Sad Losses

Sadly we lost a great TA/TB14 man, Steve Tillyer, this month. I know there will be tributes to Steve elsewhere but he will be very missed by all who knew him. Frequently, entertaining emails would come through with snippets of interest about Fourteens. Many will remember ‘Ruby’ his red TB14, bedecked with Alvis banners sitting proudly at the front of the hotel last year at International Alvis weekend. She is now living with a new and caring owner in Austria and still called ‘Ruby’. Also Ena Whitton sadly passed away a few days after Steve. Norman and Ena were stalwarts of the AOC for many many years. Norman was Treasurer and then President of The AOC always with tremendous loyal and warm support from Ena. Again there will be formal tributes elsewhere but the AOC was built upon the dedication of Members and family Members such as Ena.
One final sad news was the death of John Buckingham in Austria earlier this month. John took one of the most amusing photos of a TA 14 and it can be seen on The Gallery under chassis 20883 John took the photo when he was on holiday on New Zealand in 2009 and I had recently submitted it to The Bulletin editor for enjoyment by wider Alvis enthusiasts. For those in or visiting NZ, Ian Hope’s British Car Museum is at Te Awanga, near Napier, North Island and has over 300 cars in restorable condition. Only two Alvis though, the other one, actually on display is a TC 21/100.
To happier matters now, have you ever wondered what the running TA 14 chassis really looked like when they left the works and drove to the dealer or coachbuilder?
John Wright, the grandson of the founder of the coach building firm of W.Wright and Son lived behind the works. He also worked there having been around the works as a lad. He remembers ‘the Alvis chassis which would have been delivered by road under it’s own power with the driver dressed in a leather flying suit with helmet and goggles, sitting on a seat on a wooden platform across the chassis. A large wooden packing case bolted across the chassis containing the radiator grill, bonnet, front and rear wings running boards, spare wheel, headlights side lights, hooters, front and rear bumpers, wheel discs, walnut dashboard with a full set of instruments and wiring loom.’ These memories are priceless. W.Wright and Son built the body for the Carolis Ice Cream Van and an elegant Shooting Brake. Chassis numbers are to be double checked for accuracy. Motoring historians have now been put in touch with John as he has a wealth of photos and memorabilia of the bodies built by the firm.
Turning now to our friends down under, a lovely blue TB 14, (Marilyn, yes named after another curvy lady) is nearing completion. She has just been run for the first time in 17 years. The colour is a powder blue and is set off by a new set of whitewall tyres that echo perfectly the early fifties image. The wheels are in fact wire wheels, not installed on the original TB 14s but admittedly rather nice! She has been invited to participate in one of the most prestigious car shows in Australia at Melbourne next month if she is ready. Restoration photos of Marilyn are in The Gallery under chassis 23509, further photos will be posted up at the end of October.
The Duncan mentioned in last month’s Post has been acquired by an AOC Member and looks to have gone to share a very good home with a Speed 20. Our list of the Fourteen names has been increased by ‘Isadora’. Very appropriate – no long red scarves with the windows open though!
The hunt is on to identify a cream Mulliners Saloon TA 14 in Australia. She looks in rather poor condition and was part of a collection of 300 cars from a private collection that has recently been sold. A lead has been provided from America and we hope to get her full details and find where she has gone. Photo next month.
Finally, formal bookings for the hotel for next year’s International Alvis Weekend, are due to open on the 4th October. Full details of the venue under the April Post. The October issue of The AOC Pink Calendar will have more booking details. We shall be celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the start of Fourteen production and the 50th Anniversary of the TF 21.
Enjoy the last of the Autumn Motoring/Fettling Season.

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1 Response to Sad Losses

  1. eileen4tatb14s says:

    Errata: Please note the earliest booking date for the IAW 2016 hotel is the 4th November NOT 4 October

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