1959 Alvis TB 21 Park Ward Drophead Coupe SOLD

Coys Spring Auction - Royal Horticultural Hall - London - February 27, 2007

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Estimate: £15,000-20,000

Sold £31,171

The name Alvis was always synonymous with craftsmanship and performance and the final models produced by this very British manufacturer were no exception. The origins of the TD21/TE21/TF21 series date back to 1953 when sales of Alvis' three litre, ladder frame chassis cars, such as the TC21/100 Grey Lady, were falling and its planned all-new V8 saloon was scrapped at huge financial cost. When production of the three litre cars ended in 1954, that might have been the end of Alvis cars for good had it not been for Swiss coachbuilder Graber. For some time he had successfully re-bodied Alvis chassis with his own elegant and modern designs and in 1953 Alvis reached an agreement to build the Graber cars under licence. Initially, Loughborough coachbuilder Willowbrook built the first model, the TC108G, but it was expensive and only 17 examples were built in three years. Production ceased in 1957 when Alvis, having bought the Graber rights two years earlier, struck a deal with Park Ward to build the cars at a more reasonable cost. The new TD21 was announced in October 1958 and benefited from a strengthened chassis, sharper styling and increased interior space. Suspension remained wishbone/coil spring at the front with a live rear axle and semi-elliptic springs but Austin-Healey's four speed manual gearbox became standard, as did front disc brakes on all but the earliest examples. It received excellent press, Autocar calling it 'one of the most enchanting owner-driver cars imaginable'.

This fine example, originally registered in Jersey, was acquired by the present owner in 1998. At that time it had just had a ground-up chassis-off, body restoration costing in excess of £30,000 with numerous new body panels and timber sections supplied by Marque specialists, Red Triangle. This car consequently has absolutely no corrosion anywhere. Since then a rolling programme of mechanical work has encompassed a complete engine rebuild with machining by Fields Engine Services, including new radiator and lead-free conversion of the cylinder head. The rear springs have been replaced and the front suspension rebuilt. The entire electrical system has been stripped out and renewed - one of this car's few deviations from standard spec being the installation of full fuse protection and a bank of relays for overdrive, horn and headlights. All hydraulics and the braking system have been renewed throughout. Two other non-standard but highly desirable additions are a Kenlowe fan and a Laycock de Normanville overdrive on fourth and third, effectively bringing this car up to TD21 Series II spec. The cream leather interior with blue piping is brand new and to the highest standard, as are the walnut veneers. The car comes with V5 registration form and supporting build documentation from the Alvis Owner Club.

Reference Number 7213

as of 2/16/2007

Car 1959 Alvis TB 21 Park Ward Drophead Coupe
VIN 26335