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Lot '65: Alvis Crested Eagle

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (23 June 2010)

Produced from 1933 to 1939, the large and imposing Alvis Crested Eagle came in a bewildering range of body styles ranging from formal six-light limousines through sedancas de ville to the occasional tourer. Four different six-cylinder engines were also available, ranging from 2,148cc to 3,571cc with either a single Solex carb or triple SUs.

Independent front suspension was used for the first time since the FWD, featuring a massive transverse leaf set across the chassis with wishbones mounted underneath. The chassis was set higher than on the 'Speed' models, without the pronounced drop. Initially ENV preselector gearboxes were fitted, but from 1936 these were discarded in favour of the all-synchromesh Alvis unit.

The bigger-engined Crested Eagles were no mean performers for their day, capable of 85mph with good handling to boot. Lavishly equipped and very expensive to buy (around £900 for the bigger models when the average working man earned about £200 per year), they attracted a high society clientele and just 650 were sold before the model was discontinued at the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. Survivors are now extremely rare as most have been broken up to make specials.

This stunning Crested Eagle Charlesworth-bodied six-light saloon was first registered in London in October 1936 but was first owned by a gentleman in Newmarket who kept it for many years. It was subsequently owned by prominent members of the Alvis Owners Club including Tim Dale-Harris (who unfortunately took much of the history of the car with him when he retired to Guernsey) and Mike Cummins. The current vendor, also an AOC member, acquired the car about eight years ago.

Substantially restored in the early 1990s, the car was also retrimmed by Red Triangle in the late 1990s and is now probably the finest example in existence. Nice features include rear picnic tables and footrests, a sliding steel sunroof, a recessed roof in the rear compartment to accommodate mi'lord and lady's hats and a period luggage trunk mounted on a rack to the rear.

Said to drive beautifully with enough torque to pull a house down it has a 2,762cc single carb engine and a silky smooth four-speed synchromesh gearbox. The Luvax one-shot lubrication system is in full working order, as is the DWS built-in jacking system.

With an MOT until May 2011 and taxed until next February, this outstanding car needs absolutely nothing and will bring a touch of class to any vintage event this coming summer. Unpack the picnic, Jeeves&

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
Lot Number'65
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration numberDGY 755
Chassis number12984
Engine number13434
Engine capacity (cc)2762
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors