1935 Alvis Speed Twenty SD cabriolet Vanvooren200.000-300.000 EUR - Estimate

Alvis Speed Twenty SD Vanvooren

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French title
Chassis n° 12779
Engine n° SD13229
Vanvooren body n° 2748

- Volante collection
- Unique Vanvooren cabriolet on this model
- Just three known owners
- Exceptionally original condition
- Original engine and body
- Ex Paris Motor Show 1935 / Ex Serge Pozzoli

Reference Number 512957

as of 1/17/2018

Dealer
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Lot 12

Artcurial - Rétromobile  Contact  Location
Salon Rétromobile Hall 1  Phone  +33 1 42 99 20 56  City  Porte de Versailles
75015 Porte de Versailles  Fax  +33 1 42 99 16 39  State  Paris
France  Mobile    Country  France France
Overview
Car 1935 Alvis Speed Twenty SD cabriolet Vanvooren
VIN 12779 
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Known History

This Alvis Speed Twenty has a very unusual history, having spent its entire life outside its country of origin. The chassis, n°12779, was delivered in 1935 to Vanvooren, the famous coachbuilder based in Courbevoie, who built a very elegant cabriolet for display at the Paris Motor Show in the Grand Palais in October of that year. Alvis were following the example of Bentley, who regularly marketed examples on the continent that had emerged from this coachbuilder's workshop. Having attracted much attention on the stand, the car was bought by a prominent lawyer, Mr Georges Bourgeon d'Hubert. A plaque still attached to the car tells us that he lived at 144 boulevard du Montparnasse and at that time it was registered 3317 DZ 75. He kept the handsome British automobile for 30 years before selling it to Serge Pozzoli in 1966, when he was 80 years old. Pozzoli, an astute purchaser and one of the early collectors in Europe, who founded of the magazine Le Fanatique de l'Automobile, kept the car until his death in 1992. It was not included in the legendary sale of his collection held by Maitre Poulain, but kept by the family until 2012 when his niece, Madame Marçais, decided to sell the car. This transaction was made through the charismatic British dealer Brian Classic, with the third and present owner, Martin Waltz, the German collector and Vanvooren specialist who had set up the " Volante " museum in Kirchzarten near Freiburg.

 

Waltz then embarked on a three-year restoration, with the aim not of making it look like a new car, but of conserving as many original parts as possible. The Alvis was actually in wonderfully original condition, having always been looked after meticulously. The remains of a second layer of paint were painstakingly removed with a spatula to reveal the original layer. The original wooden structure was preserved, having been repaired where necessary. The coachwork was then left in this evocative condition, complete with minor blemishes imperfections reflecting 80 years of careful use. Only where parts were missing, were they replaced. The interior has been attended with enormous attention to detail, and any rips in the leather were stitched and preserved. Only fabric that had disappeared was renewed, such as the carpets and the hood, in the original colours. Amazingly, 90% of the car remains completely original.

 

Moreover, this is a very rare model. According to the Alvis Owners' Club, 149 examples of the SD were produced, and during the 1990s it was reported that just 59 of these had survived. Of this total, just one chassis was bodied by Vanvooren, and this is the car on offer here. What's more, we estimate that there remain just 17 examples of the Speed Twenty SD cabriolets, all coachbuilders together. The Alvis Speed Twenty was one of the most sophisticated British cars of its day, mixing a touch of sportiness with a luxury finish. It slow and racy body hid a six-cylinder 3-litre OHV engine that powered the car to 145 km/h. Here is an example of this special car that offers rarity, a remarkable history and is in extraordinarily original condition, making it one of the most desirable of all.

 

The cars in the Volante collection have been extremely well looked after and conserved. However, it must be stressed that these are museum exhibits that have not been driven much in recent years, and will therefore require a routine inspection and service before use.

 

 

Photos © Fotozumbrunn / Unger