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

Launched in 1938, the Alvis Speed 25SC boasted independent transverse-leaf front suspension, a four-speed all synchromesh gearbox, adjustable Luvax hydraulic shock absorbers, one-shot chassis lubrication system and vacuum-assisted drum brakes. Notably smooth, its 3571cc straight-six was fed by triple SU carburettors and allegedly endowed lighter variants with a 100mph plus top speed. Reportedly supplied new to the Metropolitan Police as a Charlesworth bodied saloon in February 1939, FLO 685 is thought to have seen service with the Flying Squad before being seconded to the Met's Hendon-based advanced driving school. Featured as part of a 1952 'The Motor' article on their impressive stable, pictures of it are said to hang on the North London College's walls to this day. Following its police career, it is believed to have passed through the hands of former British Olympic Association chairman Sir Arthur Gold and Millfield School housemaster Mr Verne Bromfield. In the latter's custody from 1961, FLO 685's involvement in a freak horse jumping accident (the poor animal supposedly landing on the car) saw it left languishing in a field for many years. Subsequently acquired by Jaguar specialist Olaf Lund, it is understood to have undergone the transformation from saloon to tourer in May 1978. The subject of a very extensive rebuild from 1997 to 1999, FLO 685 was remodelled along the lines of a Short Chassis 4.3 litre Vanden Plas bodied car. To this end, it gained a new ash frame (David Templeman, Carlby), fresh aluminium body panels (Michael Sharpe, Derby), a re-trimmed interior, rejuvenated engine incorporating an unleaded cylinder head / high-lift camshaft etc (Tim Walker Restorations, Aylesbury) and overhauled gearbox / rear axle assemblies. Additionally benefiting from a re-cored radiator, replacement clutch, sundry rewiring, renewed chromework, wire wheel restoration, refurbished distributor and some remedial paintwork, it is reputed to have accumulated over 55,000 worth of invoices / bills between 1996 and 2004. Finished in red over gold with oxblood hide upholstery, it is described by the vendor as being in very good overall condition. Equipped with twin side mounted spare wheels, a decent-sized boot and black mohair weather gear (hood, tonneau, sidescreens), it has apparently been "used regularly during the summer months for local and national journeys attending rallies, holidays and visiting friends". Otherwise kept cocooned by an Airflow chamber in a heated garage, regular maintenance is entrusted to David Wall's Toad Hall Workshops and an "engineer son". A unique car that has belonged to two knights of the realm, it is offered for sale with MOT certificate current until August 3rd 2006, historic class (free) road tax until July 2006 and extensive history file (ownership chain back to 1939, restoration photos / receipts, copy Police driving school photos etc).

Lot Details
Auction Van Dijk Collection
H&H Sales Limited, Syon Park, Brentford
Lot Number071
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberFLO 685
Chassis number14611
Engine number15097
Engine capacity (cc)3792
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors