Sahara sand!!

Very sad news this month in that we lost a major character of the Alvis World, Malcolm Davey, Deputy Chairman of The Alvis Owner Club. There was perhaps one word, to my mind, that summed Malcolm up and that was ‘genial’. He had been a Member of the A.O.C. for around 50 years and was a fixture at so many Alvis Days and events. In the 1967 AOC Membership List he is shown with his TA 14, chassis no. 20120. His funeral was very well attended by Alvis Club Members and Alvises amongst others. We extend our deepest sympathy to his widow Janet and family Amanda, Albion, Harry and of course Ena and hope that we shall see them at Alvis occasions in the future.

For our cars, clocks have changed, the evenings are getting lighter and all roadworthy Fourteens should be looking forward to getting back on the road in Northern Europe. For those early birds it’s wash off that Sahara sand and get the polish out.

More photos to go on the site in the near future feature a varied selection including chassis 20821, the only fixed head coupe Fourteen made by Carbodies, for the wife of the Director of Carbodies. Interior trim was in Violet then Eau-de-Nil! Also a caravan tower chassis 20925, plus her Van showing life as it was for some family Fourteens.

Do take time to have a look at the new categories on the main Archive site. The new ‘Birds’ site has a very interesting photo in it’s Albums, photo no.3 of Miss World and one of our Trustees, John Fox who of course is looking at the car!

The TB 14 in Australia undergoing superb restoration will have some of her photos going on the site soon and she has been traced to the earlier ownership of Frank Ifield’s brother and may have been in the ownership of the singer himself who was born in Coventry, England before the war. Her owner is carrying out some more checks. At the other end of the Alvis spectrum, have a look in The Gallery at chassis 23236, a rare Raine Van to see something different.

For Tickford owners, a small snippet, Alvis was not the last Marque to carry the badge, this honour went to the Aston Martin DB2, Mark 3, produced between March 1957 & July1959 at Newport Pagnell.

‘Mavis’ bills and receipts will take us a little longer than we thought but she will be joining the site soon.

Researching some items recently led me to some old AOC Bulletins of 1980/81 and some fascinating insights. The late Chris Holt, a much lamented and committed Fourteen owner included the following in his letter to the AOC Club, 20/10/1979.
‘Running my car is my life: it comes first, before decorating, gardening, cleaning windows and the like. If anything comes up (however attractive) on ‘Alvis Nights’ then I’m sorry -I’m busy; and if it’s gorgeous then she can drag along too.’ With apologies to Gez I think he was joking to some degree wasn’t he?

For those who can never do enough for their cars you can always follow the 1980 example of George Exton with his immaculate Richard Meade convertible chassis 22024 and have a chromed sump plug!

Finally before we return to the present and back from ‘Life on Mars’ an opinion from a former stalwart and source of knowledge in the AOC Club, Ernest Shenton, a late past President of the AOC. In a 1981 article reflecting upon retirement he said ‘he has owned several TA 21s and a TC 21/100, but feels they were not in the same league as the immediately post-war TA 14.
By the way, hope you spotted the uber rare TB heading for Goodwood on the 1st April. The model carefully crafted as a toffee tin and sold by Tesco is now in the care of Midland Fourteen owner Steve Tillyer! Prize for spoof identification goes to Colin Newby who wins a large beer when we next see him. A cheap round as Colin was the only one to cry foul!!!

Enjoy April and the British ‘Drive it Day’ for old cars later in the month.

Eileen and Terry

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