Attending our local AOC Noggin and Natter in Chestfield, Kent brought with it the sight of an honest well used and cared for Maroon Mulliners Saloon. Not necessarily the stuff of headlines one might think as she sat basking in the summer sunshine surrounded by other Members of the Alvis family. Dig deeper into her past however and she will reveal that she has had more than her fair share of adventures. For the full story refer to the AOC Bulletin 437, pages 23&24. The potted version is that she did a grand tour of Scandanavia in the 1970s getting as far as Lillehammer and covering about 2000 miles in 22 days. Not content with that, in 1976 she then undertook a trip to Russia visiting what is now Ukraine stopping at Kiev and carrying on down the valley of the Dneiper river to Zaparozhe. A total of 2650 miles was covered with only a blown cylinder head gasket in Poland. Red Triangle had provided a complete spares kit so the journey continued. The majority of her journeys included towing a Bluebird ‘Europa’ trailer caravan as well! She now lives relative retirement in Hythe with a stable of other interesting cars and has been with the same family since 1983.
‘Ruby’, the featured TB 14 at the last International Alvis Day, has now found a caring new home in the Tirol, Austria and has been zipping around on mountain pass rallies, a far cry from the shires of England.
Drophead prices for Fourteens are particularly strong at the moment. A Carbodies project is now becoming available for those who wish to refurbish a car to their specifications but wish to avoid the dismantling and where do we start emotion. The chassis frame is in primer, lots of new parts are included including new bumpers. Those who read the FBHVC fascinating Bulletins will have seen that China is looking to relax their import restrictions on historic cars. This could eventually have an impact on the values of cars such as ours as some Chinese people have a great interest in old cars but are currently unable to bring them into the country. AOC Bulletin 364, May 1988 had a wonderful advert for a scarce Airflow Woodland TA 14. Saloon ‘has been ‘resting’ since 1967. Must be fairly knackered by this time as the garage has now collapsed onto the car….’. No ‘estate agency’ wording there! ‘ It is wonderful that not only does this rare Saloon still exist but there are current plans for her restoration. Not only that but her sister car is also in the same ownership and also scheduled for restoration. To see these unusual Saloons look in The Gallery under their chassis numbers, 20804 & 21112. A beautiful period shot of 3 Mulliners Saloons and a 12/70 can now be seen in The Gallery under chassis 20599, a car that is still going strong. Interesting to compare the Fourteen design with the 12/70 in the picture. A wonderful unknown picture of one of the Ice Cream Vans, taken before delivery from W.Wright and Son to the customer ‘Carolis’, has been unearthed, chassis 21103 on The Gallery, if only it had survived. We also have a contact point to the coachbuilders family who were previously unknown as the builders. The grandson of the firm remembers working there as a young man and seeing the rolling chassis drive in. They also constructed a lovely Shooting Brake and again we now have 2 pre- delivery photos in The Rogues Gallery, registration EET 504. Can anyone help with the chassis number or history of this car? Another discovery has been made of a ‘lost’ TA 14 Mulliners Saloon, in good condition that has surfaced in Lisbon Portugal. Chassis 21234 in The Gallery has an interesting modification to the headlights in that they are faired in. Also the bumpers are filled in. Research is being done to confirm if these were later modifications by an owner wishing to modernise the car? It is interesting to compare this car to the 1/4 scale model of a proposed post-war Alvis Saloon made by Vanden Plas Ltd in 1944 and shown under Cars of Interest. This model shows faired in headlights plus sharper edged boot cover, otherwise close to the actual design production of Mulliners Saloons. Happy Motoring and more Ice Cream news next month.