The Fourteen Racing Sports Tourer
In 1947 Belgian industrialist Pierre Goldschmidt and well known racing driver averaged 66.25 mph in the Grand Prix des Frontieres at Chimay and later packed 95 miles into 1 hour to create a Belgian national record in his Alvis 14 fitted with twin carburettors and a purposeful streamlined body.
Chassis 20781 ‘592761’ A variant of the above
Yet another body variant for 1949 Le Mans!! Known as the Tank’ Chassis No. 20528
The Goldschmidt car featured in the AOC Bulletin 479
A Bidee designed body – note cooling vents and bonnet straps!
The prototype of the TB14
Recorded as TA14 in the Alvis Works Records
Registration P1949 (Prototype 1949!) then LND 702 Chassis No.22568 Coachbuilder King and Taylor. This was the 1948 Motor Show car (scarlet) revised and exhibited at the 1949 Motor show in Ivory.
Finally left Alvis factory 2 years late 4 October 1950. Sold as ‘shop soiled’ to Parkers of Manchester / Bolton.
Brussels Motor Show 1948
The prototype for the TB14, described in a press cutting as follows:-
‘ Large two seater sports car that ranks amongst the most attractive models of the show. styled by Bidie and constructed on an Alvis chassis 4 cylinders with 1892cc. The car achieves speeds of 160km/hr.’
The Earls Court Motor Show 1948
The Launch of the TB14 at the 1949 Motor Show
The famous cocktail cabinet and dashboard vanity unit!!!
Car shown at the Geneva Motor show. Chassis no 23520
Converted for importer ‘Hauser Automobiles, by Grogg (Langenthall) into a drop head coupe with wind up windows. Believed to have a hard top made by Graber.
Chassis no. 23555 A P Metalcraft TB 14
Delivered to the new owner Lyman M Lowry in the sunny climes of Miami, Florida in 1950
Green bodied !!
L Lowry September 1950 Miami Florida
Still resident in the US and modified to incorporate a 300 HP Chevy V8.
Recently resprayed back to green and re-chromed.
First Tickford body on a Fourteen chassis. Used in publicity photos
Rare Mullliners with no sunroof
Registration and chassis number unknown
Car an original export to Uruguay
Duncan Industries (Engineering) Ltd, Park Hall, New Road, North Walsham, Norfolk.
Duncan Alvis assembly line at Swannington airfield – Autumn 1947.
Chassis No. 22372 registered GSG 639.
Dave Culshaw believes this is an early Duncan design proposal for the TA14 which was modified from the A-post forwards for the single example produced.
How about this beauty? See the page on Major Rebuilds
KPT 873 Chassis no. 21865
Unique and in the family !!
‘Often licked but never beaten!!!!!!!
ADJ 812 Chassis no. 23038
No known surviving Ice Cream TA 14 utilities
Another Scoop !!
TMG 120 Chassis no. 20686 Coachbuilder Sayers of Reading
Locally renowned Ice Cream Purveyor ‘Tony Bros of Acton’
Left Alvis Factory 5 November 1946
1947 Alvis TA14 Shooting Brake by Jensen JTV 459
Guthrie began his life on 15th April 1947 at the Alvis factory as a chassis only vehicle, that is a complete working vehicle without any bodywork or trim, although he did have the distinctive Alvis radiator bearing the red triangle motif. Of the total 3,213 TA14 production at the factory, about one third went to body makers, some approved and some not. Probably around 750 of these were built as utilities, a practice confirmed in 265 cases of extant records of the vehicles concerned.
Guthrie was delivered on 29th April 1947 to Messrs Morkel & Carnill of 1, Derby Road,
Nottingham – they were car dealers of some longevity and were BMC agents in the 60s before succumbing to liquidation in 1979. It is unclear whether Morkel & Carnill ordered Guthrie for the first owner or as a car for their own sales stock. Guthrie was first registered on 6th August 1947 and the works guarantee was of the same date. Nevertheless, between April and August of that year Guthrie was bodied as a shooting brake ‘woody’ by Jensen of West Bromwich. The works record is annotated in manuscript “Utility Jenson W. Bromwich” . This misspelling of Jensen is a commonplace error but there is no doubt that the famous Jensen car company did Guthrie’s coachwork.
Jensen is remembered most for their range of powerful Interceptor cars in the 60s and 70s and their origin as a small coach-building firm is often overlooked. They built customised bodies for a range of manufacturers including Morris, Singer, Standard, Wolseley, Austin, Volvo and Sunbeam. In the 1950s BMC chose them to build bodies for its 4-wheel drive Austin Gipsy. Jensen also had a history of producing commercial vehicles including trucks and buses. So the firm’s pedigree was entirely in keeping with setting Guthrie up as a utility shooting brake.
Correspondence from Dave Culshaw of AOC in 2003 states that, apart from Guthrie, there were 3 other known ‘bench-mark’ Jensen-Alvis vehicles with a possible 6 others supplied to Morkel & Carnill at about the same time. This makes Guthrie a pretty unusual and rare car.
In the post-WWII years of austerity, utilities were favoured as being cheaper than their saloon or drophead counterparts. Significant savings could be made on purchase tax, road fund licence fees and, of course, costs of constructing a simple, wood framed, estate body. In addition, trade vehicles benefited from a more benign regime of fuel rationing. Hence numerous ‘woodys’ of various marques made their presence felt on the motoring stage. These were hugely practical and rugged work horses.
Guthrie’s construction consists of an ash framed steel and aluminium body with a fabric roof. The tail gate opens in two parts – the higher glazed part opening upwards and the lower part downwards to be supported by chains on a level with and to extend the interior load space. There are three doors only, two front doors and one rear door on the nearside. The absence of a rear door behind the driver permitted space for gun and fishing rod racks when the rear seat was folded.
Guthrie was the inspiration for J & M Classics’ model series of the TA14 ‘woody’ and model ’01’ of the limited series of 100 has accompanied Guthrie into new ownership. He also features on the logo and window sticker of the ‘Woodie Car Club’ founded in 2000.
Guthrie has always worked for his living on country estates, farms and latterly on small holdings in Cornwall. Guthrie’s first owner was Major Noel Brooks MC TD who received the car as a ‘golden handshake’ when he stood down as chairman of Bolsover Colliery in Derbyshire at the time of nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947. He had been born in 1896 into a landed Cheshire family and had served during the Great War with the Cheshire Yeomanry. Records show that production from Bolsover Colliery was 5.5m tons per year and over 8,600 people were employed, 6,567 of them underground – a significant undertaking.
Noel Brooks took Guthrie into retirement with him to work on the family estates in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and Devon for the ensuing 15 years when he sold Guthrie to one of his tenant farmers, John Sage, near Honiton in Devon. John Sage kept the car for another 27 years before selling Guthrie in 1988 to Bryan Carlisle, an organic dairy farmer near Kilgetty in Pembrokeshire. Bryan Carlisle is a longstanding Alvis fan having acquired his first Alvis in 1953, a 12/50, and his early membership of the AOC is evidenced by a membership number 174. Bryan renovated Guthrie which included employing a
professional boat builder to restore the woodwork. In 1996 Guthrie came to West Cornwall into the ownership of Tony Phillips-Smith who engaged a local garage to overhaul the engine and complete a chassis up rebuild. (Tony is a familiar friend of the AOC, recently having been awarded honorary life membership, and is author of the Apsley illustrations which appear in the club’s Bulletins.) Guthrie provided daily transport for Tony often carrying hay, driftwood, building materials, dogs etc. In December 2012 Guthrie found his 5th owner, Bryan Sautelle-Smith, and he (the car that is!) now shares a garage with a smart Alvis TA21 drophead on a farm in East Cornwall. Guthrie has recently passed his 66th birthday and is 6 months younger than his new owner. We hope to age gracefully together and, maybe, emulate some of John Sage’s longevity – he lived to be 97 years old!
(Acknowledgements: to Tony Phillips-Smith for 4 box files of history which came with Guthrie; to Eileen Goddin and Dave Culshaw for reviewing content.)
The Dutch importer for Alvis cars 1948 – 1953 ‘De Nederlandse Motoren Mij.N.V Waalhaven O.Z.1 in Rotterdam Tel: 79500 posted the following two advertisements. The first offers saloons and dropheads.
The second advertisement offers a rare Pennock cabriolet. Only two Pennock Fourteens were ever made, 1 went to S.I.N.C.A of Belgium in 1946 Chassis No. 20532, Registration JG 8015, the other a drophead to Holland Chassis No. 23494, Registration UP67-87
AG-06-08 Chassis No. 20558 probably bodied by Vandenplas Belgium
Left the Alvis Factory 28 Aug 1946
CVG 119 Chassis No. 20998 Coachbuilder Duncan
Left Alvis Factory 12 May 1947 Possibly the first Duncan bodied 14. This car was used to promote sales in Scotland. First owner was Mrs Kay Petrie of Brooklands fame. Seen standing next to her sister model FWS 962 (Chassis No.20602).
HDU 160 Chassis No. 20821 Coachbuilder Carbodies, Fixed head coupe
A one off 2 door pillarless saloon built for the wife of the Director of Carbodies. Originally violet then eau-de-nil (pale ivory) hide seats. In 2012 scheduled to be rebodied as a Woodie!
Left Alvis factory 8 June 1948
JYW 289 Chassis No. 20829 Coachbuilder Rawson of Harlington Aluminium body without the usual wood frames. 1 of 2 bodied by Rawson.
From an advert in the ‘Pink’ April 2009
Left Alvis factory 11 Feb 1947.
GNM 275 Now German registration MK HE 616 Chassis No. 21908 A.P.A Ltd.
Only body built by A.P.A Ltd Photos taken around 1970.
Engine fitted with twin SUs.
Left Alvis factory 19 April 1948