Seventy six years today, 14th November 1940, the Luftwaffe launched one of the largest aerial assaults of the second World War.
The attack was targeted at one of Britain’s major manufacturing cities, The City of Coventry. The Bombers were sent off in the afternoon and evening and headed to a cold and snowy Coventry.
The City was devasted by the bombings and included in the destruction was the Alvis Car Factory. The bombing was relentless for twelve hours. The Car Factory contained magnesium and this contributed to the fire that raged out of control.
Tragically some Alvis employees were killed in the raid and the Car Factory was gone.
In 1943 whilst fully involved with production for the War effort thoughts started to float around as to the Alvis role after the war. T.G. John’s strategic vision for the 1940s was very modern, to have a common chassis with interchangeable 2 and 3 litre engines. Finances and other constraints after the War ended resulted in the decision to offer a 2 litre car, loosely based upon an enlarged 12/70. In September 1944 The Board of Trade gave permission for work to start on the new car and so the TA 14 was born with the continued principle that bodies would be made by external Coachbuilders.
Following the ups and downs of developing the project the day finally arrived when the first 3 cars, Mulliners Saloons, emerged from the Alvis Factory.
The date, 14th November 1946, exactly 6 years to the day from the devastation of the Coventry blitz that destroyed the original Car Factory. The Post War car production was underway in Holyhead Road. The first 3 Cars were ready to be collected by their Dealers, 3 of the premier Agents fir Alvis car.
This iconic photo was posted on the 14th to show that Alvis were back in Car production.
From Brooklands of Bond Street, Mayfair, came Mr W.H.Bates to collect chassis 20573, Mulliners M1, to be JLP 344. From Galts of Glasgow came Keith Elliot to collect chassis 20589, Mulliners M3 to initially wear their number G1. From Hanna’s of Belfast came Mr W.J.Hanna to collect chassis 20655, Mulliners M5, to be registered GZ 6178. It is possible that the car in the background might be Mulliners M2, chassis 20553 exported to Switzerland on 15th January 1947.
The photo below shows those first 3 production cars to leave the Factory and come out into the rain. Stanley Horsefield, the Sales Manager is on the right of the photo.
For four years the TA/TB 14 would proudly be the standard bearer for the Alvis name in car production. It is a testimony to the quality of the cars produced that so many have survived