As Advent begins, many of our cars are settling down to wait until Spring before they emerge into the sunlight and remind their owners of the few little jobs they really, really would like done.
Hopefully they have all had a good year and in some way marked the 70th Anniversary of the First TA 14. Over the next four years more and more will individually celebrate their three score years and ten so lots of excuses for cake, bubbly and fresh oil.
When eventually the time comes there are many reasons for deciding to pass on our Fourteen friends but in December 1968 one decision was made through particularly gritted teeth.
‘1949 TA saln. Best offer over £150. Body restored by spec. c/works cost £250 (will be finished v shortly) For sale because owner cannot afford coach works bill 3 times estimate. Mechs. m/tained by Alvis for 6 years. new clutch, steering box, rockers etc. Oil 50 hot. v.g. tyres.’
Well it must have been a good restoration as chassis 22882 is still going strong.
Remember the old days when TB 14s where sometimes called Ugly Ducklings? One gentleman, who saw a picture of ‘Ruby’, chassis 23577, now living in Austria, commented she was ‘more beautiful than a Bugatti’ and he should know as he used to race type 33/35 Bugattis!
Direct Transmission 1, forbear of the current monthly pink Calendar had another gritted teeth episode. Recording a local Meeting the scribe wrote ‘Saddest part of the meeting was my Alvis log: I record every gallon of fuel consumed and details of journeys in a notebook. Every few years I lose the notebook and have to start another. Today Liz found the 1973 (Sept)-1976 (Aug) edition. On Sept. 30th 1973 ten gallons of four-star petrol cost £4.13. By August 1976 the price had risen to £7.72: today £11.60.’ Wonder what he would think about the price today?
Bulletin 74, in August 1959, perhaps shows how times have changed! The Concours competition had the following categories.
Car and Wife
Car and Girlfriend
Car and Male owner
One can only imagine the full and frank discussions from the losing parties!
Whilst enjoying that possible misinterpretation of the Concours on page 5, an interesting story popped up on page 6.
Nothing to do with Fourteens apart from pedigree but driving a 12/50 back to England from India in the early 1930s was some achievement carried out with typical British understatement and aplomb, well worth a read.
Looking for a spare 50th Anniversary book that can be passed on to a long term Member who is keen to replace his lost paper copy.
Owners contemplating major metalcraft work should have a look at the website for MPH Motor Panels in Devon. The website is http://www.mphmotorpanels.com and the email address is email@example.com, Tel. 01579 345914. A Fourteen owner had new rear wings made in aluminium and wrote that ‘They weren’t cheap but they were very good and the car is so much faster!’ So the next time you are in the West Country and a TA 14 roars past you’ll know the reason.
Walking around the Crypt of Durham Cathedral produced rather an unexpected shock. There in a glass case:
‘The Alvis Cross’
There in the secure glass cabinet was indeed a 13th century copper and enamel cross donated by Michael and Patricia Alvis to Durham Cathedral in 2016.
The cross was found at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346. The battle took place West of Durham between the Scots, encouraged by the French, the Auld Alliance and the English Army. The Scottish army was routed.
The cross is decorated with engraving Limoges and Champleve enameling which was used for religious objects. It was found again in the 19th century in the grounds of Western Lodge, the site of the battle. Google ‘The Battle of Neville’s Cross’ to read the background and the wonderful donation to Durham Cathedral by Mrs Patricia Alvis aged 95.
In the run up to Christmas remember there are Alvis goodies that make excellent presents.
The latest book on Post War Alvis Cars by John Fox can be obtained by contacting the Alvis Archive Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also from that email address you can arrange to buy a stick on disc of the old Alvis Owner Club Bulletins containing a wealth of Technical Articles, photos and Snippets. The indexes of Historic material is gradually growing and one look at the Articles list shows what a wealth of information there is in the old Bulletins.
An extended Black Friday/Cyber Monday/ TA/TB 14 Wednesday special offer means that on a first come first served basis I can offer the majority of old Bulletins in their original paper format for only the price of Post and Packaging. The odd gap could most likely be filled from old Bulletins that can be purchased in paper format from the Archive Trust. They run from 1968 to 2009 and are in very good condition. No haggling!
The disc of the 50th Anniversary Book by Mick Fletcher and Colin Newby can be obtained from the Alvis Owner Club Shop alvisoc.org.
A new fire extinguisher is always a good present.
Have a look under the technical heading at the advert for Wefco gaiters. I remember neat leather gaiters modestly covering up ‘Aunty May’s springs, chassis 21830 and protecting them from salt and detritus from the road surface. They had small leather straps. So there is an idea for the car that has everything.
Save on the price of an oil painting of your car by using Photoshop. You can then have an impressionist painting of your car, or other painting style of your choice.
The guys in Uruguay were extremely grateful to the gentleman who donated the headlamp glass to their car. Unfortunately a second one is needed so if anyone can rustle up the spirit of Christmas and offer one it would be very much appreciated. Also a nave plate is needed. Chassis 21697 is shown below to tug at your heart strings with her missing glass. Uruguay is a poor country and they struggle to keep the cars going in their small Museum. Their fettling skills are excellent and the car runs on the road, hence the damaged headlamp glasses!
New headlamp glasses for Fourteens can be obtained from Freddie Boulton Vintage Car Parts, 52 Congleton Road North, Church Lawton, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire ST7 3BA. Tel. 01782 782921. Mobile 077889 477754. Email email@example.com. I am very grateful for that information. They are the same as Triumph Roadster 2000 glasses, 22.8 cm diameter, cats eye pattern.
The part restored Swedish RHD Mulliners Saloon is again for sale and all serious offers will be considered. She was previously for sale for offers in the region of £6500. She is about 60% restored including the engine and the work has obviously been done by a perfectionist.
Numerous photos have been taken and can be forwarded to anyone looking for a project. Living about 60 miles West of Stockholm the roads and bridges are good right the way to the Ports.
Next month will feature some information about some Fourteens in Australia. Our cars are indeed a global interest and just this last week I have been corresponding with Australia, Uruguay, USA, France, Germany, Holland and Sweden.
A blue Carbodies TA 14 makes a fleeting appearance in the major new ‘block buster’ ‘The Crown’ available from Netflix. She appears in Series 1, Episode 2 and passes along Downing Street but don’t blink or you may miss her.
Finally December will no doubt whistle by so may we take this opportunity to wish everyone the very best for the Christmas Season.
Eileen and Terry