Thoughts with Ukraine

The Mulliners Saloon, chassis 22709 mentioned in the previous main Post, was sold at Auction for £9 900 + 15% buyer’s premium.

Someone has bought quite a time capsule with only 2 previous owners since new. Still retaining the original cord interior, rare these days but reflected the austere times of the immediate Post War era.

Very nice to catch up with the owner of Carbodies, chassis 22736, now living in Department Moselle, France. The car is yet another one with the colour may be inspired by my Tickford ‘Aunty May’ chassis 21830. When purchased by my father in 1959 she had already been resprayed from Black to Ivory and inspired many similar colour schemes over the years.

Chassis 22736 has been further restored and has won several major prizes on the Continent, well deserved as the photo shows. This trophy was 1st prize at the ADAC Concours d’ Elegance in Saarland 2019, so beating some very stiff competition. The owner is still looking to acquire 2 Nave Plates (Hub Caps)2 end caps for the bumpers and a small alloy end cap for the boot. I can put him in touch with anyone who can help with those spares.

Interesting fact is that the car was restored in the 1990s by none other than Richard Mead who bodied several TA 14s when they were new.

An owner in Charleston is considering fitting windscreen washers to his TB 14. They were not fitted as standard but one or two Fourteens have had them fitted. I did explain that often our rain does the job!

Washer bottles were not the only extras fitted to Fourteens. The Article below shows testimony to the additions that could/can be added.

Should the above offer temptation to fit extras then you have a good range of choices although Item 9h might now be viewed as obsolete!

Restorations of our cars continue apace and the standard is very very high. TB 14 23582 is undergoing a ground up restoration in Austria and should emerge even better than new judging by the painstaking standard of work so far. The car was in good condition and running before the restoration so that should help in the rebuild.

As always there is a good selection of Fourteens for sale advertised on the AOC website alvisoc.org plus carandclassic.co.uk. Mainly Mulliners Saloons but also Carbodies. The unique Saloon, chassis 21060, NSK 779 by an unknown Coachbuilder is up for Auction on carandclassic.co.uk so a good buy for someone wanting an individual Saloon. Our records do not show the car bodied by Mulliners as described in the advert. Evidently the one off body was 2 years in the making.

Just announced is the other Alvis with a forthcoming Auction on carandclassic.co.uk. Underneath the 1930s body is a TA 14 chassis with an Alvis engine. Described as being from a TA 21, the engine appears to be that of a TD 21. Chassis number 23400 was a Mulliners Saloon before its transformation to a Special in the 1960s. The body is described as a 1930s racing shell.

Increasingly owners are considering having metalwork areas rechromed. One Company, Tregunna Ltd is operating in the north London area and provides chrome, nickel and gold plating services to clients including some in Hatton Garden so perhaps we shall see the first TA /TB14 with gold plating? Might get marked down though for non originality. The Company also undertook plating for Mulliners Park Ward. Full details on ‘Suppliers and Services’ together with other Companies as recommended by Alvis owners.

Many owners have come across and dealt with Holden Vintage and Classic, purveyors of Automobile parts and accessories. All stock can be viewed on their website at holden.co.uk and set aside some time to browse the extensive range of new and old new products. You can even ‘virtually rummage’ through their boxes of new old stock. An essential part of a classic car owners ‘go to list’ for spare parts and can be shipped globally. Also it is possible to purchase their Catalogue as an excellent paper copy. Currently they are out of paper copies of the 11th Edition, about 420 pages. The 12th Edition is currently in preparation and should be available in the Autumn, you can put your name down for a copy, there is a cost, my copy of the 10th edition was £6 about 11 years ago so there will be an increase but it is money well spent. For those who like to deal over the phone the number is 01885 488 488 and in person, the shop is based on the Linton Trading Estate, Bromyard, Herefordshire. HR7 4QT.

When our cars were young several owners took the time and trouble to evaluate and give an honest opinion of their cars.

One such owner of TB 14 chassis 23558 was Sidney Collier. His opinions were forwarded to a motoring magazine of the time in the 1960s. We are fortunate to get this information from his son. When working his way through his late father’s papers and photograph albums he came across some photographs and very kindly sent them through followed by the Article and as he progresses through the material there may be more. So very grateful he took the time and trouble to pass this on. The TB was only visiting the caravan as close inspection show no tow bar.

Ron Buck was a very well known Alvis Owner including a magnificent Maroon Carbodies TA 14. Fortunately for the current owner the car has changed from Ron’s very well known personalised numberplate ARB 14 back to her original plate and is she living a cosseted life in the South of England still bearing her extras.

A consummate Engineer and second generation Alvis enthusiast Ron wrote up his opinions of the car in 1955.

Group Captain Edwin Shipley was another owner who wrote up his experiences of a W.H.Gaze & Sons Estate version, chassis 20650, LPF 537, although much is general to TA 14s. He makes refers to the preceding Article by Ron. The management of the tyres shows just how different running a car then as to now. Wonder if any TA 14 ever wears out it’s tyre treads now through use. Now it is usually the age of the tyre that produces the need to replace. Sadly it is likely that this car has not survived. She was last seen offered for sale in 1964 by an advert that showed the then vendor’s priorities.

‘1947 TA 14 Utility, ex Shipley car… wife prefers modern tinware and I like a quiet life. £107 ono.’ Finally do make sure you read through to

‘I agree with Ron and his dealer information- I believe the TA 14 was the best ‘all round’ Alvis product ever produced’.

Still looking for TA 14 pedal rubbers and Nave plates.

Finally our thoughts are with Ukraine and hopes that peace will soon prevail for this beautiful Country. We have no knowledge of any Fourteens living in Ukraine or Russia but one intrepid Mulliners, chassis 23256 SRE 420 did make a tour as described below.

How times have changed.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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3 Mulliners for Auction.

Unusually an Auction containing TA 14s has not been featured on the carand classic.co.uk website.

On the 26th March at Spicers Auctioneers of Goole East Yorkshire there are 3 Mulliners, Lots 408, 409 and 426. Sadly 2 are in very poor condition and probably will be considered past restoration at least for the bodywork. These have very low guide prices of £100-£200, LWB 593. £300-£500 chassis 23198. The third Mulliners chassis 22999 is in much better condition and has a guide price of £4000-£5000. Hopefully there will be some interest in these lots. Go to spicersauctioneers.com for photographs and further information.

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Transatlantic TB14s

The striking Black TB 14 displayed at the NEC recently has found an Alvis enthusiast based near Charleston in the Carolinas. Chassis 23579 HYS 615 will be off later this year to join a TD 21 and participate in the flourishing classic car world of the Carolinas. Charleston was founded in 1670 and retains a British style so somewhere an Alvis should feel quite at home.

She was restored a few years ago and taken back to her original body colour of Black. Whilst most of the TB 14s were Red or Ivory, six were Black and another popular colour was Green.

Driving around the Southern USA you might even get to see a second TB 14, chassis 23588 ECL 265, has taken to the roads recently.

Purchased in 1970 by an American L/Col pilot in the US Airforce she was shipped back to the States upon his return to the USA. Inherited by his son and daughter she has just completed a major professional restoration. She returned to the roads in 2021 in Nashville and is now a beautiful example of this iconic model retaining her original build colour of red.

The restoration standard was very high and that was rewarded when she came first in the Nashville British Car Show last October. Not only did she come first in Class but also Best in Show, quite an accolade bearing in mind some of the American classic car restoration standards.

In addition to the cars in films photos from last month there is a white Carbodies that featured in the made for the 1977 TV Movie ‘Rogue Male’. Unusually and ‘Hallelujah’ there is a clear number plate LTV 531 that shows chassis 23475. This car was last heard of in The Netherlands  awaiting restoration.

Used in a car chase!

Some very interesting Fourteen cars are for sale at present.

EBay is offering ‘Tilley’ chassis 21954, a Shooting Brake that was sold at Auction by Anglia Car Auctions a few years ago with the probability that it would become a Special. It is nice to see that there is still the opportunity for the car to be restored as she would look absolutely stunning. Asking price £5750.

Another eBay offering is the photo of a very sad Mulliners with a note. Do you recognise this Fourteen?

The CCA Auction at the NEC next month has ‘Shelagh’ chassis 22709 a Mulliners with a very interesting history and the opportunity to become only the 3rd owner of this fine car. The first lady owner, Shelagh, was obviously a lady of some style. She owned the car from new in 1948 and it only came to the market in 1991 as an Estate sale. The lady’s personal items were still in the glove compartment and included driving gloves, umbrella and a sherry cork to keep the choke out. We can all empathise with needing to keep the choke out at some time. Described as a genuine and original time warp.

Alvis  – KLE 19

  • 17.11.1948. Alvis TA14 Mulliner Saloon
  • 1 previous lady owner 1948-1991
  • Purchased new from Brooklands of Bond Street and retains dashboard plaque and dealer key ring
  • Vendor owned 1991 to date.  Purchased from estate.
  • Multi award winner inc.
  • Uniquely comprehensive history from pre-purchase to date
  • Original buff logbook through to current V5
  • The paperwork alone will take you weeks to read through
  • Victoria Cross connection
  • Original body work and panels – used as patterns
  • Original interior
  • Nothing added, nothing taken away
  • Still has solenoid operated dip n/s headlight
  • Semaphore indicators
  • Original registration KLE 19
  • Opening windscreen
  • Sunroof
  • Rear blind
  • Original owners’ bits and bobs including sherry corks used to keep the choke open, driving gloves, umbrella etc
  • A real genuine and original time warp

For more information search classiccarauctions.co.uk and see a very reasonable guide price of £10-£12k.

2 cars are believed to be available and shown on autoscout24.com chassis 22932, Mulliners Saloon GSF 893 and chassis 23096 Carbodies Dhc. FVW 155. Both cars have been in Italy. Site does not recognise Alvis as a car marque best to try ‘Oldtimers’.

As always carandclassic.co.uk has other Fourteens for sale.

It is essential that any Fourteen owner has a copy of the Driver’s Manual and Spares Catalogue. Good facsimile copies can be acquired from Red Triangle, Tel. 01926 857303. An advert on Ebay shows a Driver’s Manual for sale in the USA for the price of £133 plus £24 p&p, rather higher than current bids on a British offering at bid at £3.53!

As to spares there is still a search for Alvis pedal rubbers to fit Fourteens, also Nave Plates.

A set of old Tickford pram irons has been kindly found by our TA 14 technical advisor and is currently being copied for the owner’s restoration project. The old set will be retained but if anyone has any thoughts about getting a replacement set made they could get some now at a very reasonable price by the foundry. He is now looking for a set of the catches that fix the Tickford hood to the front rail so any out there that are spare or can be loaned to copy?

Swedish owner is still on the lookout for a pair of horn trumpets or horns with trumpets.

A further list of available spares will shortly be put up on the site to buy as a job lot or to make individual offers.

Still hoping to find the chassis number for MZH TA 14H. This Special goes around German events with driver Edwin Remmel so let’s hope someone can track this down.

Going through old family photo albums can be very fruitful for old vehicle information. Always worth sending copies to relevant clubs. Fortunately one such exercise prompted the son of a former owner to write in with information about cars his father used to own plus 2 photos from the 1960s. It was great to be able to confirm that the 2 cars are still around. The Shooting Brake by W.H.Gaze and Sons chassis 21301 looks much as she did in the original photo. The lad leaning out of the window is the gentleman who has sent in the photos. Mulliners Saloon chassis 23181 resides in Cornwall rebodied as a rather amazing Special as the body had completely rotted away before the project. Nice to be able to put people in touch with the families of former owners.

York
Gillingham

Car and Classic send out details of classic cars in Auctions and a recent one confirmed they have made a short film about the Alvis Car Company. Go to carandclassic.co.uk and search the Alvis Car Company -Car and Classic Video..

With supply chains still interrupted for some products and panic buying a close memory- this is not new. Back in October 2003 the word went around that there might be a shortage of TA 14 wheel nuts. Panic then ensued, longer term owners maybe remember the consternation, worry and stockpiling thoughts that ran riot through the Fourteen world.

Further checks revealed that Red Triangle had only 1452 left so that a round of purchases to squirrel away might leave only a few hundred in stock. Red Triangle’s Parts Manager, Dave Wright then felt the need to come forward and make a statement to calm things down.

‘We have been concerned for some time about the disappearing TA 14 wheel nut. Rest assured conservation plans are well advanced and we expect continuation of supply for many years to come. However panic buying is recommended.’

My order is going in this week!

Finally January set a record for sunshine and Aunty May, chassis 21830 looked out through her window and thought Spring has arrived. Unbelievable difference starting up first time and purring. All down to changing to minimal ethanol in Shell V power. Can’t recommend this fuel enough.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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‘Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse
The garage’s occupants
all settled down
Hoping that Santa himself would come down.


Hope everyone has their anti-rodent clickers in place in case  some small furry creature does not know it should not be about.

Well here we are again, another year drawing to a close. Our Fourteens have passed the 3/4 century milestone of the first cars venturing out in the world in November 1946. A far longer period of time than Alvis actually made cars, leaving aside the current continuation models.

We have several spare part searches going on and if anyone can help see the email address at the end and I can put you in touch. Perhaps garage sort outs during the pandemic may have produced some parts scheduled for sale next year.

1 An Alvis accelerator pedal rubber is sought, small item but important if you are trying to keep the authenticity of your Fourteen.

   2.    2 people are looking for a pattern for an original Carbodies hood and in particular details of around the back window. Perhaps some has an old hood tucked away that could be loaned and then we should also be able to help other owners who don’t have an original hood. The photo below shows the correct side profile of a Carbodies hood.

   3.    An owner is restoring a Tickford but it came to him without a hood and some other missing bits. He is particularly keep to buy or have made the pram-irons that give the Tickford its identifying image. Does anyone have an old set or copies of the pattern. SVW Services made a pattern of ‘Aunty May’s pram irons many years ago but for them to make a new set is very expensive. He would also like to visit a Tickford TA 14 in the Yorkshire area to look at a car that is complete to take photos and measurements.


This collection of photos come from stills taken from films having TA 14s in them. Some are known but some have number plates that probably need more advanced technology than the home tablet. Can you recognise any and let me know so that the records can be updated.

A Mulliners Saloon is featuring strongly in the current series of ‘Father Brown’ on Freeview channel 20, the car is seen in most episodes set in the ‘Cotswolds’.

Car and Classic continues to have a good selection of Fourteens for sale on their website at carand classic.co.uk so worth checking out. One new addition is the very nice Mulliners Saloon, chassis 22829, KLH 473 that has now become available. A former stablemate of the well known Tickford, Bluebell.  Also we understand that Chassis 21697 is now for sale in Uruguay.
Anyone with a nice TA 14 Drophead for sale that is not yet on the market should make contact as there is a possible purchaser keeping his eyes out for one.

This delightful picture of a former family Woodie shows a car with an interesting back story. She is chassis 20618 and the records describe the Coachbuilder as being a local carpenter. She is recorded as the Fourteen LNU 61 and the next car in the registration List is LNU 743, chassis 20853 that was built by Reeve and Kenning. It appears there is a good possibility that she is actually a Reeve and Kenning coach built car. An excellent write up of the car from the day of being brand new to her sad demise for spares appears in the AOC Bulletins Nos 526 & 527 of 2010. Well worth digging out old Bulletins or reading from the Alvis Archive disc, still available from the Alvis Archive Trust. Captures the true essence of motoring in the 1940s-1960s with all its ups and downs in the days before Health and Safety as this extract demonstrates.


LNU 743 featured on the AOC Club stand together with the restored black TB 14 chassis 23579.

Now with the nation settling down for the Christmas holidays we can perhaps go back in time 3/4 century ago. The first Post war London Motor Show had just been held at Earls Court. It was not easy to order a luxury vehicle after the War as the precarious state of the nation’s finances meant the majority of production should officially be designated for export.
The following gives a flavour of the times and those lucky few who had been able to place an order for a TA 14 would have been able to spend Christmas eagerly awaiting delivery of the latest new modern car.

These extracts of information from the time allow us a window back to those early Fourteen days.

So it only remains now to wish all Alvis enthusiasts and their cars

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Eileen, Terry and ‘Aunty May’.

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Humble Beginnings

Touring the beautiful South Coast of Wales gives the ideal opportunity to pay a visit to the birthplace of T.G.John in the Pembroke Dock area.

A modest terrace house, number 6 Church Street is where it all began. Fortunately not much has changed in the area so one can stand outside looking up and down the hill and see the much the same view as in 1880 when he was born. The house has a blue plaque to record the event. To read more about the founder of Alvis go to tgjohn.com and at the end click the link to the Article on alvisarchive.com. For any Alvis owner, life has been impacted by the cars and all down to the humble beginnings in a terraced house at Pembroke Docks.

A lovely example of a Carbodies Dhc. is now leaving long term keen Alvis ownership in the USA. She will be offered for sale by Sotheby’s at their prestigious Hershey Auction in Pennsylvania, Lot 152. The Auction is scheduled for the 7th/8th October. Go to their site and in the search box put in Alvis to see the beautiful Brown/Cream Carbodies. The car, chassis 22088, registration TGP 62 is being offered for sale with an estimate of $45 000-70 000 with no reserve so perhaps worth a bid if anyone seeks a beautiful TA 14 Drophead.She looks like a car in very good condition and ready to go. There is a definitive trans Atlantic cosmetic colour scheme and love the whitewalls. Plenty of photos show the car in great detail.

More news from the USA from Nashville, home of The Grand Ole Opry and a long term family owned TB 14, chassis 23588. Following an extensive restoration she is about to reach completion and return to the open roads within a matter of days. Photos will be available next month. Many of us will know the feeling of great excitement and anticipation as the restoration is completed and the car comes home.

Away from the Deep South up in the empty roads of Montana another TB 14 has changed hands. She is the car with the Chevy engine that is still under the bonnet, chassis 23555. Slightly better acceleration than the standard original 0-60 mph in 19 seconds! Now painted with in an attractive dark green she is another TB 14 that will be appearing on the American roads. Go to ‘Cars of Interest and TB14 Gallery to see more about her.

Another desirable car about to seek is a new home is Mavis the well known Mulliners Saloon who was the featured TA 14 at the 75th Anniversary Celebrations at International Alvis Day 2016.

Mavis is unique that she has full paper records from the day she went to her new owner. They make interesting reading and can be seen by going to the header banner and clicking on Life of a Fourteen. MVX 963 chassis 21785 is an excellent example of a Mulliners Saloon and will be a great buy for those looking to acquire one of these models.

As always there is a selection of TA and TB 14s for sale on carandclassic.co.uk. Anyone looking will need to check the whole Alvis for sale list as some cars do not make it onto the TA 14 List. Mulliners Saloon, Tickford and Carbodies Dropheads, Specials, chassis, TB 14s all feature so what a choice.

Some very good and interesting web sites can be found showing our cars in the past and on their holidays. One such is the website, jobson-scott.weebly.com showing the extensive travels of Carbodies Dhc. ‘Samantha’ who has been with her current family for over 57 years. Chassis 23461 she has certainly not let the grass grow under her wheels judging by the long list of her holiday destinations. One interesting occurrence occurred during a tour in June 1999. One of the other guests at the hotel recognised Samantha by her registration number as the one she herself sold @ Mumfords of Plymouth in 1949. Mumfords Garage was the Alvis Agent for South Devon and the lady was the Secretary for the Managing Director.

Also you will see Samantha’s companion Carbodies VTK 862, chassis 22520.

A lovely way to pass the time watching the adventures and many stalwarts of the Alvis Owner Club feature in the tours.

We are still looking for 2 Carbodies original rear window frames for cars undergoing restoration, can you help? Also a set of rear bumpers again for a Carbodies but universal to TA 14s, also 3 Nave Plates.

Does anyone have a ‘Cyclops’ Fourteen with the central light. A new owner is looking to fit a neat badge bar across the cyclops fitting and would welcome advice and photos from anyone who has completed the fitting.

Whilst out and about in ones Alvis, how about being attired in Alvis clothing. Clothing company Harkila has an Alvis Outdoor range of weatherproof clothing ‘designed to withstand the harsh Scandinavian climate.’ Originally designed for wearing when hunting, the clothes sound very practical. Search Harkila Alvis to see the range. Trousers, shorts and waistcoats all designed to match. Website is gb.harkila.com/harkila. Christmas hints?

Maybe not a TA 14 but the search is on from New Zealand to identify a pale blue Post War Drophead, registration maybe XL 42 although this number is not shown by DVLA.

Also seeking the chassis number for a two tone coloured Carbodies registration ZH 83362 seen in Switzerland.

Rather quietly introduced it is now illegal to show a GB identification on our cars when abroad unless someone knows of an age exemption. The British Government has changed our identification to that of UK so that is what is now needed. Never knew there was a country called UK but that is progress for us!

We are now creeping up to the 75th Anniversary of the first 3 TA 14s to leave the Alvis factory.

It was a very different world 1946 but a select group of individuals were able to anticipate the imminent pleasure of taking ownership of a new Alvis TA 14. The motoring press was eager to get back to reporting on new Models. Below a small sample of the material around at the time.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Smooth Running.

Ethanol additive to petrol rears its head again. The AOC representative to the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs put out a timely warning that the ethanol percentage in petrol will rise from 1st September to 10%, totally unsuitable for our cars. We should seek Grade 97 E5 petrol minimum and in all events use E5 when standard unleaded is not available.

The search for ethanol free petrol showed up how few garages still stock the old leaded petrol. There is a list on the MG owners’ site showing garages still stocking lead equivalent petrol, mg-cars.org.u.k. Sadly nothing showing in Kent but those living near Billericay Essex can still find leaded. However with the last refining capacity in the world for leaded petrol just closed this maybe the very end for other than lead additives.

The other alternative is to look at higher Octane Fuels. They are required to show that they may have up to 5% Ethanol but actually the Companies such as Esso say there is almost none. Shared pipes on tankers prevent any statement of no ethanol. There is however a caveat that says the statement does not apply to Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, North England and Scotland.

The Article below is a synopsis of information available to gain an understanding of the pros and cons of modern petrol. There are plenty of expert articles that can be found on the internet.

——————————————————————————————————–MODERN FUEL 

Petrol is a very complex cocktail of petrochemical derivatives and compounds. In general has a shelf-life of approximately six months if stored in a sealed container at 20deg C  or just three months if kept at 30deg C. In a car fuel tank which is not sealed this will be less. The more it’s exposed to heat, the more quickly it will go off. After several months storage at summer temperature petrol will start to form carboxylic acid and gums. This degradation will continue as the fuel ages and the carboxylic acid which forms will slowly attack any soft materials in the fuel system like rubber.

Similarly oxidation of the petrol can cause deposits to form with other impurities to clog up your engine.

How the petrol changes in the car fuel tank.

The lighter components evaporate first, these are the chemicals that provide valuable octane benefits on starting from cold. These are very volatile and compose most of the fuel/air mix during initial start-up, but when they are depleted by evaporation the mixture becomes lean, causing higher temperatures, detonation, pre-ignition and piston damage.

The fuel that remains once the volatile parts have gone has a higher density but as it is not as volatile, cold starting is impaired. Because carburettors meter fuel by volume the mixture now becomes richer because the fuel is denser. This richness will cause plug fouling and blocked exhaust ports due to carbon deposits, but the lack of volatile octane will suppress full revs.

So, in short, marginal fuel will result in hard starting and lack of top end revs and power, but the car will run once started.

Formation of Gums and Peroxides

After several months storage at summer temperature the petrol will start to form peroxides and gums. The degradation will continue as the fuel ages and the peroxides which form will slowly attack the soft materials in the fuel system. The first to suffer will be any rubber fuel hoses followed by pump/ carburettor diaphragms and even the aluminium of the carburettor.

The ‘gums’ or ‘varnish’ will in time solidify and line the inside of the carburettor, blocking jets etc.

Stale fuel is the number one cause of the stiff operation of pump and carburettors.  Gums and varnish can even stick the piston rings of a running engine.

Effect of ethanol

Stale fuel long has always been an issue before the addition of ethanol, but today’s fuel turns foul much quicker than in the past, in fact, depending on temperature, light and humidity, the fuel can be unusable in as little as 30 days. Ethanol speeds up the process for two reasons, it is hygroscopic i.e. naturally absorbs water and it is oxygen rich which speeds up the oxidation process. So the more ethanol the petrol has the greater the issue. Ethanol also reduces mpg so it could well be worthwhile buying more expensive higher grade fuels for reduced ethanol content, improved mpg and greater fuel longevity.

Additives are available which claim to increase engine performance, reduce wear and stabilise ethanol petrol thereby prolonging its efficacy.

How to recognise stale petrol.

As petrol ages it will change noticeably in colour, smell, and viscosity. New petrol, fresh from the garage, will have a pleasant ‘tang’  and will be almost clear, with just a slight colour, but as it ages it will develop an unpleasant smell more akin paint or varnish which will linger on materials or skin for a good while, whilst the colour will deepen considerably. The old fuel will also become much thicker, more akin to very light oil or diesel fuel. Really old petrol will have a very heavy and unpleasant smell and can be very dark in colour and very thick.

Running a car designed to run on leaded petrol

Petrol infused with tetraethyllead was introduced in the early 1920s, having been found to reduce engine knocking. “It’s a convenient way of preventing pre-ignition,” one article explained, “or pinking – the metallic rattling sound from the engine when it is under load in a high gear. Pre-ignition doesn’t just sound nasty – if allowed to continue, it will burn out the pistons. Lead, too, has advantages; it lubricates the moving part of the upper cylinder. However, leaded petrol was discontinued because it was an environmental no no and highly detrimental to health.

Whilst unleaded petrol contains additives to ensure mainstream levels of octane are maintained the absence of lead can cause damage to valves and valve seats which the lead additive effectively ‘lubricated’. Fuel additives are available which can ameliorate the problem. Normally sufficient if the vehicle is used infrequently or driven at not too high revs. All additives will have one of the following four compounds as parts of its constituent – potassium, phosphorous, sodium or manganese. All these compounds have been advocated by various companies as being the most suitable substitute for lead petrol. The truth is that none of these compounds will totally replicate the unique properties of lead and certain engine types and driving conditions may be better suited to one formula than another. Even the most suitable additive will only delay the amount of wear unleaded fuel cause to an engine’s valve seats.

The biggest problem arising from using unleaded fuel on older engines is a condition known as valve seat recession (VSR). Without the protective lead coating (previously provided by leaded fuel) on the exhaust valve seats, the intense heat (650°C) and hammering effect of the valves opening and closing, causes iron deposits from the valve seat to become micro-welded to the valve edge. Left unchecked, this continual tearing away of metal particles will result in the exhaust valve digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself into the cylinder head. Eventually, and often within only a few thousand miles, the engine will breakdown completely and it will require an expensive overhaul. To combat this problem, modern petrol engines have special hardened valve seats which can withstand this harsh environment. Hardened valve and valve seats can often be retrofitted but at some cost.

——————————————————————————————————-

‘Aunty May’ chassis 21830 has recently highlighted the effect poor petrol can have on our cars. She had been stored for a while following a house move and efforts to start her had been met with clouds of black smoke, much coughing and spluttering. Cleaning and gaping the plugs has been done and the old stale brown coloured fuel drained off. There are companies that specialise in taking old fuels legally and they can be found on the internet so the old fuel was safely and legally disposed of locally.

V power 99 octane was selected from the local Shell garage and 20 litres put in with a new Redex lead additive in case the old lead additive had a shelf life. Unbelievable difference, she started first time on the button and purred sweetly as she came up to temperature. Not a sign of any smoke from the exhaust. 3 circuits around the local roads were accomplished as she ran as smooth as silk. So for the future, look out for TA 14s congregating around the Vpower 99 pump for high performance cars.

There are times when you just can’t find one of the rare and iconic TB 14s for sale and then suddenly they pop up like busses and give potential owners a good choice.

3 are currently advertised on carandclassic.co.u.k. The latest one to become available has been the subject of an extensive restoration costing over £25k and has been returned to her original colour of black. She will be a feature car on the Alvis Stand at the NEC in November so available to tempt those with garage space.

IMG_0005[19568]

The delicious powder blue TB 14 is still for sale in Australia and looks the height of 1950s colour scheme.

A red TB 14 is also on the market and all of these cars can be seen on the free website carandclassic.co.uk.

As always a selection of various Fourteens for sale on the Car and Classic website. The car below is new to the market following a full restoration and resides South Africa. Chassis No. 20674. Full details on carandclassic.

Alvis 027

Shortly a restoration project will become available for those wanting to put their own stamp on a TB 14.

The car was an inheritance in 2013 but now, part disassembled will soon be offered for sale.

I can put any serious potential purchasers in touch with the owner.

When restoring a TB 14, many owners are unable to resist the installation of the famous Cocktail cabinet in the near side door. Shown in the prototype TB 14 at the 1948 London Motor Show it has been replicated quite a few times.

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No one to date has gone for the other potential option of the hard top. This was fitted to chassis 23561 and was not a light weight piece of kit. Sadly a clearance of the commercial garage where it was stored failed to see the historical significance of the hardtop and it was lost.

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Fourteens make deep impressions on people and prompt people to try and find the cars many many years after they left the family.

We are still hunting for HWF 732, chassis 23721 that is still shown on the DVLA website and may well be stored/living somewhere in the London area. She is now shown as Cream in colour.

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Still searching for KLM 51, chassis 22408, a Tickford Dhc, she is still shown on the DVLA website coloured Black so must be tucked away somewhere?

Information required on this stylish Carbodies believed to reside in Portugal? Could it be another lost Carbodies JAL 709 Chassis 22135. Last colour scheme known green and cream – not on the DVLA website.

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Lost cars on this site always has a list of cars being sought so can you help?

She was not the only KLM to be registered to a TA 14. We know of KLM 53,58,59,261,479,931,939, does anyone know of any others? Perhaps other plates have been swept up by the airline. KLM 1 is shown on a red BMW and is probably worth more than the car.

KLM 58 is a very nice example of a well cared for Mulliners Saloon and is about to come up for sale as the current owner has taken on another project. She is well known in the AOC and is a jump in and drive away example with excellent provenance.

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Is anyone interested in a Woodie restoration project? Woodies once restored just ooze the unique style of the late 1940s and early 1950s. One is available for sale for restoration and I can put serious enquirers in touch with the owner.

Alvis Owner Club Bulletin 545, pages 58-71 has a fascinating and detailed Article about building a Woodie so that could provide inspiration. A reflection of the days of putting Woodie bodies upon TA 14 chassis is contained in the Article and brings a smile or a tear to the eye.

The author recalled, ‘I have personal experience of a TA 14 utility, where the centre door pillar was merely stood on the running boards and not connected to the chassis at all! Only two of the six Alvis mounting brackets were actually used to carry the body. The photo shows this car with the ‘Kennings’ body looking true because the doors are shut!’

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Good news for us is that LED lights in the headlamps are now legal as long as they do not cause dazzle to oncoming vehicles. Providing the near side headlight is set correctly the majority of our cars with a droopy offside headlamp should not cause a problem. The LED lights are certainly much less of a drain on the battery. The days of deciding between headlight usage, windscreen wipers and or heating may become a fading memory. Memories of driving at night on sidelights in snow with the windscreen screen area viewing becoming smaller and smaller as the snow packed to either side of increasingly feeble wipers. The heater long turned off to save power, happy days? This unless cooling is needed on a hot day or in dense traffic whereupon heater on full blast cools the engine but not the occupants!

The 2020 census for Alvis cars run by the Alvis Owner Club has produced good returns for TA and TB14s and the records have been updated. A synopsis of the results will produced for 14s in due course but a good response and thank you to everyone who completed a form. I can email a form to any AOC Member who owns a Fourteen and who would still like to be included. Very good for paper trail and provenance for your car(s).

We still have not found the Mulliners Saloon chassis 21182 believed to have had a registration number starting with JJJ. This car was owned by Group Captain Sir Louis Leisler Greig

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Naval Surgeon and friend to 3 kings of England, George V, Edward V111, George V1. Did the latter ever travel in her? No photos found to date.

Sadly one of our owners, Lambert Wilson passed away in June but not before he had the opportunity to celebrate with his Mulliners Saloon on his 90th birthday. This lovely photo sent in by his daughter is a wonderful illustration as to how much Fourteens are part of the family.

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The car is staying with his daughter and has now successfully relocated to the Isle of Wight and having descended from the trailer was shown looking across to her new home from the entrance to the ferry. She was obviously looking forward to getting to her new home as she had no problems. Anyone on the Isle of Wight for the Classic Car Extravaganza on 11th/12th September will have the opportunity to see the car.

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Now a new Section on the header strip. Move over eBay and now see Abay

This Section will show items that are for sale and wanted and compliment the AOC Lists and eBay.

Currently we are searching for Nave Plates (hub caps). 2 Carbodies rear window frames. Front bumper support for TB 14, Back bumper support for TA 14 Carbodies.

2 doors for Carbodies. Horn mesh for front horns. Headlamp Glass.

For the Mulliners sunroof, the two ‘lifters’ that raise the back of the panel as it locks – any chance anyone has a spare sunroof panel that is complete?

Good opportunity to see if you can make anymore space in the garage.

Finally a happy ending, this charming photo of GVB 143 shows her enjoying the sunshine on a jaunt out with other Alvis to a local hostelry.

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Nothing special in that you might say but……

She was sold by the current owner’s father in 1975 but his young son never forgot the first car he was ever aware of and roll forward to 2009 he purchased the car at Auction and she returned back to same carport she had used in 1975.

Years of patient or not so patient restoration has taken place and with the colour restored to the original Maroon she is at last out and about again.

To read more of the story, go to AOC Bulletin 518 page 63-69 and Bulletin 584 pages 87-90.

These Fourteens do have a way of making a mark, the current owner recalled.

‘When I was a child we had a beautiful old Maroon car in which I recall making long journeys on a regular basis from our Midlands home to London…..All this was not without mishap: we used to stop for Dad to change a push rod, a change Dad had down to 30 minutes.’ They don’t make em like they used to!

As Aristotle said, ‘Give me the child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.’

So now we officially start the Autumn season but plenty of time still before the clocks change and the garage heater goes on!

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Interim Post

Has anyone got a spare rear windscreen assembly for a Carbodies restoration project? Ideally an original but if not any form of a pattern would be of great help. Email the address below and I can put you in direct contact with the owner. Photo below shows the original Carbodies rear window frame. Many Carbodies now have hoods with a rear window minus the frame.

Whilst writing a superb TB14 has just come on to the market at £47500 and full details can be seen on carandclassic.co.u.k, the current owners have spent over £25000 on the car including taking the colour back to the original black and installing a cocktail cabinet as per the Motor Show example.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Please put on your detective hats….

Every so often we receive a request to help people find TA/TB 14s that were known to people in their youth. Sometimes we can help and put people in touch, sometimes we can confirm the fate of the car and lastly we just have to keep looking.

One recent enquiry was for a black Drophead with a tan roof and that was all the information that the original enquiry contained. The car had produced very happy memories. Discussions by email ensued and we then had the name of the relative. Dominos fell into place as the relation had been a Member of the Alvis Owner Club so we then identified KLM 51, chassis 22408 as the missing Black Tickford with a tan roof. Then able to see that our last known contact was in 1986 when she attended International Alvis Day. At the time she was living with a jeweller Mr Postlethwaite in Southgate, London then West Kensington. The very useful DVLA site shows the numberplate still with the car and the colour remains Black. We are hopeful that she may still be around. Further enquiries are ongoing but can anyone help with further and more recent information.

Also does anyone have a photograph that shows the car, maybe from the 1986 International Alvis Day? An email copy would be fine to pass on to the searcher.


On the books of ‘Oldtimer in Belgium is Tickford Chassis 20792, sadly not the number above we are looking for. She looks to be a very attractive car, right hand drive and the asking price is 35950 euros. Masses of photos to look at and the website is oldtimerfarm.be or look on carandclassic.co.uk.

Chassis 23351 is a very attractive Special and has been advertised at £27 495, quite a high price for a TA 14 Special but the Fourteen Specials being produced now have some very attractive versions. The proof of the pudding is that the site shows that she is now sold. Should you have missed out on that one then there is a ‘baby Bentley’ for sale in Paris for £46000 or near offer. Another very attractive TA 14 Special that will gain many admiring glances. These and other details can be seen on carandclassic.co.uk.

Chassis 22569 is a well known Carbodies in the Alvis Owner Club, her owner having held some of the highest positions in the Club. Currently based in Scotland she is well worth a look and again is shown on carandclassic.co.uk.

Many will watch the excellent series ‘Bangers and Cash’ on the Yesterday channel and indeed seen TAs and TBs for sale by Auction there. A recent visit was made to Mathewsons to discuss the possible sale of a Ford Granada Scorpio 2.9. Derek the head of the family could not have been more kind and helpful, so nice to meet someone who is as nice off screen as on.

Further advice with regards to the prototype 3L2 shown last month with photographs confirm that the car was primarily used by the Chairman and M.D. of Alvis at the time Mr J.J.Parkes. He liked the car because of his inventive nature and camping pursuits. One wonders then why that prototype did not develop further as many others might have valued the car for its similar attractive qualities.

The Carbodies being restored in Canada, chassis 22324 is close to completion and we’ll soon be able to post up photos. She has lived all her life in Canada and been off the road since 1972. Looking resplendent in Red and Cream plus Whitewall tyres she will be a head turner when she goes out on the local roads of Ottawa. She is an inspiration to everyone who has a project in the wings in a garage as she has been with her current owner since 1972.

Interesting to come across historians and researchers investigating all manner of niche interests relating to transport. One such researcher is piecing together the history of Abbotts Workshops (E.D.Abbott Ltd.)and here our worlds collide. The research is to track down the identity of a 1950 TA 14 Woodie that was seen in the Workshops at the time. It was believed to belong to a Mr Crichton who was probably the first owner. The website shows an insight into that Coachbuilding world and is on nationaltransporttrust.co.uk.

The red plaque shown there illustrates the interest in Motoring heritage and nicely compliments the blue.

Finally more Alvis Owner Club census forms have come through to process. In the event you owned your car last year we can still provide forms so that your car can be recorded in case for one reason or another you have not yet completed the form that takes only a couple of minutes.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Reflections

Many will be familiar with the 3 prototypes for the TA 21 being based on the TA 14. Only 3L3 is still with us and currently being lovingly restored in the Netherlands. 3L2 was an interesting project being more aligned to an Estate car and these are some interesting photos of her in the Service Department of the Alvis factory. The interior shot is particularly rare. She was run by Captain Smith-Clarke as his personal car.

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On the subject of Smith-Clarke his nephew George Clarke wrote his memoirs and AOC Bulletins 509 and 510, 2008 make a lengthy and fascinating read. The Bulletins are available on the Alvis Archive Trust Disc from the early 1950s.

Fascinating to read of these wartime activities as an apprentice at Alvis whilst in the Car Service Department and Chemical Laboratory.

‘Towards the end of my time in the (Car Service) department, I was given the task of sawing through the front beam axle of a pre-war 12/70, to enable a 4 inch extension to be welded in to increase the track of what became the prototype TA 14.’

A further story, not TA 14 related describes his time in the Chemical Laboratory.

‘One day Mr Griffin told me and another apprentice in the department to dispose of some surplus sodium, but he did not give us precise instructions as to how to do so. We cut up the sodium into small pieces and then we threw them individually into the stream, just outside the bottom of the site, where it went through some allotments. We had a great deal of fun as each piece exploded when it hit the water. A few days later we were hauled into Mr Griffin’s office to be severely reprimanded for the damage we had caused to the vegetables growing nearby. Tiny pieces of the sodium had been sent flying into the air and had deposited themselves on to the vegetables, eventually destroying them.’ Happy Carefree Days!

The photographs included in the Articles show wonderful shots of the factory.

Possible to cross reference TA 14 development with comments made in a long article in Bulletin 520. This time the memories are those of Ken Jones who had 43 years at The Alvis.

‘During 1944, ideas for a new post-war Alvis car began to circulate. To re-start 12/70 production was impossible because the drawings were lost and the body jigs and fixtures disappeared. However Arthur Varner, Manager of the Coventry Alvis factories, anxious to get things started, hand picked some car-men to modify a 12/70 chassis as the basis for the prototype, and Ken was engaged to machine some fabricated components.’ ‘Van den Plas subsequently created a quarter size model for the body but because war was still in progress, all these developments that would result in the TA 14 were hushed up. Interesting that we still refer to our cars as Post War 75 years on. Talking to a retired soldier in Louisiana he talked about things past war and suddenly the penny dropped, he meant the Iraq War!

Newer owners may not recognise some of the names of Alvis People in the 1940s. This photograph below of TA 14 rolling chassis show a group of the major players at the time and very helpfully identified.

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The attractive Carbodies up for Auction with Mathewsons (Bangers and Cash) was sold, final price all inclusive £20156.

For those seeking a TB 14, chassis 23515 sold at Brightwells Auction for £33600 is now advertised on carandclassic.co.u.k. for £41995.

A restored Mulliners is to become available for sale in South Africa, I can put any interested party in touch with the owner.

Additions to the Technical Data and Diagrams is the highly regarded Brake Manual produced some years ago. An essential for our cars with the last Rod Braking system produced by Alvis. We hope to get some copies printed off in the summer to be available for sale with profits to the Alvis Archive Trust.

Also some useful information about the Marles Braking System. Further useful information can be gathered from marlessteeringbox.com and the owner is very helpful (also has a TA 14 Pink Pick up! ) Read the endorsements.

Early warning that a serial TA 14 owner based in Wigan, is about to start preparing a substantial list of TA 14 spare parts to be sold. Prior to cataloguing, some are available now and anyone interested in the following spares now should contact me and I’ll put you in touch.

I engine, not seized. 2 heads.

Passing on from spare parts imagine the joy of placing an order for a brand new TA 14 Tickford Drophead. The following Article describes the transaction and some early usage of the car to give us a great flavour as to ownership and running of a new TA 14.

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Hopefully the progress being made against Covid 19 will mean some resemblance of normality will be returning soon.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Perseverance

Many will have enjoyed the exciting and successful landing of the Mars probe recently and witnessed the stunning new photos of Jezero Crater, an area of the Martian surface hitherto out of range of previous probes. The probe’s mission is to seek out signs of ancient life. Not so many people are aware that the time delay for the photos allows for the screening of the photos by NASA just in case a little green Martian waves at the camera!

What you may ask does this have to do with Alvis TA 14s?

Well, one of those photos screened and withheld is of great interest to us. Whilst not in the Edward Snowden level of WhistleBlower we are blessed with the son of an American TA 14 owner working at NASA who has provided us the photo the world needs to see and you saw it first here. At first it looked like another rock but as the exploration approached a familiar shape seemed to appear.

How long languishing in the parched desert climate we can only conjecture?

The late and much lamented Ken Day was the Author of the Alvis ‘Bible’ in 4 editions.

Most bookcases will contain a copy of at least one edition and it may be that the book has not been taken down and studied for sometime. This review of the excellent tome is a reminder that the editions changed in the material content as highlighted by this review. Something for a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

At the other end of the classic car spectrum is this book. Not likely to make the Best Seller List but obviously content that could prove useful!

Some interesting cars are available at the moment.

The first one being a red TB 14 that looks to be a good one. A car that has not been seen on the road for many years the sale particulars make interesting reading. As the Auction finishes on the 1st April you still have time to bid. Chassis no. 23515, MZ 9788.

The TA 14 Special on Carandclassic.co.uk remains available and shows what attractive Specials can be made when the Mulliners body has gone. Chassis 23351, EDN 690.

Anyone who is interested in a TA 14 Drophead Tickford that has been fully restored has an opportunity to purchase one that is finishing restoration shortly. The car is available at well known Alvis fettlers M.C.I., email mick.fletcher@totalise.co.uk and then just enjoy the drive.

Mathewsons of ‘Bangers and Cash’ fame have a Carbodies chassis 22858 for sale at their next virtual Auction in April.

Another interesting Auction description could well be temptation for a possible purchaser. The car sold previously at Action back in November 2018 and reached over £16k including buyer’s premium.

It is nice to see that the Nave Plates still retain the middle ring as a painted area. It has always been a matter of debate as to whether the ring should show the colour of the bodywork or interior. Chassis 21830, ‘Aunty May’ was black originally and the Nave Plate colour was always Black. The interior has always been RAF blue. It was the purchaser’s discretion as to the colour painted on the Nave Plates.

So if anyone has just plain chrome then time to think again.

The new series of Bangers & Cash’ featuring Mathewsons starts on the Freeview Yesterday Channel 26 on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Garage Doors are the gateway to our cherished Fourteens and no doubt come in all shapes and sizes. It maybe that some might have an Alvis triangle above the door but with today’s technology the sky is the limit.

Whilst delighted to be a Fourteen owner, the thought of a 747 might be tempting but of somewhat limited practicality so this might be the next best thing for a 3 car garage.

Another peripheral that is said to be growing in popularity is the category Car Jewellery! Yes there is one. Originally focused on upstaging the traditional ribbons, all Manner of swags and swathes can be purchased for adornment. So the next Wedding or Prom night there are options available.

As extras have always been tempting here is the second part of the Article on available spares from the years gone by, no GPS or Mobile phone here.

Douglas Bader is often shown driving or being driven in a 3 litre but not his first love.

From the Memoirs of George Clarke we are told he wanted a TA 14 Drophead.

A Carbodies Dhc. is making excellent in Canada but needs some bumpers, can anyone help. Foreign owners are usually very good at arranging shipping. This car was exported new so will be nice to see her out on the roads over there in due course.

Finally the news of a Hybrid Alvis on the main site reinforces the move to electric vehicles mentioned last year in my March 31 post with the ‘Electric Blue’ car employing Tesla crashed vehicle components.

Summer is on its way and maybe the Roadmap will steer us out of Covid 19 restrictions!!

Where did I park it????

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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