Transatlantic TB14s

The striking Black TB 14 displayed at the NEC recently has found an Alvis enthusiast based near Charleston in the Carolinas. Chassis 23579 HYS 615 will be off later this year to join a TD 21 and participate in the flourishing classic car world of the Carolinas. Charleston was founded in 1670 and retains a British style so somewhere an Alvis should feel quite at home.

She was restored a few years ago and taken back to her original body colour of Black. Whilst most of the TB 14s were Red or Ivory, six were Black and another popular colour was Green.

Driving around the Southern USA you might even get to see a second TB 14, chassis 23588 ECL 265, has taken to the roads recently.

Purchased in 1970 by an American L/Col pilot in the US Airforce she was shipped back to the States upon his return to the USA. Inherited by his son and daughter she has just completed a major professional restoration. She returned to the roads in 2021 in Nashville and is now a beautiful example of this iconic model retaining her original build colour of red.

The restoration standard was very high and that was rewarded when she came first in the Nashville British Car Show last October. Not only did she come first in Class but also Best in Show, quite an accolade bearing in mind some of the American classic car restoration standards.

In addition to the cars in films photos from last month there is a white Carbodies that featured in the made for the 1977 TV Movie ‘Rogue Male’. Unusually and ‘Hallelujah’ there is a clear number plate LTV 531 that shows chassis 23475. This car was last heard of in The Netherlands  awaiting restoration.

Used in a car chase!

Some very interesting Fourteen cars are for sale at present.

EBay is offering ‘Tilley’ chassis 21954, a Shooting Brake that was sold at Auction by Anglia Car Auctions a few years ago with the probability that it would become a Special. It is nice to see that there is still the opportunity for the car to be restored as she would look absolutely stunning. Asking price £5750.

Another eBay offering is the photo of a very sad Mulliners with a note. Do you recognise this Fourteen?

The CCA Auction at the NEC next month has ‘Shelagh’ chassis 22709 a Mulliners with a very interesting history and the opportunity to become only the 3rd owner of this fine car. The first lady owner, Shelagh, was obviously a lady of some style. She owned the car from new in 1948 and it only came to the market in 1991 as an Estate sale. The lady’s personal items were still in the glove compartment and included driving gloves, umbrella and a sherry cork to keep the choke out. We can all empathise with needing to keep the choke out at some time. Described as a genuine and original time warp.

Alvis  – KLE 19

  • 17.11.1948. Alvis TA14 Mulliner Saloon
  • 1 previous lady owner 1948-1991
  • Purchased new from Brooklands of Bond Street and retains dashboard plaque and dealer key ring
  • Vendor owned 1991 to date.  Purchased from estate.
  • Multi award winner inc.
  • Uniquely comprehensive history from pre-purchase to date
  • Original buff logbook through to current V5
  • The paperwork alone will take you weeks to read through
  • Victoria Cross connection
  • Original body work and panels – used as patterns
  • Original interior
  • Nothing added, nothing taken away
  • Still has solenoid operated dip n/s headlight
  • Semaphore indicators
  • Original registration KLE 19
  • Opening windscreen
  • Sunroof
  • Rear blind
  • Original owners’ bits and bobs including sherry corks used to keep the choke open, driving gloves, umbrella etc
  • A real genuine and original time warp

For more information search classiccarauctions.co.uk and see a very reasonable guide price of £10-£12k.

2 cars are believed to be available and shown on autoscout24.com chassis 22932, Mulliners Saloon GSF 893 and chassis 23096 Carbodies Dhc. FVW 155. Both cars have been in Italy. Site does not recognise Alvis as a car marque best to try ‘Oldtimers’.

As always carandclassic.co.uk has other Fourteens for sale.

It is essential that any Fourteen owner has a copy of the Driver’s Manual and Spares Catalogue. Good facsimile copies can be acquired from Red Triangle, Tel. 01926 857303. An advert on Ebay shows a Driver’s Manual for sale in the USA for the price of £133 plus £24 p&p, rather higher than current bids on a British offering at bid at £3.53!

As to spares there is still a search for Alvis pedal rubbers to fit Fourteens, also Nave Plates.

A set of old Tickford pram irons has been kindly found by our TA 14 technical advisor and is currently being copied for the owner’s restoration project. The old set will be retained but if anyone has any thoughts about getting a replacement set made they could get some now at a very reasonable price by the foundry. He is now looking for a set of the catches that fix the Tickford hood to the front rail so any out there that are spare or can be loaned to copy?

Swedish owner is still on the lookout for a pair of horn trumpets or horns with trumpets.

A further list of available spares will shortly be put up on the site to buy as a job lot or to make individual offers.

Still hoping to find the chassis number for MZH TA 14H. This Special goes around German events with driver Edwin Remmel so let’s hope someone can track this down.

Going through old family photo albums can be very fruitful for old vehicle information. Always worth sending copies to relevant clubs. Fortunately one such exercise prompted the son of a former owner to write in with information about cars his father used to own plus 2 photos from the 1960s. It was great to be able to confirm that the 2 cars are still around. The Shooting Brake by W.H.Gaze and Sons chassis 21301 looks much as she did in the original photo. The lad leaning out of the window is the gentleman who has sent in the photos. Mulliners Saloon chassis 23181 resides in Cornwall rebodied as a rather amazing Special as the body had completely rotted away before the project. Nice to be able to put people in touch with the families of former owners.

York
Gillingham

Car and Classic send out details of classic cars in Auctions and a recent one confirmed they have made a short film about the Alvis Car Company. Go to carandclassic.co.uk and search the Alvis Car Company -Car and Classic Video..

With supply chains still interrupted for some products and panic buying a close memory- this is not new. Back in October 2003 the word went around that there might be a shortage of TA 14 wheel nuts. Panic then ensued, longer term owners maybe remember the consternation, worry and stockpiling thoughts that ran riot through the Fourteen world.

Further checks revealed that Red Triangle had only 1452 left so that a round of purchases to squirrel away might leave only a few hundred in stock. Red Triangle’s Parts Manager, Dave Wright then felt the need to come forward and make a statement to calm things down.

‘We have been concerned for some time about the disappearing TA 14 wheel nut. Rest assured conservation plans are well advanced and we expect continuation of supply for many years to come. However panic buying is recommended.’

My order is going in this week!

Finally January set a record for sunshine and Aunty May, chassis 21830 looked out through her window and thought Spring has arrived. Unbelievable difference starting up first time and purring. All down to changing to minimal ethanol in Shell V power. Can’t recommend this fuel enough.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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2 Responses to Transatlantic TB14s

  1. John Witts says:

    Hello Eileen,

    Thank you once again for a very interesting and informative post!

    Regarding the car in the Skewen scrapyard, I found my memory somewhat jogged….

    I remember a byline in “Practical Classics” in the late 80’s (it may have been in their “Rust in Peace” feature, but I’m not sure…..) which featured a very similar b/w shot of a TA14 Mulliner saloon languishing in a South Wales scrapyard having been the victim of an abortive attempt at customisation…… The writer lamented it’s plight!

    Given the state and type of the (relatively!) modern vehicles in the background of the photo you show, this would tie in with that date. I’m pretty sure it’s the same car……

    Does any one have an archive of Practical Classics from the late 80’s? (My interest in the Alvis TA14 was started by the article in the February 1986 issue about the restoration of a Carbodies dhc, so it would date from then.) It might be the photo of the car in the magazine showed a registration number…….

    I wonder if the car was saved?

    A bit hopeful, but you never know…….. 🙂

    Kind regards,

    John Witts

  2. John Witts says:

    I’ve had a quick look at eBay and the item concerned. The listing says the photo comes from the collection of Michael Worthington-Williams. In the 80’s he was involved with and wrote for ‘The Automobile” magazine, which I also read. So it’s highly likely this is the photo that was published in that magazine, not “Practical Classics”……..

    I still find myself pondering the fate of the poor Mulliner, though……..

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