Designed to thrill!

‘…for if ever a car was designed not to thrill it was this demure monument of taste and respectability (and I use the word ‘monument’ deliberately, for this was a car that proceeded at a stately pace, and was most imposing at a standstill).That was an excerpt from an Article written by Brian Sewell, the famous art critic, following a trip in a TA 14. Bulletin 500, pages 358/359. KGC 539, Tickford Dhc. chassis 22204 gives the remainder of the Article in a similar vein. So even those usually demonstrating quite exquisite taste get it a bit wrong sometimes.

As rather later than usual the summer starts to become a memory thoughts of Ice Creams begin to fade. Mention has been made previously of the 3 Ice Cream Vans that graced the Fourteen chassis. 2 of them were for Frederick’s in the North West but Frederick’s by then were 2 distinct branches of one family. Matteo Federici came to England in 1856 from Italy and was a carpenter who practiced as a Coachbuilder. With 7 sons and 2 daughters the family branched out and the two Ice Cream families were based in St. Helens and Ashton-in-Makerfield. Their Ice Cream vans had to be the best and Dominic Frederick built one of them, the most elaborate, over 2 or 3 winters using the family skills he also had in coachbuilding. The other family Matt Frederick commissioned Henderson’s of Parr Street Saw Mills, St. Helens, Lancashire to build a very stylish van along similar lines but less ornate. Yes the family still trade under the Frederick name today selling Ice Cream. Those in the North West if England might sample some of their Ice Cream and report back. I am indebted to the late and much missed Steve Tillyer for his research and Article he put in Bulletin 498, March 2006. The Article explores the subject in more depth and indeed if you want more Steve wrote a book.

Following the story of the TA 14 in Uruguay you can see and hear her. Either Google Uruguay Alvis or go straight to YouTube at and see the short clip of her running. Her carers are obviously fettlers of the old school. Delighted to confirm that progress has been made both in supplying an old headlamp glass and also the possible sourcing of new headlamp glasses. Further progress with the new headlamp glasses is expected to be reported next month.

Staying over The Pond a lead has emerged in the efforts to determine the chassis number for the white TB 14 owned by the film star James  Mason. Sotherbys were instructed to sell a Merecedes owned by James Mason and have kindly forwarded an email about the TB onto his son. Could it be that the TB 14 is still in family ownership? After 3 weeks no communication from his son so optimism wanes at the moment.

A restored TB 14 is likely to come up for sale in Germany in the near future. In her current ownership for about 40 years she is right hand drive and has been restored over a period years. Let me know if you wish to make contact.

The request for information about Knibbs coach built TA 14s has born  fruit and a visit has been made to see another one in the West Country. Three new photos will be put on The Gallery next month. The current restorer of one of them is always looking for more information so let me know if you can help.

Another Tickford has had it’s body number identified as 2050. As the factory did not record body numbers for Tickfords please let us know your number if it is not on the Master List 1or 2. Again please take a moment to see if our details are correct for any TA or TB 14, current or deceased.

A gentleman is looking for a TA 14 or Lea Francis to become his everyday car doing about 14 miles a day. A very reliable car is sought and he is thinking of spending about £8000 so let me know if you would like to be put in touch with a car for sale.

Currently writing this at virtually the most northern point in the UK with a Severe Gale Force 9 howling outside and the rain lashing down. No email facility so only hope is to catch a bus into Thurso and find somewhere with email. Then it will be possible to reply to the fellow enthusiast who is currently sailing in the Balearics!

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