A Fourteen’s life! This new heading has been added to the site. ‘Mavis’ MVX 963, chassis 21785 has records dating back to when she was new and running right through until today. We are going to continue to add records on to show the typical life of a Fourteen through the nearly 70 years since they were produced. This will be a reference point to see what must parallel many of our cars through the years. ‘Mavis’ hopes to attend International next May so we shall be able to see her in the ‘flesh’!
As we approach the 70th Anniversary of the commencement of Fourteen production it is interesting to reflect the early days. The great pleasure of ordering and specifying a new Fourteen was enjoyed by Mr Peter Dixon. He then took delivery of his brand new Tickford and travelled with her on a French holiday, probably in 1949. Look at chassis 22377 in The Gallery to see copies of Tickford’s original receipts plus photos of that adventurous trip.
It all started with chassis 23500 but sadly this rare Charlesworth bodied TA14 was lost to us in 1965 when the last Licence expired. The car had been originally passed to the Alvis Sales Department and in fact only had her first registration on the 1st March 1948.
Earlier this year, eagle eyed AOC Club Members may have spotted that the owner of one of our Celebrity cars has rejoined The Club, still owning the car plus additional Alvis cars. This particular car, chassis 21458 was fitted with a Tickford Dhc. body. Nothing unusual there until you see she was also adapted to take a V8 Pilot 3621cc engine! She was by repute rather fast and one of her owners was the Formula 1 racing driver W.Archie Scott-Brown. Allegedly she would do 120mph. Oh to be alongside one of our bigger Alvis sisters and put a foot to the floor. Not quite our 0-60 in 22 seconds.The good news is that she is in the queue and scheduled for restoration so watch out for a flying Tickford. ‘Aunty May’, Tickford chassis 21830 managed 90mph coming down a long straight empty hill near Glencoe but that was in neutral with the engine off and in her younger days.
Let no one think TA 14s were not given up to date coachwork materials in the 1940s. In October 1969 a mint condition Shooting Brake was advertised highlighting varnished Ash with Formica panels, yours for £150.
There is a type of Workshop Manual that covers TA14,TB14,TA 21,TB21,TC21,TC21/100 Grey Lady and TC108G Graber 3 litre. This was published by Wallage Reprints. Sadly Peter Wallage passed away 3 1/2 years ago and the business has ceased.
You may find copies on the Internet for sale. As stated earlier it is a type of workshop manual and some material overlaps with the Driver’s Manual that can still be obtained. We are looking into the possibility of making it available.
Alvis exported Fourteens to Sweden after the war but could not keep up with demand. Few remain but one that does has had an interesting history. KGD 212, chassis 22583, Mulliners Saloon was exported new to Sweden in 1948. She had fallen into disrepair by 1961. Unlike the fate of so many Mulliners in those days she was rescued by Hans Rainer in 1976 and restored. Later when BAE Systems took over Huggulunds, Swedish Fighting Vehicles, the BAE Directors were met in this TA 14, acquired by the Company using great initiative! Now, BAE have severed the red triangle link. She is currently up for sale in Sweden for about £11500 so should be in good condition. Hans wrote an interesting article about post war Alvis Cars in Sweden, AOC Bulletin 311, January 1980, available on the Alvis Archive disc of old AOC Bulletins.
Again sur Le Continent another TA 14 has resurfaced. A rare one off Worblaufen Dhc. has been seen in Switzerland and a new photo can be seen on The Gallery, chassis 20576. Rather more streamlined than the more popular Dhc. models she has been with her current Swiss owner for many years. Love the whitewalls!
Still a varied range of TA 14s for sale at present. One interesting historical comparison is the advertisement for a Duncan Fhc. Chassis 20602, FWS 962. In 1961 she was up for sale for £275, today £28000 is the asking price! Better than the Building Society perhaps?
We had another very successful International Alvis Weekend and several Fourteens were able to attend. Great to meet up with the cars and their owners. Also it demonstrated the global interest in our cars as we had Fourteen owners from Malta and as far away as New Zealand.
After the red TB14 ‘Ruby’, chassis 23577 at International last year it was a another TB 14 that was the star of this year’s Show. Borrowed from the workshop as the final finishing touches of an extensive restoration are being put in place, chassis 23579 was resplendent in glossy black. She has been taken back from grey to black as the latter was her original colour. Complimented by a new red interior and hood all that was needed was the famous cocktail cabinet and there it was. By the time her owners of one year were ready to pose with the car in their period outfits there was not a camera left in a case.
The photo competition on the main Archive site will be coming to a close soon so last chance to aim for the top prize of £100 (that would buy some tins of polish and dusters plus other prizes, details on the main site.
An interesting product being demonstrated on the Internet at present is spray chrome and despite serious cynicism the results look quite good. How long it will last is another matter although taps are plated on plastic. Google spray chrome or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvtRYZ5EasA and watch the demonstration. Boon to the sellers of cars but could also be useful if touching up a little chrome scuff.
Finally thoughts now go forward to the next International Alvis Weekend mid May, 2016. Only just over 8 months to go and we shall be celebrating the Seventieth Anniversary of the commencement of the production of our Fourteens. The Committee are taking a breather before we start to plan for 2016.