Depths of Winter

Chassis 20972, Tickford Dhc., JTF 96 was owned by Arthur Holt M.P. who was a Member of The Liberal Party. He was elected to represent the Constituency of Bolton West in 1951 and was an M.P. for 13 years. At the time of representing Bolton West he would have owned his TA 14 so we may yet turn up a photo of him with the car in due course. JTF is now 1-AOP 170, living in Western Europe. She is believed to be the first Tickford bodied Fourteen to have a new chassis as opposed to one previously used for another Fourteen bodied car.

Staying with the political theme, we have chassis 21366, Mulliners Saloon, MNO 800, she was owned by Tom Driberg, the controversial  Labour M.P. who became Baron Bradwell. Her fate or whereabouts is totally unknown. Should you have time then Wikipedia is quite enlightening on the life and career of this early Fourteen owner. One can only guess at the famous names she may have carried. Interestingly enough the recent brilliant series on Radio 4, ‘The Corrupted’, based upon G.F.Newman’s epic novel ‘Crime and Punishment’ features comments about Tom Driberg’s excellent use and pronunciation of the English Language.

On a different aspect of Celebrity ownership, we do not have many Fourteens that have been owned by Racing Drivers, Archie Scott Brown was one of those. He owned chassis 23474, registration NHW 4. This registration was later lost and the car became BLH 429 H. His Fourteen was the rare 1 off Bosistos bodied car and there is more under Celebrity Cars.
His story is told in Archie and The Listers – The heroic story of Archie Scott Brown and the racing marque he made famous, by Robert Edwards. Under ‘Publications’ are further details of the book and an eloquent review by the late Julian Collins recommending it as a very good read.

Another recommended read for those with historical interests is the small booklet: Coventry Car Factories – A Centenary Guide by Mark Singlehurst and Kevin Wilkins. Published in the late 1990s to celebrate the Centenary of the Motor Car. Again further details under Publications.

For those driving or admiring TB 14s and their big sisters the TB 21s they look to some as though they were produced by an American body shop. Not so, the chassis did not venture far before they arrived with A.P. Metalcraft also based in Coventry. Established in 1938 the  Directors were Messrs A.E.Austin, H.Perks, G.Brooks and F.A.Hall, so perhaps this shows where the A.P. came from. They did not limit themselves to carbodies and components but also manufactured housing components and metal furniture, metal designs, engineering and sheet metal assemblies.

Browsing through Bulletin 115, February 1963, sees tales of a TA 14 on it’s third Continental Tour. Owners need reminding in warmer times that the Country was in the middle of ‘The Big Freeze’.
In those more leisurely times TA 14 Mulliners Saloon, chassis 22780, GCJ 55, set off for her third tour of Europe. In the 1960s she and her owners had none of the crush of the Dover crossing. She embarked onto the overnight Ferry from Tilbury with the choice of Rotterdam or Antwerp as the destination. As described, ‘One sails from Tilbury at about 4p.m., tea is immediately provided, an excellent evening dinner follows – not to mention untaxed drinks at the bar – and after a good night’s rest in a truly-first class cabin, a substantial English breakfast awaits one. The number of car passengers is relatively small, and all one has to do is go to the point where the car has been placed (by an expert driver) in readiness for your landing.’ Those were the days!
The tour then proceeds through The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany and then heads towards home. ‘We crossed into Holland, and spent two extremely peaceful days beyond Arnhem. With a woodland setting and ‘English Lawns’, it was all that could be desired for those who appreciate quietness and decorum. The T.A. 14 has been described as ‘majestic’; Continental inquirers  frequently ask if it is a Rolls Royce. Suffice to say it was a suitable car in which to arrive at this gracious (not ‘luxury’) Dutch Hotel’. We understand the beautiful ‘Rolls Royce’ body was replaced later with a Carbodies body. Where is she now?

Should the weather be bad in late winter/early Spring of 2017, have a browse through the Rogues Gallery and Lost Cars to see if any ring a bell?

Another way of passing a delightful few minutes is to watch the Alvis Salamander Clip on YouTube: https://youtu.beSTHAd8z-Twk and watch out for the Fourteen interest!

A recent new owner of a TA 14 has sent over a lovely Father’s Day photo from Belgium with chassis 23293, see Gallery 2 and can you identify the Whisky?

For those looking for an everyday Mulliners Saloon there is one currently for sale in Ireland and the vendor will assist with arrangements to get the car shipped from Ireland if required. The chassis number is 23302, original registration KRR 486 then BSK 502, now ZV 4227. She has been owned by several Alvis Owner Club Members in the past. Go to Car and Classic, Reference C824460. I can provide the email address for the vendor if required. At an asking price of €10 000 worth a look.

Another interesting car opportunity is also available in Ireland and shown on Classic Car Reference C831081. This TB 14 is a known car and an increasingly rare opportunity to acquire one if these increasingly valuable cars. Remember of 3313 Fouteens only 100 were bodied as TB 14s by A.P.Metalcraft.

Those heading to warmer climes in the USA might find Fantasy Junction, Emeryville, California worth a look. They have sold several Alvis in the past including the 3.5 litre TB 14 under Cars of Interest.

As an intrepid AOC Member sails to Uruguay with the nave plate for the Museum’s TA 14 in Uruguay he little knows his delivery has already been foretold by Rodin!


Continuing with art you will find some delightful cartoons by ‘Apsley’ dotted around the Galleries. These and similar can be purchased from ‘Apsley’ and I can put you in touch. You can also commission a personal ‘Apsley’ cartoon of your car.

Very frustrating to find that a ‘Lost Car’ is known to DVLA but they will not pass a letter to the current owner due to ‘Data Protection’, the catch all that comes close to ‘Health and Safety!
She is a Brown Tickford TA 14, chassis 22377, KLL 115 and was due to be re-taxed December 2016. Last M.O.T. 2012 and currently insured. There are not many Brown Tickfords around. It would mean a lot to the son of the former owners to find her. Some lovely photos on the Gallery of happy times with KLL in previous colour scheme. Over to you Sherlocks!

Under the Technical information Section, Lucas information has now been posted and gives helpful instructions relating to trafficators, lights, windscreen wipers etc.. Nothing of course will prevent the patient operation of the windscreen wipers gently packing snow at either side and making the cleared area reduce in size as the snow falls. Those were the days, not sure many Fourteens willingly venture out in the snow these days. We are grateful to the TB 14 owner who provided the Lucas information. Should you have anything similar that could be put on the site it would be much appreciated.

Topical to check your clutch if possible to ensure it does not stick as we have had quite an extreme bout of winter in some areas. ‘Aunty May’, chassis 21830, was run up to temperature today and shuffled backwards and forwards, a simple task but very useful.

Finally a grateful thanks for all the Happy New Years both on and off the site, much appreciated and reciprocated. Spring is on it’s way!!!!!!!!

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