Have you checked your gussets?

With provenance becoming ever more important it is useful to know if a Fourteen has had a chassis change at some stage. So if you want some exercise after the Christmas excesses, go check your gussets.

There are a pair of holes in each gusset, drilled randomly at first mounting. Where the body has been changed, one finishes up with four holes per gusset or elongated holes and large washers because the holes never line up. To assist with gusset checking there will be a diagram under technical articles in The New Year.

For those who have enjoyed or are yet to enjoy the excellent series Foyle’s War, look out for a Green TA 14 Shooting Brake. FAK 707, chassis 21389, looking very smart. Series 7, ‘The Hide’ is the episode to watch out for set in August 1945.

Look out in The Spring for a new book about Post-War Alvis Cars to add to your library. Due to be published in May before International Alvis Weekend with the potential for copies to be purchased and autographed by the author at IAW. Some new photos included in the book. More details to be given before publication date.

Amazingly Fourteens are still emerging from oblivion in long term storage. A red TB 14, registration LXA 453, has been found located in a storage unit and the photograph of her in the lock up will be shown in The Gallery when we have her chassis number. There is a distinct possibility that the car will be put up for sale next year. Checks are being made to identify the chassis number so we can provide the provenance for the car. What a great restoration project particularly as the values have gone up for these very scarce cars.

An interesting new Article is being submitted to the editors of The Alvis Owner Club Bulletin. It will cover oils and the running of our cars when they are laid up, contains some very interesting food for thought. Questions are raised as to whether we should be using multigrade oils and how long we run the car after start up when in storage.

Many of the Fourteens still around were bodied by Carbodies. They were established in 1919, at about the same time as T.G.John founded a certain Company. Robert ‘Bobby’ Jones took over the coachbuilding operations of his ex employer, timber merchants ‘Gooderhams’ based in Holyhead Road. The aim of the Company was to make a run of bodies to standardised designs for car companies without coachbuilding facilities, perfect for Alvis who were one of their first customers. Sadly the name was dropped in 1998 but the facility remained in Holyhead Road.

For those owning or interested in the Tickford version of our cars, take a look at The Tickford Owner’s Club Website. The previous Salmons Tickford Club folded in 1993 but was resurrected in the 1990s. The site is tickfordownersclub@talk21.com. Whilst the Club mainly focuses on Metro rolling stock onwards there is some material of interest to us. Salmons and Sons were formed in 1920 in the grounds of the former Tickford Abbey. The Abbey was established in 1140 as a cell of the Cluniac order of Mormoutier, Tours, France. The House of Tickford was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1524 but this is where our name comes from.

An interesting observation is that we are no longer the last Alvis with stand up headlights. That claim to fame is now held by the new 4.3 litre Alvis car made by the Alvis Car Company (Red Triangle) as they produce the cars to complete the series of 4.3 chassis numbers allocated before the war but not constructed. Some interesting photos of the new 4.3 at The Dubai Car show have been passed to the editors of The Alvis Owner Club Bulletin and main Alvis Archive site. Slightly more expensive than Fourteens but we are catching up!

It sounds like a wonderful car to add to one’s stable although a recent trip out in a friend’s new Aston Martin DB9 did rather lay temptation in a different direction. As this site is restricted to Fourteens the picture of the car and grinning occupants is not included!

As the year draws to a close I must take this opportunity to express my grateful thanks to the contributions made by members of the Fourteen family and my lifelong friend ‘Aunty May’, chassis 21830 for being the inspiration for it all.

Finally Very Best Wishes and Happy New Year to everyone and hope to see as many of you as possible at International Alvis Weekend in May to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Fourteen production commencement.

Eileen, Terry and Aunty May.



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