Three Score Years and Ten.

Dave Culshaw, acclaimed Alvis Historian, has written an update to his excellent 50th Anniversary Article and this can be read in Articles. It makes fascinating reading and is also part of his PPS Section on the main Alvis Archive site.

He has also supplied copies of the advert for the first Carbodies together with photo documentation of the car in 1989 on it’s way for restoration. See Brochures and Publications plus chassis 20599. Unusually for Carbodies she does not have a Carbodies body number as she is the pre-production Model.

In addition he has provided a great photo of a Knibbs Car, see under chassis 20691.

 Turning to Woodies, the new editor of ‘Tailgate’, the Magazine of the Woodie Car Club, is Graeme Rust and he can be reached on Their Web  site will no longer be maintained and instead will be on Facebook. The details are facebookwoodie_car_club and for anyone with an affection for Woodies the Club should be of great interest.

 Whilst many Woodies were well made and have stood the test of time, some were not. Chassis 20563 in The Gallery is lacking a photo but the letter of the time holds no punches about the quality of the original body ‘a Body of so bad a nature both as regards the design and workmanship that the owner has instructed us to remove the Body entirely and fit a body of our own manufacture.’

 Another rather unhappy letter of the time, on Gallery 1, exists relating to chassis 20510. This is one of 12 possible Utilities bodied by Coachwork Specialists Ltd., no other chassis have been identified as being TA 14s.

 When Duncans put their bodies on the TA 14 running chassis they did manufacture 2 as Drophead Coupes. Sadly one was sold in 2010 as a chassis only, chassis 22332, perhaps the owner had not realized what a rarity she was. The current owner has put a Special body on and she is now for sale with Should you however hanker after the real thing then a Duncan Fhc. will be available to purchase at Auction on the 10th September. The Auction is being held by Bonhams at The Goodwood Revival Meeting. Prior to that details can be obtained from Orchard Classics, see

 Another rare coachbuild is Richard Mead and we now have some very nice photos of chassis 21021 in Gallery 1 showing the full length door style with no external cill. Also have a look at chassis 20566 to see an early photo of another Mead.

 I have been asked about the 70th Anniversary Cake at International Alvis Weekend so at the end of this post is a photo of the cake top design printed on edible icing and also the Celebration Beer Bottle.

As we shared the Celebrations with our younger friends the TF21s with their 50th Anniversary they are also on the cake. For those who are thinking of having a cake when their Fourteen achieves 3 score years and ten it is not too difficult to put an edible picture on the cake top. There are companies who will receive an email photo and then send an edible icing photo to be put on the cake, it will be posted in a cardboard roll as it is very flexible and will come with instructions to put it on the cake. Make sure you turn the cake upside down for a flat surface. You can buy ready rolled sugar paste to put on the top as a base for the picture. It then looks quite impressive as you open the champagne!

 Sometimes the limited volume of car sales by overseas dealers makes one wonder why they went to all the bother. An interesting Article  in Bulletin 311, by Hans Rainer, shows that Dealers ‘Gjestvangs’ of Sweden could purchase a Mulliners Saloon for approximately £900. The retail price to a Swedish purchaser was about £1500.

 Many of the TB 14s were exported when they were new. Chassis 23510 had the unique experience of being the only one of two exported to India, actually to Mandinalla Motor Company, Karachi now Pakistan. What were the odds of an intrepid Fourteen owner encountering one of these cars on a 5 month trip from England to South Africa via India in 1970? The car was seen in West Pakistan in Green, the original colour when exported. The fact that it was still in Pakistan in 1970 indicates local ownership so she may well still be out there, keep your eyes open. The other car was chassis 23525 and she was red.

In updating records it is sometimes fascinating to allow time to sidetrack and check out the ‘back story’ as it is now called in the Media. TB 14 Chassis 23588 was bought in 1970 by an American Pilot stationed in England. The car went into storage in 1995 in the USA and now one of his daughters and one of his sons propose to move the car and hope to get it restored. So another one of the 100 should be on the road again. Going back to the Pilot he was Lieutenant Edward A. Chipkevich and Googling the name shows a brief description of a very brave man who served in the 2nd World War, Korean War and Vietnam Wars. His military career in WW 11 included service with the iconic 82nd Airborne Paratroopers, famous for Arnhem, ‘Operation Market Garden’. Coincidentally in the same operation, my mother’s cousin, Major John C. Bune was in the 1st Parachute Regiment at Arnhem but tragically lost his life on the first evening having volunteered to go out to rescue the wounded in Oosterbeek. A digression maybe but Fourteens continue to provide quite surprising links and a moment to reflect.

 Good news is that we have found 2 lost TB14s, chassis 23551 is living in Ireland and looking very smart in white and rather racy with non standard but very fetching wire wheels. Photos of her on the new livery are on the TB 14 page.

 Chassis 23567 is living with her long term owner in Germany and new pictures will be sent over soon.

 Now can anyone help with Tickford JYF 60? The son of her owner in the 1950s is trying to find her and being a Tickford we hope there is a good chance. Her picture is on Lost Cars and she sports the striking Brooklands ‘Flying Lady Mascot’. YF is a Greater London registration.

 Sadly JYF 60 is not the Tickford for sale that has come up in Belgium. Chassis 23160, Engine 23166 is well known and was one of the early rebodied cars in the 1940s when chassis returned with unacceptable Utility bodies. I can put you in touch with the current owner and rumour has it a buyer might find some Belgian Chocolates and Beer in the boot!

 After being with the same owner for over half a century ‘Nippie’ NPE 600, chassis 23344 has now found a new owner to cherish a car that was most affectionally and beautifully restored.

 As well as the above a selection of Fourteens for sale can usually be found at Car and Classic on and although ‘Nippie’ has been sold there are several more to choose from.

 Many thanks for the responses to our search for photos of Knibbs bodied cars, very useful leads.

 To see one of the most streamlined TA 14s, look no further than chassis 23474. The one off Bosistos coachwork.

 Many of our cars now sport Mascots but TA 14s and TB14s were never given a designated mascot by Alvis. Cars supplied by Brooklands of Bond Street were often fitted with a flying lady mascot similar to the design by Sykes on the Rolls Royce and perhaps by Lejeune. It is highly probable that the first period photo under Lost Cars, chassis 21630 shows one of these mascots.

Have a look in Bulletin 522, page 25 and see if you can identify the TA 14 in the 1940s photo with the interesting Mascot. Can anyone supply a good photo of one of these mascots?

 Please do look in Lost Cars every so often to see if memories can be jogged. Tickford 21630 is the latest to go on the list and hopefully may have survived.

 Looking at Bulletins of the 1970s is usually an historical exercise, that is until page 10 of Bulletin 224, June 1972. John Buck was reporting problems with the reconditioned steering box he had just purchased. It was worse than the one he had taken  out. David Michie, was evidently equally unhappy at the quality of the reconditioned boxes and was going to look into it. Now the relevance. A certain ‘Aunty May’, chassis 21830 had stripped her owner of a large chunk of funds to have a reconditioned steering box acquired and fitted. Lo and behold there was no difference to the one that was taken out.  So 42 years on we know the reason why and the steering box is no worse than the day it was fitted.

 Going back to The Bulletins of the 1960s sees a very wise man, Mr Suthren. On page 12 of Bulletin 122, October 1963, Mr Suthren has a 1934 Speed 20 2 door V.D.P. Saloon for sale in first class condition. For the best reason in the world, as he has bought a TA 14!

 Next time you park next to a 4.3 be aware that under the bonnet of a 14 ‘the crankshaft is a really massive affair and is probably the strongest ever used in any Alvis engine. The connecting rods are equally massive and apart from a smaller gudgeon pin are the same as those fitted to the 4.3 litre.’

 To be further impressed go to and have a look at a very prestigious Classic Car emporium, Gallery Brummen in The Netherlands. The Carbodies  for sale is chassis 23475 and the before pictures are on our Gallery 2.

Finally the eagle eyed may have noticed that we now have an up to date register of Fourteens on the site. Please let me know of any errors or omissions you can help with. The Articles index, Snippets, and Historic Sale entries have all been updated so look again to see if there is anything new for you.

P1020582aMy Collage low res

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1 Response to Three Score Years and Ten.


    Hello I Have just had out TA14 hood renewed and am having trouble with the rear window. Do you happen to have a close up photo you could send me to try and see what’s wrong ?

    Kind regards Chris

    Chris & Chris Symington Haccombe, Membury, Axminster, Devon EX13 7AF. United Kingdom. Tel: 00 44 1404 881446 Mobile: 00 44 7887 950084


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