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Lot 248: Alvis 2/50hp Tourer

Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 June 2012)

Engineer T G John founded the Alvis company in 1919 when he acquired the rights to an automobile engine and with it the brand name of its aluminium pistons 'Alvis'. Manufactured by T G John Ltd, the first Alvis car - the 10/30hp - appeared in 1920. Conventional yet well engineered, the four-cylinder sidevalve-engined 10/30 was unusual among contemporary light cars in having a four-speed gearbox. Beginning in 1922 and using the 10/30 as a starting point, newly appointed Chief Engineer Captain G T Smith-Clarke and Chief Designer W M Dunn created the car that effectively established Alvis's reputation - the immortal 12/50. The latter was powered by a new overhead-valve engine of 1,460cc and on its competition debut at Brooklands in 1923 secured a legendary victory in the premier 200-Mile event crewed by Harvey/Tattershall. The production version went on sale later that same year priced at 550. A model of exceptional importance for Alvis, the 12/50 remained in production until 1932, by which time it was being built with a new 1,645cc engine, and today is one of the most highly sought after of pre-war sporting cars, with an enthusiastic following. This 12/50hp 'TG' tourer carries coachwork by Cross & Ellis. Founded in Coventry in 1919, Cross & Ellis supplied bodies under contract to the local motor industry, enjoying a long, though sometimes troubled, relationship with close neighbours Alvis. 'VM 6439' was in running condition when purchased in 1959 and was in daily use until 1961 when it was dismantled and placed in storage. Subsequent restoration work has seen the engine rebuilt with new cylinder liners, main and big-end bearings, timing gears and cam followers, etc while the chassis has been galvanised (in 1996). The car is offered with old-style logbook and sold strictly as viewed. The provision of twin SU carburettors is the only notified deviation from factory specification (original carburettor with car).

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
Lot Number248
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£8500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£9775
Condition rating
Registration numberVM 6439
Chassis number11839
Engine number5632
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors