to win an International Grand Prix. Based around a rigid, cross-braced ladder frame chassis, it was equipped with leaf-sprung suspension and powerful cable operated drum brakes. Upholding the marque's reputation for well-built cars of a sporting mien, it was available in a variety of open and closed guises. While, even the heaviest saloons proved capable of over 70mph, the lighter tourer variants regularly recorded speeds of up to 85mph in contemporary press reports. According to its copy build sheet, car number 12580 was dispatched by the works on 20th July 1929 to Henlys Ltd of London. Originally fitted with coupe coachwork by Carbodies, it was subject to a five-year transformation from 1989 to 1994 by respected Vintage car restorer Rod Jolley. Subsequently classified as a Special by the Vintage Sports Car Club, its minimalist but beautifully crafted two-seater polished aluminium bodywork incorporates an undertray, boat-tail mounted fuel tank and mudguards (the latter feature in combination with a lighting set helping to make it eligible for road use). Like Mac Hulbert's famous racer (to which it bears more than a passing resemblance) this much modified Silver Eagle employs a supercharger (the Godfrey unit in question being fed by an outsize SU carburettor complete with twin float bowls). Benefiting from an oil cooler, BTH magneto and electric fan, this purposeful Special's 1991cc ohv straight-six engine is mated to a four-speed crash gearbox. To cope with the vastly increased performance, it utilises all round Andre Hartford shock absorbers and fourteen-inch hydraulic drum brakes. Painted dark green (to match its nineteen-inch wire wheels), the ladder frame chassis is tapered at the front and carries a Marles steering box. Purchased from Rod Jolley by Mr Van Dijk in June 1999, this exciting Alvis has been used sparingly since. Now wearing discreet Dutch flags on its flank, it is offered for sale with V5C registration document, various expired MOT certificates and history file.

Lot Details
Auction Van Dijk Collection
H&H Sales Limited, Syon Park, Brentford
TypeCar
Lot Number002
Estimate£45000-£50000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£50000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1929
Condition rating
Registration numberSV 4959
Mileage-
Chassis number7686
Engine number8146
Engine capacity (cc)1991
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors