The Proud Fourteens

Seventieth Anniversary of The Proud Fourteens.

Well that’s it, we have celebrated the seventieth Anniversary of the commencement of the Model. Three score years and ten and many of them looking in remarkably fine fettle judging by those at International Alvis Weekend. Now we shall have 4 years of our cars individually achieving this major milestone.

Planning for the weekend got going immediately after the last International Weekend and grateful thanks go the organising Committee for all their hard work, much of it behind the scenes and never seen by the participants.

Friday before IAW and after an excellent breakfast, the field was busy with people laying out the area from plans prepared to give some idea of what went where. The designated Fourteen line became elegantly elliptical, Terry plus Paddy Steel dredged up old geometry lessons to produce an arc for the cars that worked very well. By the end of Friday there was little more left to do for the Fourteens and Paddy kindly started the line with his very stylish cream Woodie, DDB 507, chassis 21664 regrettably we do not know the coachbuilder.
Friday night saw the barbecue and Saturday some cars went off on The Longstone Tour, the visit to the Vulcan bomber at the local Air Museum or just a lazy day.
Saturday evening saw ‘Mavis’ the featured car of the weekend in pride of place by the refreshment marquee, Mulliners Saloon MVX 963, chassis 21785. Gleaming after considerable polishing she proudly showed everyone what great cars the Mulliners are and how representative of the immediate post war period.
After an excellent Gala Dinner the ‘highlight’ of the evening was the world premier of the new anthem, ‘The Proud Fourteens.’  Music based on the Seekers’ song ‘I am Australian’. Five proud owners entertained the diners with their rendition of the song to rapturous applause, thoughtfully pre recorded. For those who would like to sing along in their garage the words are set out below and the music is on appropriate Seekers’ compilations or as a Karaoke track on the Internet.
Reports of many past Alvis Days started with words about ‘the day dawned’. Well it did but the writer was sound asleep at the time. The weather anyway looked hopefully stable. Over 20 Fourteens lined up in their arc on the field and made a wonderful display. Woodie, Mulliners, Carbodies, Tickford, Duncan, Special and TBs were all represented displaying some of the varied coachworks that grace the Model.
Some were in the Driving Tests and some in Concours so they were in and out of the line up as they competed. ‘Fraser’, chassis 22266, KLE 20 had travelled down from Scotland and was looking very fine as a two tone Tickford and is obviously a car that gets out and about, appearing in notes of Scottish get togethers. Mulliners Saloon, ‘Alice’, LVT 346, chassis 21399, made a welcome appearance down from the north of England, not so far to go next year. One of the older and more stylish ‘Specials’, KYD 541, chassis 2311 made it up from Cornwall and showed that when a body, mostly Mulliners, is beyond restoration Fourteen running chassis make good Specials that stand the test of time. In the case of KYD she was rebodied over Forty years ago.
At 2.30 we gathered in the hotel sitting room to hear a fascinating talk by ‘Young Ron’, Ron Walton about his memories of working at Alvis during and after the War. Intriguing to hear how war time fire watching duties helped to produce the time to create and crystalise ideas for the new post-war car. Ron owned 2 Fourteens after he retired and for one member of the audience it was particularly special to hear Ron speak as he now owns the attractive Black and Cream Mulliners Saloon, Alice, ANH 10 chassis 20792 that had been one of Ron’s Fourteens post retirement.
The Day was winding down and to the pleasure of small future Alvis owners the ‘Roman’ candles on the cake were lit and everyone was able to share in a piece of  ‘Alvis’ cake and eat a piece of TA/TB14 and TF21. The bottles of Fourteen Beer went down extremely well, both literally and metaphorically. Those who waited until the end of the day were disappointed as they all sold out. Anyone wanting an empty bottle to refill, I have one just one left.
The new Post-War Book about Alvis Cars, written by John Fox, was selling well and full details of the book are on the main Alvis Archive site. Lots of pictures and a great addition to your Library or perhaps a hint for birthday or Christmas.
The award to the Fourteen of the Day was made by IAW organiser, Malcolm Kindell, an extremely difficult exercise. The well deserved winner was Maroon Mulliners Saloon, ‘Ruby’, JRW 399, chassis 23266. With her current owners for a year she had travelled up from Dorset. A very original car and excellent representative of the Marque.
Both Rubies did in fact win prizes as ‘Ruby’ the red TB14 now domiciled in Austria was awarded the best car from overseas, again a most deserved award.
One of the Carbodies attending was FCO 154, chassis 23461. With the same owner since 1964 she has done a very impressive 273000 miles from new. 3 engine rebuilds, 2 new hoods and stll with her original leather. Great commendation for the strength and durability of our cars.
A wonderful trio of TB 14s stood together in the Fourteen display line, red, white and black. ‘Ruby’,the red TB 14 sporting Austrian numberplates I 8763 AN was previously GWM 437 and is chassis 23577. She came over on a chauffeured trailer and is looking superb. She is having a cocktail cabinet fitted in the door and drove around the West Country before returning to her home in the Austrian mountains. ‘Little Al’, the black TB 14 now has the restoration complete, awarded a driving test prize and looks stunning back in the original Black paint colour. Also sporting a cocktail cabinet in the door so the TB14s are where to go for a party. The white TB14, EDB 677, chassis 23582 stylishly made up the trio and is now available to purchase. I can put any interested parties in touch with the current owner. For anyone wanting a fully restored TB 14, Marilyn, the delectable powder blue one in Australia is still available at about £75 000.

The first parcel for the Museum in Uruguay has been dispatched and a second one with the Fourteen handbook, spares book plus 50th Anniversary Book will be going off on the 12th July. Anyone with a spare Mulliners brochure or Model to donate to the Museum would find it has a good home in their new display of Alvis material. Anything else for them would be much appreciated but please email me first to check it is not duplicated.

A Fourteen owner is replacing his elderly fuel tank with one made of stainless steel. For anyone contemplating doing doing the same I can put you in touch so that there might be economies of scale.

Eagle eyes have spotted that the photo caption shown under 21908 in The Gallery was wrong and that the photo was not taken at The Alvis works. Further research showed that the header should have been the one underneath confirming the cavalcade of Fourteens and TC 21/100. The photo was actually taken at Midland Alvis Day 1967. After lunch the cars drove from the Alvis Factory to the Rover Works at Solihull, where the photo was taken. It rained in the afternoon and the road is wet in the picture, another piece in the jigsaw corrected. Please let us have any comments to help us maintain the accuracy of the records they are always very much appreciated.

A look through the for sale adverts in 1967 shows “TA 14 late model (23822) one previous owner (Alvis director) complete with extra runnable TA 14 (BCE 1) and two extra engines, one gearbox. One rear axle, 5 good tyres (10 good ‘X’ tyres on two cars) sundry spares” plus contact details. Through the records we trace the Director to have been Mr R.W.Rutledge. Chassis 23822, ‘Alice’ is still alive and well but sadly no more has been heard of BCE 1, chassis 23471, Mulliners Saloon, although expect the plate may still be in use and probably worth as much as some Fourteens.

We are still trying to trace JUL 110, chassis 21100. She is a Tickford so some good chance that she has survived and is tucked up in a garage somewhere. Although DVLA could only be of limited assistance they did not confirm she has been scrapped. The son of her former owner attended International to reinforce his search for the car.

Can anyone supply clear photos of the inside of a Carbodies Hood, either original or replaced as original. They will be sent to an owner seeking to advise the trimmer and will also be put on the Fourteen site. Internal and external photos of the Tickford version will also be put on the site.

The log jam of the full Gallery page has been sorted out and you will now see that the TA 14s have 2 Sections and TB 14s have their own Gallery Page. More new material will start going on from mid July.

Some TA/TB 14 manuals and spare parts have been for sale on the main Alvis Archive site so check the site to see if anything is still available that might be of interest.

Finally, however momentous the 70th Anniversary has been, events over the past week have dwarfed this in comparison. The exercise of democracy is a very impressive thing and one that should never be underestimated. The coming months will no doubt see guidance issued for the ownership and travel of our cars in the EU. To our European owners and friends we hope we shall continue with the warmth and friendship of our shared interest as we do with all those in the rest of the world.

The Proud Fourteens.

We come from after war-time,

From the dark austerity years.

We carried on the noble badge,

Despite financial fears.

We should have been three litres,

But they kept us down to two,

For five long years we flew the flag,

We are The Proud Fourteens.

We are the Model backbone

And we kept the range afloat,

From Mulliners to Duncans

With some rare ones in between,

We were the Cinderellas once

But as the story goes, we got the slipper

And the Prince,

We are the proud Fourteens.

We are the sexy Dropheads,

Yes we raise and lift our lids.

We give our drivers sunshine

Then for fun we give them rain.

Tickfords Carbodies Specials and

We cost a whole lot more

We really are quite rare birds but

We are the Proud Fourteens.


Ugly ducklings once they called us,

But that was so long ago.

With sexy shiny radiator

Cocktail cabinet, beauty bar

We turn the heads, Oh so much more

Than other Alvis cars

The Swan has truly come of age,

We are the proud Fourteens.

Many chassis became Utilities,

All manor, types and styles.

To a Shooting Brake for Fortnums

To some stylish Ice Cream Vans.

We’ve been a Le Mans racing car,

And Special types galore.

The greatest range of Alvis Cars,

We are the proud Fourteens.

We are one, but we are many

And from all the coach works we come.

We shared a dream to be an Alvis,

I am, we are, we are the Proud Fourteens.

( Immediately repeat this chorus).

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1 Response to The Proud Fourteens

  1. PETER MADGE says:

    Hello Eileen I am responding to a couple of points in this month’s Fourteen newsletter. Firstly to say that we were ‘in the room’ to hear young Ron Walton’s talk at IAD and very much enjoyed it. And we were surprised & delighted to find a photo of our TA14 used to illustrate the Carbodies paragraphs of the IAD brochure – chassis No 22231, reg no. HSK 269 (originally GSC 117 – must get it reinstated!) You asked for photos of the inside of the hood, so I hope the attached are of use. The hood isn’t original, dating from the early ’70s, and a bit grubby & ropey in places as you can see, but I think it is close enough to the original (though I stand to be corrected). If there is anything I’ve missed or anything unclear, please let me know. I couldn’t resist including one taken a couple of weeks ago of sunset over Hilbre Island and the Dee estuary, a stone’s throw from home. Lastly, I have been wondering what to do about the fuel tank which needs attention before long as it appears to be weeping slightly. I have been thinking of trying to get it repaired but won’t know if that is feasible till it’s off the car. So I would be interested to know how much it might cost to replace it with a new build. I would therefore appreciate it if you could put me in contact with the chap mentioned in the newsletter. It’s worth us having a chat. Many thanks. Best regardsPeter Madge0151 625 7829

    From: Alvis Fourteen To: Sent: Monday, 11 July 2016, 20:49 Subject: [New post] The Proud Fourteens #yiv5268223886 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5268223886 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5268223886 a.yiv5268223886primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5268223886 a.yiv5268223886primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5268223886 a.yiv5268223886primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5268223886 a.yiv5268223886primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5268223886 | eileen4tatb14s posted: “Seventieth Anniversary of The Proud Fourteens.Well that’s it, we have celebrated the seventieth Anniversary of the commencement of the Model. Three score years and ten and many of them looking in remarkably fine fettle judging by those at Internatio” | |

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