Perseverance

Many will have enjoyed the exciting and successful landing of the Mars probe recently and witnessed the stunning new photos of Jezero Crater, an area of the Martian surface hitherto out of range of previous probes. The probe’s mission is to seek out signs of ancient life. Not so many people are aware that the time delay for the photos allows for the screening of the photos by NASA just in case a little green Martian waves at the camera!

What you may ask does this have to do with Alvis TA 14s?

Well, one of those photos screened and withheld is of great interest to us. Whilst not in the Edward Snowden level of WhistleBlower we are blessed with the son of an American TA 14 owner working at NASA who has provided us the photo the world needs to see and you saw it first here. At first it looked like another rock but as the exploration approached a familiar shape seemed to appear.

How long languishing in the parched desert climate we can only conjecture?

The late and much lamented Ken Day was the Author of the Alvis ‘Bible’ in 4 editions.

Most bookcases will contain a copy of at least one edition and it may be that the book has not been taken down and studied for sometime. This review of the excellent tome is a reminder that the editions changed in the material content as highlighted by this review. Something for a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

At the other end of the classic car spectrum is this book. Not likely to make the Best Seller List but obviously content that could prove useful!

Some interesting cars are available at the moment.

The first one being a red TB 14 that looks to be a good one. A car that has not been seen on the road for many years the sale particulars make interesting reading. As the Auction finishes on the 1st April you still have time to bid. Chassis no. 23515, MZ 9788.

The TA 14 Special on Carandclassic.co.uk remains available and shows what attractive Specials can be made when the Mulliners body has gone. Chassis 23351, EDN 690.

Anyone who is interested in a TA 14 Drophead Tickford that has been fully restored has an opportunity to purchase one that is finishing restoration shortly. The car is available at well known Alvis fettlers M.C.I., email mick.fletcher@totalise.co.uk and then just enjoy the drive.

Mathewsons of ‘Bangers and Cash’ fame have a Carbodies chassis 22858 for sale at their next virtual Auction in April.

Another interesting Auction description could well be temptation for a possible purchaser. The car sold previously at Action back in November 2018 and reached over £16k including buyer’s premium.

It is nice to see that the Nave Plates still retain the middle ring as a painted area. It has always been a matter of debate as to whether the ring should show the colour of the bodywork or interior. Chassis 21830, ‘Aunty May’ was black originally and the Nave Plate colour was always Black. The interior has always been RAF blue. It was the purchaser’s discretion as to the colour painted on the Nave Plates.

So if anyone has just plain chrome then time to think again.

The new series of Bangers & Cash’ featuring Mathewsons starts on the Freeview Yesterday Channel 26 on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Garage Doors are the gateway to our cherished Fourteens and no doubt come in all shapes and sizes. It maybe that some might have an Alvis triangle above the door but with today’s technology the sky is the limit.

Whilst delighted to be a Fourteen owner, the thought of a 747 might be tempting but of somewhat limited practicality so this might be the next best thing for a 3 car garage.

Another peripheral that is said to be growing in popularity is the category Car Jewellery! Yes there is one. Originally focused on upstaging the traditional ribbons, all Manner of swags and swathes can be purchased for adornment. So the next Wedding or Prom night there are options available.

As extras have always been tempting here is the second part of the Article on available spares from the years gone by, no GPS or Mobile phone here.

Douglas Bader is often shown driving or being driven in a 3 litre but not his first love.

From the Memoirs of George Clarke we are told he wanted a TA 14 Drophead.

A Carbodies Dhc. is making excellent in Canada but needs some bumpers, can anyone help. Foreign owners are usually very good at arranging shipping. This car was exported new so will be nice to see her out on the roads over there in due course.

Finally the news of a Hybrid Alvis on the main site reinforces the move to electric vehicles mentioned last year in my March 31 post with the ‘Electric Blue’ car employing Tesla crashed vehicle components.

Summer is on its way and maybe the Roadmap will steer us out of Covid 19 restrictions!!

Where did I park it????

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Farewell to Winter!!

Spring is springing and thoughts are now likely to turn to the garage and occupants.

21830 (Aunty May) has settled into her new garage and now the process begins to ensure that everything is to the standard required for a TA 14s comfort.

Amazing how garage doors have moved on from the old days of the draughty up over doors with their ample ventilation and lack of heat conservation. So the 2 old doors are to be taken out and an insulated sectional single door replacement should arrive to be fitted by the end of the month. Lots of extras available now including parking sensors, alarms, auto stop should the rear not be fully in the garage. Really like Christmas but before Meghan gained the expression it has always been (What Aunty May wants Aunty May gets!) like many other Fourteen owners know to their cost!

A similarly cherished car was the subject of an Article about extras in 1967. A combination of extras when new and retro fits with Part 2 next month. Not sure many map reading lights will be fitted new today.

One of the extras not available from new were seatbelts. It is not uncommon to see front seat belts fitted but not rear. Now seat belts have been fitted to the rear of Drophead in Australia for the control and protection of children.

These photos show the fixings and results. Further details can be obtained for any one having similar requirements.

Another browse around the Archives of 1967 produced an interesting page of Alvis advertisements, another world. Quite a few TA 14s for sale many with technical problems that may have hastened their end. Interesting the student wanting a TA 14 to commute between London and York. Obviously wanted a solid reliable car,

The Mulliners mentioned in last month’s post has been sold by Mathewsons at Auction for £2902. Hopefully she will be restored and not broken up but we wait to see.

In the event you missed out on JZ 9758 there is another nice restoration project now for sale on carandclassic.co.u.k. and the price looks good. The sale is not by way of an Auction and the £2996 asking price looks realistic with the vendor’s description of the car. Chassis no. 23382, KUU 378.

Also on carandclassic classic, 2 very nice Specials remain for sale but not quite at the asking price of a ‘Racing Green’ Special that was up for sale at a Bonhams Auction in America in 2016. So next time you get ‘What’s it worth’? you can nonchalantly say ‘one went for $214500!

“…. this Racing Green Engineering-built Alvis 3-Litre Special is based on Alvis TA14 chassis no. 21251; a chassis completed at the Alvis Motorcar Company in 1938. As was quite common for these cars, 21251 wasn’t fully assembled at the works until the immediate post-WWII years ….

FOOTNOTES

Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1948.”

Not aware of any TA 14s assembled before the War.

We were searching for the fate of this car in June 2019 and an eagle eyed reader has been able to add another piece to the TA 14 jigsaw.

The Dutch blue Drophead believed to be bodied by Veth remains for sale as does the Carbodies in poor condition.

For anyone seriously considering a Drophead the red car is very worthy of closer examination. For older Members of the Alvis Owner Club the registration ARB 14 may ring a bell. Yes it is the car owned by the late Ron Buck and the photographs remind us of what a Special Carbodies she is. Don’t miss out on this one.

Another ‘dream car’ is Marilyn’. On carandclassic but strangely not showing up when you put in TB 14 to search. She was listed on the 14th February and is an absolute stunner, the picture does not lie. She was the subject of an extensive restoration and now available in Australia for £55k.

Couple of restoration/Special projects available on the AOC site. TA14 Carbodies DHC

Restoration Project; requires engine rebuild. With V5 Historic Taxed until Jan 2021. Engines, gearboxes, other parts also available, please see below.

Jack Meredith 07808897117 or Peter Milne 07710 187410.

TA14 Mulliner 4 door Sports Saloon

Rolling body, good candidate for a special. With V5 Historic taxed until 2021.

Engines, gearboxes, other parts also available, please see below. Jack Meredith 07808897117 or Peter Milne 07710 187410

We have some spares required for an owner in Canada trying to complete their car so if anyone can help that would be much appreciated. Let me know if you can help and I’ll put you in touch.

Plate ref# Part Number Name Quantity

F55 C2515 Adjuster link LH 2

F56 C2516 Adjuster link RH 2

F70 C2539 Contact plate 2

F77 C2551 Expander unit, Tappet 1

F81 C2555 Expander unit, Roller 4

In the 1960s a Company called Ruddspeed made a series of decanters styled as classic car radiators. What a talking point. Sadly have not found one done as an Alvis radiator. They were sold in upmarket establishments such as Harrods but now fetch good prices on the pre owned market. This Bugatti example is perhaps the closest with a red top!

For those with an interest in the Tickford Model it is still possible to purchase a book about the Salmons Company of Newport Pagnell who were also Tickford Coachbuilders. This review highlights and recommends the book. There are second hand copies around but rather eye watering prices.

Only 299 shopping days until Christmas so put out a hint?

Idiosyncratic is a word used to describe our cars and this Article from 2007 pulls together some questions. Some we win and some we don’t!

The Alvis Census forms have now started to be delivered for recording so many thanks to everyone who filled them in. For anyone who missed the census for any reason let me know and I’ll send you a form. Don’t forget the people census also arrives in March so plenty to keep us occupied.

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring let’s hope Covid 19 allows us time with our cars.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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So what ever happened to the last 5 years?

It seems only yesterday that the focus for Fourteens was the 70th Anniversary of the start of Fourteen production. Now, in a totally different world we have reached the milestone of 3/4 of a Century. It was good to have the Celebrations for the 70th at the time as reports today are indicating that many restrictions will remain in place for 2021 and potentially running over into 2022.

The tidy TA 14 Mulliners, chassis 22281 was sold at Auction in December by Brightwells for £5284. Not a lot for this nice looking car.

Earlier in the year the 3 Woodies mentioned in the September Post made

£14652, £5106 and £6105 respectively at Auction.

The racy 3 1/2 litre TB 14 was sold at Auction in November for 57000 dollars.

Not with the original engine but quite a fearsome beast. Amazingly the car has not had the ubiquitous drinks cabinet fitted…..yet!

Another TA 14 Mulliners Saloon chassis 21464 has resurfaced after a long hibernation with her owner in Northern Ireland. The car has been with the same owner since the 1970s and for over 41 years the engine has been turned over by handle every month. The car is for sale with Mathewsons of ‘Bangers and Cash’ fame, a good place to sell cars suitable for restoration.

The Auction is to be held virtually on the 5th and 6th February and the quite price is £3500-£4500. The car appears to be complete and should be a good candidate for restoration. Originally exported to Eire she has lived for most of her life in Northern Ireland under registration JZ 9758 so perhaps a good buy for a rapper?

There are only 4 TA 14s shown on the carandclassic website at present.

One Carbodies for restoration, Doris the very tidy Mulliners Saloon, the Blue car in Holland and a racy Special. 2 Saloons are on offer with eBay.

Alvis were always known in the 1940s for the quality of their engineering. Whilst Fourteens were being prepared for the production line work was also proceeding with the marketing of the Leonids engine.

An interesting short ‘you tube’ video shows the engine components beautifully laid out and a wonderful flying demonstration by the parent helicopter. It’s well worth watching.

Before you leave ‘you tube’ try this one for interesting viewing.

Proceeding around an abandoned farm and then coming upon a Brooklands Woody commissioned TA 14 someone has started to restore. Hopefully the car is not abandoned.

The Fourteen chassis is highly regarded in classic motoring circles and is certainly no lightweight. Pity then this poor Mondeo having to take chassis 21889 to be ‘dipped and coated’.

For the garage a moisture sensor can be fitted with some new Sectional electric garage doors. Drive in with a wet car or if the garage became damp, the door will open a few inches and lock itself to allow moisture out. Once the humidity is down to the required level the door will close and lock itself. Possibly giving the car a good rub down with a leather might be a cheaper alternative for the odd times they return home wet.

Tyres are always a perennial topic and interesting to see the new laws coming in for HGVs, buses, coaches and any single wheel for minibuses for 9-16 passenger seats. Tyres over 10 years old now become illegal on front axles for 1st February and all single wheels for minibuses. For our cars we still have no tyre age limit but are urged to check the tyres regularly.

Whilst we are still in the depths of winter it is still nice to pay regular visits to the occupant(s) of the garage. Often to be recommended for the cold owner is a nice cup of Ovaltine. The ski slopes of Zermatt are home to an enhanced version- Ovomaltine mit Rhum. Thoroughly recommended by all who have tried it and allows for longer spells in the cold garage.

To bring a smile to our faces these photos of the Woody on chassis 21410 show happy summer days in the 1950s albeit the quality is not good. The girl in the photo always had very happy memories and loved the car

Finally to anyone reading with an involvement with the NHS, a heartfelt thank you to you all for keeping going through these difficult times.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this from an Alvis enthusiast sums everything up perfectly.

 Keep Safe

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Happy Christmas

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and lets all hope 2021 turns out to be a much better year than 2020.

It was meant to be a year of celebration – the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Alvis Motor Company by T G John. Alas all celebration was derailed by the Covid 19 pandemic.

From a personal standpoint Terry and I have been fortunate to have weathered the storm  so far but a house move has absorbed much of our time in the latter part of this year. ‘Normal service will be resumed’ now we are back to a semblance of normality.

The BBC used to show a potter at his wheel or a test card on such occasions!!!

Should have been a picture of a fourteen!!!

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin

You could be sitting in an Alvis chair if that is the case. The retailer, Benchmark, describes the chair as

‘The Alvis range is smart and luxurious with clean lines. The frame is made from solid oak with a natural white oil finish. The arms display beautiful comb joints and are a perfect width to rest a glass. The seat and back cushions are traditionally sprung and very comfortable.
We can upholster it in a fabric or leather of your choice. Bespoke timber finishes are available.’

Terence Conran is one of the founders of Benchmark and he selected the name.

The Times recorded the chair as a design classic in 2004.
‘I have selected the Alvis chair, a recent Conran design because it seems to sum up the essence of the modern yet opulently comfortable. Alvis, some say, was the best ever British motor car …’.

Sadly news has just come through of Terence Conrad’s death today.

So for the long winter months maybe this considered purchase could keep you close to your Alvis? A chair in matching leather or fabric to the car could be rather nice.

What do you call 3 TA 14 Woodies for sale at Auction? Not sure of the official title but certainly tasty!
CCA Auctions have their on line Auction on the 18th September and viewings are available Monday-Thursday 14th-17th September by appointment.
The Woodies to be auctioned are described in considerable detail on the Auctioneer’s website at classiccarauctions.co.uk and there are plenty of photos.

Lot 515 is a Barnard and I recall it being at Red Triangle at some stage. Chassis 20593, GVF 535. Estimate £9-12k.

Lot 540 has no reserve, chassis 20772, FA 8690.

Lot 541 is another Barnard and is described as a restoration project. Estimate £6-8k. Chassis 20623, JSV 648.


Very useful condition reports, photos and information are provided by the Auctioneers.

Should a smart older restoration Mulliners with good provenance suit the bill, how about one formerly owned by Lancelot Lionel Ware OBE? He was one of the founders of MENSA so quite a unique car. She is for sale at Auction on the 3rd October with Mathewsons of ‘Bangers and Cash’ TV fame. Full details and lots of photos at mathewsons.co.uk and no guide price yet.


As always a good selection of Fourteens for sale on carandclassic.co.uk.

We are still trying to identify the chassis number of this elusive German TA 14 Special in order to update the records. These photos were taken at an event in Germany in 2011, do you know the contact details for the owner?

The Saloon with the tram photo in the last Post has now been confirmed to have been driving around Edinburgh and not Glasgow so an edit will be made. Eagle eyes identified the trams as belonging to Edinburgh so many thanks. Another photo with probably a Maroon Fourteen has now been received from France showing such a different world to the crowded roads today. Can anyone read the numberplate?

Another photo arriving from France shows a nice aspect through the front window of a Worblaufen or Graber bodied TA 14 at the 1948 Geneva Motor Show and emphasises how modern some TA 14s were.


Trouble is you can find a couple of hours have disappeared whilst you then go on to the next interesting historic car clips on You Tube and the next and the next.

‘Driving through old London 1950’ shows a Grey Carbodies with a fawn hood parked at the side of the road. The clip is most enjoyable to watch and lasts 5 minutes twenty seconds. The Carbodies comes up at about 2 minutes twenty seconds but don’t blink. Can anyone identify the numberplate?

In the May 2020 Post there were details about the first edition of a book about Carbodies by Bill Munro.
Bill is now working on a second edition due to be out for Christmas 2021. There will be an expanded Section for Carbodies TA 14s and a special price will be offered for pre orders to Members of the Alvis Owner Club.
Interesting information from Bill confirms ‘Alvis was in the frame for building the engine for the Ferguson R5, but that project was abandoned.’ So would the Ferguson have been entitled to be treated the same as the Alvis engined Healey? In 1950, he (Harry Ferguson) started a new company, Harry Ferguson Research Ltd, with the aim of creating a safe family car with a four-wheel-drive system. The resulting R5 was at least forty years ahead of its time both in the technology it incorporated and in its overall design. Comfort and responsiveness were also significantly ahead of contemporary cars.

They did make the axles for the Novi-Ferguson 4WD Indy car of 1964 so that is something else for flying the Alvis flag.

A very nice Tickford, chassis 23249 has now been sold in The Netherlands and is relocating to Germany. Interesting to note that there are German requirements affecting trafficators and indicators. Unlike Britain where we can potter around with non flashing trafficators, in Germany the flashing lights are mandatory for the local cars.

A second generation Carbodies owner has just completed a respray of his car following a long restoration. As the car was bought back into the family it must be wonderful to see her back in the colour you knew as a child. A paint flake to the original Maroon was colour matched so if anyone is intending a Maroon respray at anytime in the future I can put you in touch with the owner and his paint supplier. I understand Red Triangle can also spray to the originally specified paint colour.

Classic Car Weekly around the 27th August, page 8, contained an Interesting letter by the Motoring Historian for the AAT about the first deliveries of TA 14s.
Obviously impressed the magazine staff as he was awarded a bottle of Autoglym!

A very nice Mulliners has recently changed hands in Australia and is now driving around in lovely surroundings. Just the place to have a set of White Wall tyres that set the colour scheme off so nicely.

There is a 1 kilometre drive down a dirt road to get to the main road but looks like this TA 14 just takes it in her stride.

Hope all goes well with everyone in these difficult times.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

 

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Sad News

The news has just come through that one of the giants of the Alvis World, Ken Day, has passed away just short of his 100th Birthday.

In May 1988 Ken was made President Emeritus of the Alvis Owner Club. The former Chairman and newly appointed President acknowledged the huge contribution he had made to the Club.

On a personal note, I first recall memories of Ken when I was a child. My father was one of the silent majority who did not participate in AOC events due to health reasons but it was one of the highlights of the month for him when the AOC Bulletin dropped through the letterbox. Ken’s words on various Alvis topics would then be shared with me and enjoyed until the next Bulletin.

Later on when I first met Ken at one of the South West Alvis Weekends, I was positively tongue tied as for myself it was close to meeting Moses. Ken was ever gracious to the tongue tied young Member and we met up over the years at Alvis events.

Ken was the backbone of the Alvis Owner Club for many years and probably without him it might have folded. When he was made President Emeritus of The AOC it was with the universal endorsement of the Membership at the time. Ever gracious and honourable it is hard to think we shall see his like again.

Our condolences go to his widow Sheila who was such a rock and support to Ken over the years and to his family.

——————————————

Many cars made the effort on VE Day to fly the flag even if for many it was to the end of the drive and back.
One of these was Samantha, a very well known Carbodies, Chassis 23461 who has been with her current owner since 1964. 2024 will be her diamond anniversary!

Don’t forget we have VJ Day coming up on the 14th August, so we can remember the ‘Forgotten Army’.

The Fourteen family

Other interesting photos to come along have winged their way from the South of France. This historic photograph of a Mulliners saloon was photographed driving around Glasgow going about its business. Does anyone know who she was/is?

 

One more for the detectives is this picture of a Mulliners Saloon lying derelict in a scrapyard somewhere. Do you know where she is?

The web link is https://youtu.be/ZWXuMOON_dU but it is sad to watch these unloved vehicles rotting away.

The very nice Mulliners Saloon, Doris, has reappeared on carandclassic up for sale for £12 750. Let’s hope she finds her new home soon.

The unique and rather stylish Saloon, chassis 21060 has now been sold at Auction for £10125 including buyer’s premium. She did not reach the reserve of £10_12000 plus buyer’s premium. Someone has got a very nice Fourteen for a good price.

The alvisoc.org site has 3 TA 14s available for sale, two Mulliners and one Tickford so worth a look if you are considering a purchase, carandclassic.co.uk also still has a selection.

The Section on this site ‘Articles Index’ has been updated and contains a larger alphabetical index to the majority of the old Alvis Owner Club Bulletins. The index can be cross referenced to old paper Bulletins or the DVD or Stick of the old Bulletins that can be acquired from The Alvis Archive Trust for about £30. The money goes towards the funds of The Alvis Archive Trust, alvisarchive@btinternet.com and a wealth of technical Articles are then accessible from the early 1950s.

A former owner is trying to find if his Mulliners TA 14 is still around.
Last known under Danish ownership she may no longer carry her British registration number NNO 57, chassis no. 22048. Can anyone help locate this car?

Hot off the press today is the result of The Silverstone Classic online Auction. Lot 328 was a Duncan, chassis 21646 with an estimated sale price of £27000-£30000. Price was £27000 plus buyer’s premium of 13.5% excluding VAT.

It is lovely to get pictures of cars with their early owners but one of the Owner, Designer, Coachbuilder and Artist, Dominic Frederick all in one is pretty amazing.

It would be lovely to come across a colour photo of the Van but maybe Photoshop might give some idea as we know the bodywork was cream with the name Frederick’s in green red and gold. 21 fully framed chrome windows were installed and the interior decorated with hand painted roses of all colours.

This Ice cream van was not screen printed but hand painted, a true work of art and the whole project took 2 winters to complete during the low season of demand for Ice Cream. The Ice Cream must have been pretty good as the Company is still going in the North West. Sadly none of the 3 Ice Cream vans have survived and what a loss that is, this one was worthy of a place in The National Gallery.

Mixed Bag

Barton Motors of Preston were Dealers for TA 14s and are shown as still going strong. Hopefully not too many TA 14s were converted!

For those still mainly at home there is a project that could prove to be very useful by creating a home Foundry.

2 delightful ‘girls’ are currently cruising down to the Antipodes and all being well should arrive within the next 3 weeks at their new home in Oz. Our cars go all over the world backwards and forwards. Hopefully pictures of their arrival next month.

Many Alvis Owners will have many fond memories of the late Ernest Shenton, holder of many high offices with the Alvis Owner Club.

This superb photo of a Wyatt Woodie appeared as a centre fold in the AOC Bulletin 494 in 1995. Below is the very interesting and personal response from Ernest and shows how many interesting connections there were and still are in The Alvis World.

British Woodie Car Club is alive and well and can be seen at woodiecarclub.com. They are keen to have new Members with or without a Woodie as long as there is genuine interest in the breed. Also in the introduction you will see that they can advise on the specialist maintenance and restoration of these beautiful cars. Just don’t call them a Woody!

A Carbodies owner, chassis 22160 in Sweden is looking for some spare parts for his heater unit.

He has an original heater fitted in the Fourteen, but the hose connections, pipes etc. are not original. He is now trying to find the parts that were listed in the Parts Catalogue.

He is especially looking to find the original heater valve with controls as seen in the enclosed picture. But other related parts are also most welcome. I can put put anyone who can help in direct email contact with the enquirer and p&p will also be paid.

The Alvis TA 14 Anniversary Collection remains available to purchase in book form from the Alvis Owner Club, email alvisoc.org/shop. Written by 2 of the most knowledgeable Alvis TA/TB 14 fettlers it contains a wealth of information and is an essential part of the TA/TB 14 owner’s library of technical books.
It is printed in A4 format on quality paper and has lots of colour photos. There are over 200 pages of technical and owner help and advice. A full reprint of a brake overhaul manual, the complete set of the Alvis works drawing office data sheets, and much much more. The book sales are handled by the AOC shop, the cost is about £25 plus p&p. It is sold on a non profit basis. Wonderful idea for the Christmas present list if you do not already have a copy.

Finally, whilst writing this Post, I kept thinking about our resident Tickford ‘Aunty May’ and how many times she and Samantha (mentioned towards the top) must have met up over the years. A quick flip through the photograph albums and there they are together at Crystal Palace 1970 and they haven’t aged a day.

Keep Safe in these difficult times.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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On the road again!!

Further releases of Lockdown beckon and for many thoughts now turn to the open road.
Camping will restart on the 4th July so maybe time to pack up the Alvis and travel.
‘Auntie May’, Chassis 21830 took a trip from Kent to John a Groats, Cape Wrath and back again in 1968 and proved an admirable packhorse for everything including the kitchen sink. Hard to believe she was only 19 years old at the time, even harder to believe the oldest Alvis was only 48. The roads in the North of Scotland were under going a Crofters Redevelopment Programme to eliminate the small ferries. Not a pleasant feeling being the last vehicle off the tiny ferry and feeling the deck lifting up at the front. Evidently a few lorries found their way into the Lochs by sliding off the back.

For those travelling further afield a recommendation can be made for JD’s British Cars, Auto Repair Shop, Nashville, Tennessee. With TB 14 23588 shortly to leave after restoration looks like there will be another very satisfied customer and happy car.

Hopefully the owner will steer clear of the exploits of another TB 14, chassis 23545 that proudly demonstrated luggage carrying capacity by transporting a wardrobe! Who ever said a TB 14 had limited carrying capacity! The owner at the time was a certain ‘Apsley’ who drew the Cartoon below.

IT TRIED TO BITE ME!!!!

To complete the TB 14 theme, nearly 20 years ago chassis 23555 was meandering through North Carolina and in the middle of nowhere comes across ‘Alvis Road’. Shown pictured in Alvis Road. You will notice the different bonnet line to accommodate a rather large American replacement engine. See ‘Cars of Interest’ for more information.

How many Alvis roads are there? I have one not far away.

For anyone thinking of selling or buying at Auction in the South of England, Hobbs Parker of Ashford, Kent has a link with Fourteens. Just mention TA or TB 14s and you will be dealing with the son of a Mulliners owner,  chassis no. 23256.  Hopefully with Lockdown easing she will finish having her respray.

This month only at Hobbs Parker there is a nice 12/60 for Auction on the 17 July along side a goodly range of low/mid price vehicles.

A nice Carbodies Drophead, KGF 85 has been added to the cars for sale on carandclassic and is ready for the new owner to drive away.

Has anyone respayed a TA 14 Maroon to match the original Glasso paint number of 119897. An owner would like to get the most original match possible for his family car.

A Fourteen enthusiast also provides a carpet service to make carpets for Fourteens and has just completed a set for a Mulliners Fourteen Owner who is very pleased with the results. Based in the North West I can pass on any enquiries. There is a pattern for Mulliners Saloon cars so if your old carpet no longer exists this could be very useful.

The TA 14 Saloon, chassis 22979, immortalised in a rug design last month, spent time as a feted exhibit in the Saratoga Automobile Museum, New York, not to be confused with the Sarasota Car Museum in Florida. Sadly she did not form part of the permanent collection and was put up for sale. Understand the car is still in America.
The owner who donated her to the museum was a traveller and in Italy he found this interesting advert for Orange Juice.

Ever fancied an Aston Martin Volante, Vantage or perhaps even stretch to a Superleggera all the while remaining in the Alvis fold? Well in 1950 it nearly became possible. Alvis were having a lot of problems with their Tickford supplier, a subsidiary of Aston Martin, so much so that they considered buying out Aston Martin at the time. Bet Tickford owners never realised they could say ‘bodied by Aston Martin’!

Maybe not an Aston Martin but how about a Wolseley Fourteen?


The Alvis Dealership of Waterhouse of Bradford took a number of TA 14 running chassis and the majority but not all were bodied as Woodies. 2 examples, chassis 20961 and 21376 received Wolseley 14 bodies resulting in Fourteens of the style below. Sadly these cars are lost but with the regular appearance of Barn finds, who knows.

Talking of Barn finds yet another TA 14 has surfaced into the known world. Chassis 23065, DFV 91 is sadly believed to be beyond restoration but may live on in some form in the future. Good to be able to add another one to the known list.

Even better is an Australian Garage find that surfaced on Facebook and is being investigated.

The stylish theme of the times was emphasised by this period advert showing a distinctive Dick Tracy theme.

As always the proverbial Cross Ply versus radial rumbles on. Fortunately never to have low profile tyres added to the equation. Always worth remembering that radials take the car about 1 inch nearer the ground and the dreaded scraping! Need to ensure that the Springs are not worn.

With the hottest days of the year just behind us and no doubt more to come the topic of Cooling fans becomes of greater interest.

Finally with Dentists starting to open Surgeries and treat patients let’s hope there is no Virus second wave to close them and leaving us to rely on Alvis Dentistry as demonstrated by a straight eight Front Wheel Drive Owner.

Hopefully not!

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Clearing Out

It appears that the Nation’s Garages, Sheds and home Offices are getting sorted through and tidied up as a National Pastime. Apart from the overall pleasure of clean tidy spaces, useful material has been turning up.

One such example is that from an Allard Owner, ‘Nick’ who has manned the Allard stand next to the Alvis stand at the NEC. In sorting out his garage he came across the Driver’s Manual and Spares Catalogue for chassis 22772, registration no. JVU 839. With the neighbouring link at the NEC in mind he very kindly got in touch and offered to donate the items, hopefully to the current owner. Sadly we lost touch with that Mulliners Saloon many years ago and it is very unlikely she has survived. All is not lost as records show the engine went into chassis 22103 and we are now waiting to hear back to see if the engine still exists and the Manuals are of interest. Visit the Allard stand at the next NEC Classic Car Show and say hello to Nick for an introduction to our alphabetical neighbours. I did suggest he could buy a Mulliners Saloon to match the Manuals but Allard loyalty ran too deep.
Even better results came upon opening the Manuals with this copy page from British Motor Cars 1950/51? Was the owner contemplating buying a TB 14?

From Sweden come some superb historic photos resulting from a sort out before a move to new business premises.
These 2 photos are of Airflow, chassis 20804.

Another historic photo that has come to light is this charming one of chassis 22863. The child industrially cleaning the car recalls the day and is says she is watched by her brother and her best friend in her posh frock.

A further historic photo shows the first Mulliners, chassis 20553,  exported to Hubert Patthey, the Swiss Dealer. The car is being loaded onto the ship at Dover.

In the Covid 19 Spring Clean the rag bag contents may resonate with this poem from ‘Unbalanced Cranks’ (W H Charnock). The contents can cause nostalgic memories whilst polishing!

Once everything is smart, consideration can be given to adornment of the walls if appropriate. One excellent company that can be recommended is Whitewall.com in Germany. Primarily in the modern frame/frameless style on  acrylic, aluminium and quality paper.   They offer superb quality pictures in a range of modern styles and finishes with a very fast turnaround service. Have won the best photoprint lab. in the world award

For many years there was uncertainty as to how many of elegant Graber 2 door Coupe bodies were fitted to TA 14 chassis. 3 was the number agreed upon and no better confirmation could have been provided than from the great man himself in this letter from 29th April 1964. Recently some other European car researchers have tried to claim only 2 Graber bodied TA 14s so hopefully they will catch sight of this letter.

TA 14s continue to be available for sale on carandclassic.co.uk. 3 Saloons, 2 Dropheads and a rebodied car are on offer. In addition not on the TA 14 Section there are a Duncan Fixed Head Coupe and a nice looking Jones Woodie so scroll down and browse to whet your appetite.

The Mulliners TA 14 Saloon, chassis 22829 for sale at The Motorist.
This business based near Leeds is run by the grandson of Ron Spinks, owner of ‘Bluebell’ the delightful Tickford who has stayed in the family and now resides with his grandson. Bluebelll is definitely not for sale. Details of the Mulliners and the services offered at The Motorist can be found at themotorist.com.
Described as a Luxury Car Showroom selling Classic Cars, Workshop and Weekend Cafe this should be an interesting place to spend some time once the premises are able to reopen to members of the public.

eBay also has some of these cars for sale plus a useful quantity of individual spares including body panels and wood trims.

Spares still needed for the Mulliners in South Africa include;

A sunroof
2 Nave plates
Manifold
Horns
Air Filter for chassis number 20674.

A check back on the main alvisarchive.com site to the entry on the 17th May shows a very useful Article about throttle linkages and getting sidetracked, the latter ringing a particularly loud bell.

One colour photograph that came through was of a particularly interesting car bodied by APA Ltd and being the only one of its kind. This car, chassis 21908, has remained true to its original Coachbuilding and resides in Germany. The AOC German representative knows the car well.

Whilst APA Ltd is not a familiar Coachbuilder to TA 14 enthusiasts there is a link to more well known Alvis Coachbuilders as the AOC Technical Advisor has described below.

‘A.P.A. was ‘Austin & Perks Aircraft’. They were the last remaining pair who were originally Cross & Ellis and occupied the old X & E works on Stoke Row, Coventry.They got a goverment contract to make panels for Blenheim aircraft during WWII. Postwar they changed their name to A.P. Metalcraft making the Alvis TB bodies and the sports Fourteen we are talking about.

It is so interesting that the participation in the Eastbourne Car Show in 1949 has resulted in photograph of the original owner, K T J Bone (Standing to the nearside of the car).

An interesting book about the Coachbuilder Carbodies may still be obtained and will be an interesting addition to the bookcase particularly for those who own or have an interest in Carbodies. Carbodies – The Complete Story by Bill Munro. 200 pages and published by the Crowood Press. At a price of £19.99 in 1998 it must be a good coffee table tome. 6 used copies currently available on Amazon.

A Company that specialised in SU Carburettors has over the years expanded considerably. Burlen Ltd., based in Salisbury are well worth a look on burlen.co.uk. This is a carburettor in a 12/70 just back in Germany from Burlens.

They are still producing new SU carburettors and cover the fuel system. How is this for a fine display?


A true British approach to the current pandemic appears on Burlen’s home page.

‘Chin up world we can do this.’

For the car or person who has everything came an idea for a carpet rug for their car. In 1997 the owner of chassis 22979 shared a picture and information about the rugs he had commissioned. With modern computerised production it should be possible to have something similar to go on the wall?

Our friends across La Manche have been busy.

The latest essential style accessory for the well dressed Alvis Owner has to be as shown below.


Will next month’s Post show the plastic visor with appropriate Alvis Logo?

Also to Rally with your Face Mask an interesting ‘AVAC’ French Rally Route was devised to comply with Lockdown. Full details for anyone interested in participation are shown below.

Finally we have the 74th Anniversary of the production of the first TA 14 chassis on Wednesday 26th June. Suffice to say that this truly momentous event was shortly eclipsed in July 1946 by the work of a French automotive engineer who invented the bikini. ( the name inspired by the Bikini Atoll nuclear test).

Keep Safe.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Fake News

Well the last ‘Post’ was out on 1st April!

Those who viewed ‘Electric Blue’ a month ago may have to wait awhile before the real thing takes to the road. The Christmas November Post shows the actual car and a salutary lesson against the old adage, the camera never lies. Thought 0-60 mph in 8 seconds might have been the giveaway.

That being said almost immediately after penning the last blog ‘Wheeler Dealers’ featured a 1990’s Maserati (with a written-off engine) being converted to electric. A bit of a trend as mentioned before in the US.

This all follows in the spirit of the 1st April TA 14 Racing Car as promoted a few years ago. That was picked up at the time by the sharp eyed AOC TA/TB 14 Technical Advisor. It was amazing what could be done with a Tesco Toffee tin and Photoshop!

Not an April Fool is the promotion of the new Pirelli ‘Stella Bianca’ Cross Ply tyre currently being promoted by Longstone Tyres. The 600 16 tyre fits perfectly as a physical replacement tyre for TA and TB 14s. Somewhat at odds with the performance of our cars the tyres are V rated and have a performance rating up to 149 miles per hour.
‘As well as looking right, the focus is to make it handle the way it should without having the vague wandering at high cruising speeds you can get from other cross ply tyres’.
Many owners find the long-standing Avon Tourist Cross ply an excellent tyre but the ‘Stella’ may persuade some owners to revert back from radials.
The Avon Tourist is EXEMPT from the EU tyre labeling regulation EC1222/2009 because, the tyre is designed to be fitted only to vehicles registered for the first time before 1 October 1990.

Two Mulliners Saloon owners have been put in touch with a fellow Alvis Owner who can make a set of car carpets for that Model. Should anyone else be in need of a set of Mulliners Carpets I can put you in touch to get a quote even if you do not have the old carpets.

There are several Fourteens for sale on carandclassic. The Dutch Special and restoration Dhc. are still for sale in The Netherlands. 2 Mulliners Saloons plus 1 original Saloon, NSK 779 that has an unknown Coachbuilder and a very pleasing appearance. A restored Woodie that appears to be very elegant plus one of the rare Duncan’s so quite a selection. A very nice Tickford Drophead Chassis 23718 is for sale on the AOC website.

Somewhat quietly on the 25th May 2019 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. The EU regulation was aimed at improving privacy and giving greater control over personal information and how it is used. It runs alongside the Data Protection Act 2018. Some vehicle dealers have taken the view that provenance contains names and addresses and that has been destroyed or not passed on. Under the 6 lawful bases that personal data maybe kept it is believed that the provenance of a classic car vehicle should enable such material to be passed on in full. Should you be seeking to sell or buy a classic car with a dealer it is worth checking their position on the matter.

As always, spares on carandclassic classic and eBay. Red Triangle offer quite a lot of stock on eBay, much of it new old stock. One day the rear ashtray may be as scarce as hens teeth but now there it is, new old stock.

An interesting photo of an Airflow bodies TA 14, chassis 20529 has come from a 1947 Motoring magazine and is a compliment to an existing photo with the same background. The benefit of the first photo is that you can see the numberplate. It appears that the photos were publicity shots for the Airflow bodied Fourteens.

We have been now been able to add the details of a ‘found’ TA 14 Mulliners Saloon, chassis 20866 to our records. Lost since she was exported to New Zealand in 1947. The sad part of the story is that although complete she is viewed as being beyond repair.

Back in 1995, our then Chairman, John Wheeley made a memorable observation about classic car enthusiasts that rather summed up the view at the time.

‘The old car owner, at peace with the aroma of St. Bruno, good ales, Castrol R and an old dog on which to wipe his hands …’; however, before
we are carried away by the rosy glow of an apparent gentler past.

This Carbodies, chassis 23425 was purchased in this state, in the same year.

The new owner said ‘having got the ‘atrocity’ home (to Gwent) he started cleaning out the debris of untold years of neglect and opened the offside rear ashtray where he found an empty condom packet. Upon opening the nearside ashtray I was rather less than delighted to find the remains of the condom itself!’

Some interesting TA 14 material again this month on the main Alvis Archive Trust site so well worth a browse.

It is good to see that the Alvis Pippin Blog is back after an absence of 2 years. Interspersed with views on life and boat maintenance is plenty of interesting material following the restoration and life of Carbodies 22814 living near Cambridge. This Fourteen certainly leads an active life as the following extract shows!

‘Well, of course , I did the Dick Dastardly thing of seeking a short cut.

Reverse back down the Fen Road for 30 yards, then hang a left down the old, unmade, poorly maintained, tractor rutted and deeply unsuitable for elderly classics track for 3/4’s of a mile to the next road which leads to a manually operated rail crossing nearer the village.

The “Treble Zero” did all that was asked of it, slithering and wobbling on it’s tired springs and superannuated shock absorbers, all the way to the lowered gates of the manually operated crossing.

Only to see another sodding train, heading from Kings Cross, parked firmly in the way and blocking the crossing completely.

Nothing for it, then, but to turn around and slither, wobble, bump and grind one’s way back to the other crossing where it all started.

We got there…………. (And with a full complement of hubcaps too!)’ I can feel many cherished Fourteens wincing at that driving description.

For more on this story go to wbpippin.blogspot.com

For any new readers to that Blog follow back in time for a lot of fettling tips and experience.
Finally 22814 is providing an essential service to our NHS as she ferries her owner (a key worker) back and forth to work at Addenbrooks.

Think of them at the weekly clap for the NHS and perhaps give them a toot!

Keep Safe.

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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Strange New World

Difficult to believe how much the world has changed since writing the January Post.
Many of us will be operating under lockdown conditions and finding more time available for indoor and garage pursuits. Not perhaps anything as energetic as the gentleman under this Pennock!

Now may be the time to sort out that corner of the garage and think about selling any surplus spares when the time is right. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say.
As mentioned on the main Alvis Archive Trust site, also a good opportunity to look at your paperwork relating to Alvis Car(s) and perhaps send us through some information/electronic photos etc. Paper photos can be digitised and sent through. Already since this appeal one owner has come through with TA 14 information. Sometimes a browse through old family photo Albums may produce car photos that may be of interest to various Car Clubs.

With the 100th Anniversary of the completion of the first 10/30 being 31st March, thought it appropriate to show the early 10/30 marketing brochure. Not a Fourteen but where would we be without her.

In what now seems a world away, visited a TB 14 owner in Nashvillle, Tennessee. This car has been in the family for over 50 years and is now coming to the end of a painstaking restoration. The car was purchased by in the U.K. by an American Military Officer and shipped to the US after his service in the U.K. finished.
As with many cars the idea was to restore the car but time went by as happens.
Now having passed to the next generation she is nearing the end of her restoration and she still needs a proper TB 14 boot handle if anyone can help.
Repainted with a colour as close as possible to the original red she will be an absolute stunner when she emerges later this year.

‘Bangers and Cash’ on featured the sale of 3 Alvis Cars last year. The great interest was the sale of the former Welsh Barn find, a red TB 14, chassis 23588. You may still be able to pick this up on UKTV Play.

Does anyone recognise the ‘star’ in the photo in the January Post at the Motor Show?

One of the other headlines has been the emergence of a Duncan that has been in storage for 60 years and has approx 12000 miles on the clock that is believed to be genuine. ADJ 1, chassis 21786 emerged to be offered for sale by Bonhams in their late March Auction. For obvious reasons the Auction was cancelled and sealed bids invited. The car sold quickly for £25 987 including buyer’s premium. In the event that the number plate was sold with the car the buyer probably has a free car and the car may well be put up for sale again.

It is wonderful that ‘Barn’ finds are still coming to light and adding to the sum total of known Fourteens and there will be more to come.

Interesting to note that the chassis number falls between 2 notable chassis numbers. Chassis 21785 is for ‘Mavis’ the lovely Mulliners that was the featured car at the 70th Anniversary Celebrations at International Alvis Day 2016 and also features in ‘Life of a TA 14’ see Headings. With time on hands interesting to see the history of all the work and invoices through the years.

Chassis number, 21787 is for another Duncan that was stolen in 1966 and never seen again. She was painted in the Summer Cream buttercup colour. Does anyone know of her whereabouts, KTF 234?

The Alvis Owner Club site has what appears to be a very nice Tickford up for sale, chassis 21936, engine 23718, for offers. As this car has had a full restoration it should be a very tempting prospect for a non fettler.

A good selection of Fourteens remain for sale on the Car and Classic Website.

We are still looking to help overseas owners with a sunroof for a Mulliners and window winder for a Carbodies. I can put you in touch if you have such a thing.

Often space can be at a premium particularly for storing large spares such as engines. One solution has been put forward to ease the pressure on space and indeed a whole book has been written to assist. ‘How to Build your own Engine Coffee Table’ by Gergely Bajzath.

Ideally make sure the item in question is clean unless gunge patina is your thing. Then think of the money you will save on furniture purchases.
Possibly an idea to check with other members of the household before installation unless it is a surprise 2020 Christmas present! (Details on Veloce publishing.)

Some interesting photos came through to the site and here is a little update.

Useful information in the January/February Alvis Owner Club Bulletin about the Duckhams additive to protect fuel system components including from Ethanol effects. Maybe worth trying some with the recommended 2 gallons of new fuel if the car has been standing for a while. Noticed in US that you can buy petrol with 10% Ethanol should you so wish! Price£12. 95.

For those who remember the December Post and the reference to electric cars, well this turned out to be rather prophetic.
Amazingly from across the pond there is now an electric powered Alvis. A TA 14 no less!!!

Keeping its stylish TA 14 looks but using a Tesla unit obtained from a crashed vehicle, the vehicle has been totally  rebuilt to meet the demands of its new electric heart and drives. Test track figures show a capability of 0 – 60 mph in just 8 secs. Further investigations are to be made to get in touch with the owner for more details. Should make a good Article.

Similar electric drive train fitted to another  classic.

In case we think this is very advanced, this electric cart was used by the super rich and famous members of the exclusive Jekyll Island Club, Georgia in the early 1900s. TB14 red???

Finally for anyone who has not yet picked this up from the main AAT site, reason for a smile in these difficult times.

Keep Safe and Keep Smiling!!!

eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com

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