… or even a Carbodies Special edition!
One Carbodies, chassis 22159, has made an epic journey this autumn under her own steam, with some help from ships. She has driven all the way from England to her new home in Sardinia. To beat the winter blues have a look at her photo in The Gallery, makes you feel warm just looking at her. An most absorbing Article about her and the trip, has appeared in the current Alvis Owner Club Bulletin.
For those receiving the Alvis Owner Club Bulletin, much debate has been generated by the front cover picture and Article about Lady D’Armor, the beautiful French Special, chassis 23206, shown with her proud owner, Jean Yves.
Another Carbodies is continuing to make good progress undergoing her major restoration. You can catch up with the detail and follow her progress by checking out her blog on http://www.wbpippin.blogspot.com and think, yes I have been there. Entertaining and informative.
One son of a former Fourteen owner would be very happy this Christmas if anyone could tell him the fate or whereabouts of his father’s Fourteen She is Carbodies chassis 22156, registration AKS 880, body no.0046/05/8 and was last seen looking rather tired on University Avenue, Glasgow about 1970.
Still with Carbodies, chassis 23082 was a well used car back in the day. Mr R. Whitfield wrote in 1964 of ‘sitting with bated breath while the intrepid Richard (Snell) wound it up hill and down dale, reaching fantastic velocities across the moor. These 14s certainly go when in such good shape as his is.’
Yet another speedy Carbodies was chassis 23188, MUG 80 at the 1964 Midland Sprint, Church Lawford. The report notes ‘Mr Gurney drove his TA 14 faster than anyone thought a TA 14 could go’…and came First in Class.
It almost seems churlish to mention that the Alvis performance figures, now listed under the Technical Section, do not put Fourteens at the top of the performance figures. 0-50 in 15 seconds mean that if we want to mix it we should perhaps look to a Firefly! The TB14s are about three seconds faster primarily due to their lighter bodies, twin carbs and different back axle ratio. Anyway Santa Pod here we do not come…unless you take a look at an eye catching dusky pink pickup, chassis 23110 or the TB with a Chevrolet engine (Cars of Interest). The pickup, formerly a Mulliners Saloon, is now a head turning Special, certainly no shrinking violet and neatly proclaiming her TA 14 identity on her rear. She is also on youtube to see her in full glory, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4zP1obMMqcfor the full version.
Sometimes stories do not always have the best of endings for the cars. In 1980, under the ‘Cars Wanted’ Section of the AOC, an advert was accompanied by the following sad note from the advertiser. She wrote ‘LPK 719 Alvis TA 14 Utility (1947) met her demise in an accident on the 26th of July 1980. Known as ‘The White Admiral’, it is without doubt that her solid chassis saved the lives of her owner and family. The car is in thousands of small pieces… A large and savage Volvo came round the corner on the wrong side and hit us broadside’. What a sad story, the family were not faced with life threatening injuries although her owner was hospitalized with a leg injury. Obviously ‘The White Admiral’ chassis 21118, a Gaze, had been a cherished member of the family. They advertised for a good TA 14 Saloon as a replacement vehicle for their ‘sadly mourned TA 14 Utility. They obviously developed a life long love of TA 14s as they currently have 3!
As we draw to a close and Christmas approaches, we can allow ourselves some moments of congratulations upon our cleverness!
Dr Lancelot Ware was one of the two founders of Mensa and before he passed away in 2000 he had owned 6 Alvis cars in total of which two were TA 14s. The cars were a Mulliners Saloon, chassis 22510 and Shooting Brake, chassis 20977, rebodied in 1963. When the latter car was sold 1981 the new owner noted that Dr Lancelot (Lance) Ware became quite animated whilst driving up a long straight and saying ‘The open road Francesca (his wife) the open road’.
So choosing our interest in Alvis Fourteens we are up with the brightest. An interesting coincidence is that Mensa was also started in 1946!
Finally it is the time of year to wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2015. Thank you to everyone who has read and hopefully enjoyed the posts this year.
Eileen, Terry and ‘Aunty May, chassis 21830’.