You can almost smell the roses.

Still on the review of early 1960s Bulletins when this charming piece in Bulletin 86 came to light. Written by the then Treasurer of the Alvis owner Club, Arthur W.Cromptom of York who owned a Shooting Brake.
‘Treasurer’s Tales 1.
After meeting with the owner of a very cherished Fourteen Drophead, chassis 23362, who grew one thousand roses, equally cherished, ‘one remark lingers in my ear and I hum it repeatedly’. He said ‘(and I quote)’ ‘Somewhere above fifty she seems to come into her element, and thereafter there is a queer sensation of flight quite unlike the movement of any other motor car I have ever owned.’ That was from a gentleman who had owned a Rolls Royce from new. The good news is that 23362 is still flying high with another long term owner in the West Country.
Sadly we have no trace of Arthur Crompton’s own Shooting Brake, chassis no. 21438, registration DVY 278.
Increasingly our cars are being appreciated by our fellow enthusiasts in Europe but one has recently made the return journey. TB 14 23579  was owned and cherished by the late Melle Visser and his wife Maria for over 35 years in The Netherlands. It was Melle’s wish that the ‘Grey Whale’, as she was then known, should return to the country of her origin. This wish has been accomplished and she now resides in the  West of England, a companion to pre war Alvis ‘OJ’.  Rumour has it her ‘name’ may well change! Now just like buses another beautiful TB 14 is looking for a new home where she will continue to be cherished. Those who went to International Alvis weekend will recall the stunning red TB as the featured welcome car on the front lawn of the hotel. She is GWM 437, chassis 23577, see The Gallery. I must declare an interest as I used to own ‘Ruby’ and she was always a fantastic car. Our family Tickford TA 14 got tired of playing second fiddle when the two cars were out together, hence Ruby moved.
It is a good time to be looking for a Fourteen at present there are some good ones around. Chassis 22829, see The Gallery, is also for sale, a former concours winning Mulliners Saloon who graced the front cover of a TA/TB 14 Register. A good opportunity for those looking to acquire a Fourteen Saloon.
With the winter coming on, always a time to look at tyres and their grip for those who venture out in the rain. In the early sixties a skid pan event was laid on for Alvis Club Members at the Bovingdon Aerodrome. After taking people around the skid pan in the demonstrator A40, the first car on was a TA 14. Try as they might, with the instructor in the passenger seat and going increasingly faster they could not make her skid so the proceedings were halted whilst the skid pan was doctored with additives.
With the lower mileage we all do it may well be that our tyres look like new but they may be up to twenty years old and beyond the recommended tyre life. Looking up tyre prices caused a bit of a gulp. An Avon Tourist tyre, lovely big fat cross ply tyre is now nearly £150 per tyre and the stylish Firestone Whitewall tyres are about £220 per tyre so some considerable money but tyres are important so do check the age of your tyres. Our Tickford will have five new Avon Tourist cross ply tyres next year and her old ones will be going to support a Carbodies before and during her restoration progress so that is good recycling. Also the new electronic tyre inflation valves look interesting as they will indicate in the cockpit any reduction in pressure and hopefully avoid any catastrophic ‘blow out’. They are now mandatory for all new cars so are worth investigating.
Look out for the next Alvis Owner Club Bulletin to see another good example of recycling, in this case a tatty bodied Special with rather a nice outcome. Abbey, chassis 20706 is another tidy Special we now have photos of thanks to her new owner. Anyone wondering about the name, she decided to have an unscheduled stop on the way to her new home in Wales with her new owner and it was Waltham Abbey! A rolling chassis and bulkhead are still for sale in the Midlands for those duly inspired. The ‘recycling’ Article mentioned above will come onto this site later in the year.
Those with long memories of 14 ownership and involvement will recall that we were sometimes viewed in a less than favourable light. In 1963 in a Club Bulletin appeared an appeal for a Fourteen. The owner  drove around in a 1934 Speed twenty, describing himself as an enthusiastic Alvis owner and he sought ‘a Fourteen Shooting Brake for wife and dogs, preferably in good condition’. Needless to say it appears his wish was not granted and he acquired a twelve seventy. One can only hope that his good lady and the dogs got a car in good condition!
Finally Advent will soon be upon us so dust off the decorations and do not forget the garage.

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