Chat Room

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Hi All

A quick question. I am just having my interior trimmed for my 1949 TA14. However I am having a slight problem. In-between the rear seats and behind the armrest is a piece of covered 3 ply which has a flat spring steel plate on one end and a looped steel rod on the other end. I only have the remnants of this section left. I assume it was designed to slide on the back edge of the armrest (which has a groove in it that the looped steel seems to slide in) as the armrest is lowered and hide the bare section between the 2 rear seats. Under the spring steel are 6 separate pieces of 3 ply which are sandwiched between 2 pieces of vinyl. So this part of it is obviously designed to bend against the spring steel..

I have attached a couple of photos of my recreation from the remnants I had before it is recovered

sharman1 sharman2

My challenge is I cannot work out how it is fitted. I am assuming there is some type of pin that holds the front bent rod to the back of the armrest and the spring steel end seemed to have been tacked to something.

Any advice or photos of how this is fitted would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Bruce Sharman

 

Bruce Sharman permalink

I have a 1949 TA14 which I am restoring. I love the car, I hate the rotten timber. I have spent the last god knows how many years restoring the car as I dismantled it…………then I got to the body and discovered all the rotten timber. And was doing quite well till I checked the B posts. Shock horror the bottom 6 inches no longer exists. So in removing the Left hand side B post, the top framing timber cracked and a big piece fell out. I have been pondering my Pillarless TA14 for at least 6 months trying to work out how to solve replacing this top timber. It seems almost impossible to get out as the gutter is nailed to it. Of course the gutter nails are pretty rusty and would never go back into new timber, and they seem to be sandwiched into the gutter. So if anyone out there has any ideas I would much appreciate their advice.

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alvis1949 permalink

Hi Bruce…

Posting a request for help on the Club Forum and Facebook page would be a good way forward. Also a letter to the editor for help with a few photos may just get you the help you need, as the. Bulletin obviously goes out to all members. In your post you do not say which model Fourteen you have, but from what you have said, I’m assuming it’s a Mulliner Saloon.

Good luck
Steve Tillyer 4780M

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Bruce Sharman permalink

Hi Steve
yep it is a Mulliner saloon. Yeah i should check out the new club forum. i believe it is a lot better than the old one. Not too sure about the facebook page all it seems is a few guys posting pictures????
Can you explain what is site is for??

Chris Lever permalink

Bruce hi
The purists will hate me for this but millions of years ago when my father bought a TA14 from a breakers we replaced sections of the ash timber in the door posts with a mixture of fibreglass resin and sawdust- the result was unbelievably hard- could be “puttied” into the voids and held in place while it set with platic sheet over cut to shape hardbourd shuttering. ( Plastic sheet is essential to stop it sticking to the formers and to giove smooth finish )As a 14 year old it seemed a good fix as money was tight and it certainly gave a stiff pillar! This was back in the very early 60′s when bodgegy was alive and well but the car was used as daily transport for a number of years even taking us across europe to Yugoslavia -Once covered up it will never have rotted again that is for sure!
It is a bodge but one that kept us motoring in style! Maybe not the answer you are looking for but hopefully raises a smile.
Good luck
Chris

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alvis1949 permalink

Yes Bruce, certainly not one for the purists, but a bodge that obviously seemed to work for you all those years ago when money was tight and the cars were not worth very much at all. It would certainly be very interesting to see if that kind of repair has in fact stood the test of time.

Bruce Sharman permalink

Actually my car has been bodged in a similar way. The front left hand door pillar has rotted away and at some time in the past (my guess is the late 60s) the old rotten ash frame has been chiselled away. A piece of pine has been cut to fill the majority of the gap and then the fibreglass stuff has been laid over the top of this to roughly match the shape. The main problem with this bodge is that the fibreglass resin hasnt bonded with the timber. so allthough it has made the correct profile it hasnt added any structural strength. Is it possible to post pictures on here ? If so how? If I could work out how to do it I could add a picture showing the bodge. But this is a problem for another day. Actually part of the problem I have solved. I am currently restoring a Morris Minor traveller for a customer and would you believe the aluminium gutter that is used on the Traveller rear roof is exactly the same as the gutter on the TA14 and is still available. So i can now rip off the TA14s gutter and replace it with new. This will release the inner roof rail which i can then refabricate and replace and then nail a new gutter to it.

Chris Lever permalink

Keying the bodge filled section to the wood was from memory easily achieved by driving nails into the wood and leaving ends exposed for the resin to set around-

alvis1949 permalink

The Fourteen has for many years been regarded by some as the Cinderella of Alvis models. However, the Fourteen is certainly no pumpkin and Cinders as you know did get to go to the ball. Back in the Sixties & Seventies the old guard in our Club would often say to me, why don’t you get yourself a real Alvis – meaning I had two cylinders missing.

The Fourteen is slowly coming of age and is often referred to as the most reliable Alvis ever built. Ron Walton gave a talk last year where he reminded us that during the war years the factory used a 12/70 as their regular transport. This gave the Alvis engineers several years to develop their ideas on how to improve the 12/70 into a post-war model.

Today the Fourteen is gaining in popularity with those who appreciate it’s robust pre-war engineering and style, with prices, that although on the increase, are still affordable compared to their Speed model cousins.

Steve Tillyer 4780M

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David Wilkinson permalink

Hi Eileen, thanks for the Fourteen info, superb stuff, i see that twice as many Tckford dropheads survived as did Carbodies ditto (in percentage terms) One point— the description of the chassis has the line that the front axle is “live” I always thought that a “live axle” meant a solid one which carries the drive to the wheels, as distinct from driven independent suspension. If i should be right about this, it should say that “the rear axle is live”. I had another comment to make, but I’ve forgotten what it was, and as my son left today for Cambridge, I can’t get back on to your “blog”! Interesting comments from Dave Culshaw on the forward horns on JOF 198—sadly they were like it when I bought the car, she had had both front and rear end shunts before my time, and the horns rest on a home-made bar, and the lovely rear No.-plate box was gone! Surprisingly, no comment from Culshaw on my not refitting the sill decorations—I think she looks much better without! Best wishes, Dave

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Dave Wilkinson permalink

Going back to the “live axle” thing, surely what they meant to say was that “the car has a beam front axle”, to distinguish it from the independent front suspension of the Speed models

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

I am new to the Alvisarchive, this blog and a member of the Alvis club. My home is in west central Utah (western US) and am reasonably new to Alvis. With a bit of hunting and untold stories, I now own a project Carbodies DHC frame number 22369 and a Mulliner donor/long-shot project car, frame number 20880. My compliments to Eileen for the effort to get this blog off the ground and into cyberland. I am anxious to network with other of you TA-14 owners and learn as I restore the DHC. I know I will have many questions and will need a few parts sources as I go. Please feel free to assist and encourage me as I learn. I also get to repair the front door pillars and floor sills before I do anything. But all work will have to wait until I can dig the car out of our Utah winter snow.
Alan Dewsnup

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Bruce Sharman permalink

Hi Alan
I am doing a ground up restoration of my TA14 Mulliner bodies saloon so if there is any help I can give, just shout. Most of my car is restored. Still looking for a few bits for it and am stumbling a little with the timber frame. So i have taken a few months of while I restore a 1938 350cc Panther motorcycle. If it is of any interest I also can make a replica wiring harness for the TA14 using all original materials. I purchased one from Red Triangle a number of years ago when I was in the UK and it wasnt even close to the original. It was made from modern plastic cable and had modern fittings on it. So i use it as an example of what other manufacturers supply. My website is http://www.bygonesparesandrestorations.com. Has some pictures of my TA on it. My email address is twojshed@bigpond.com if you want to communicate directly with me. You will find they are magnificently built cars. The brakes are interesting, being all mechanical, but the build quality of each piece is superb. the same with the throttle linkage. I have manageed to source an original clayton (optional equipment) heater for my car so am tryiing to track down the correct rear cylinder head plate. The other thing which is proving difficult to get is the water pipe which connects to the water pump. It is a convoluted piece of steel pipe with a branch of it and being steel doesnt survive long. I have made a replacement one up out of copper pipe, but doesnt look too pretty. Last time i checked Red Triangle didnt have any of these.
Look forward to hearing from you
Bruce

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Bruce,
I will sure keep you in mind when I get to the wiring of the DHC. I will also be working over the weak spots of the wood before I do anything else. My wife’s mother is from Oz and grew up in Sydney. She still has the biggest share of her family in that general area. Do you plan to use wheel trim rings when you get to that point? Do records exist that would suggest what the original color of a given car would be? I would like to know what my Carbodies DHC was when new.
Alan

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Bruce Sharman permalink

Hi Alan
Thanks for the reply. Check the rear wheel arches, the boot lid and the A posts.This was where I found the worst rot in my timber. I think I will just stick with the hubcaps and wont bother with real trim rings. I dont think they were standard. I will paint the hubcaps as much of the early pictures I have found of the TA14 seem to have this. If you get in touch with the guys at Red Triangle and can supply them with your body/chassis number they should be able to check the build records for your car and tell you the original colour. I even have a copy of the original build records for my car from RT. They were very helpful.
Bruce

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Bruce,
I will drop some information to Red Triangle, as you suggest, and see if I can get information on my car as it was originally delivered. Do you know, were all new Alvis cars sold when they left the factory?
Alan

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Bruce Sharman permalink

Mine was shipped as a new car to Perth In Western Australia and has been here ever since. As far as I know it was purchased from a dealership in WA, who then ordered it from the factory for the customer. Not sure what you question is asking. Sorry
bRuce

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Bruce,
I probably was not real clear with my question regarding the origin of all new Alvis cars. I have not heard much of Alvis dealer structure. In America. if you wanted a Ford or Chev, you would go over to a local dealer and look at what they had on the lot….then buy what you could choose from. I wonder if you wanted an Alvis, would you contact the factory, place an order, then choose your body builder to build your custom body as Alvis didn’t offer “in house” bodies. I read on other Alvis forums that this or that new Alvis was delivered to a Mr…….John Doe of such and such address. I am just trying to understand how Alvis got their new cars into the hands of the public. Hope I did a bit better with my question on this try. I am not sure that any dealer ever existed in the USA? Maybe some multi-make dealers could make an order directly to Alvis in the day…I just don’t know. Maybe Eilleen has more input on this question. I just don’t think our cold is going to back off so I can pick up where I left off last fall, on the car projects, maybe another month or so.
Alan

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Bruce Sharman permalink

Hi Alan
My car was completed on 9 jan 1950 and delivered on 10 jan 1950, which i assume is delivery to shippers, not to Perth or the customer. I am not sure when it was ordered, which i would be interested in, to see how long from ordering to delivery took place.It was ordered by AP Melrose, who were Perth Agents for Alvis. Now somehow the merchant bankers Tozer,Kemsley and Millbourne of london were involved in the transaction probably arranging the finance as there was no internet banking back then. And the car was ordered for a Dr Dunn. Now whether AP Melrose had a demonstration model or not i do not know, so the car could have been sold from a catalogue. I have photographs of his showroom, it was quite small and he was an agent for Austin. In fact Aubrey Melrose raced an Austin A40 in the 50s. So it seems unlikely to me that he would have had space or the opportunity to have a TA14 on display to sell from. i have also seen a newspaper article where he shipped and unpacked a “Rolls Royce Bentley ” in 1949 from Sydney to Perth for a customer. He was a well known racing driver of both cars and motorcycles and raced on the Isle of Man so it is possible he made contact with Alvis when in the UK.
So my gut feeling in the case of my car is the Dr Dunn who lived near AG Melrose’s garage, ordered his car from Melrose who then ordered it from Alvis and arranged shipping and delivery of the car to the customer.
Hope this helps
Bruce

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alvisarchive permalink

Tozer, Kemsley and Millbourne were car exporters and now part of the Inchcape Group. They appear to have acted as car distributors in Australia. Does anyone have more information?

Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Bruce,
Thanks for the time you took to respond to my Alvis Agent question. You did a great job of providing information. Even though the TA-14 was a “bread and butter” car for Alvis, they were still very low production as compared to other British makes. I would assume per the information you provided about your own Alvis, the cars were probably ordered as sold by some form of Agent, but not actually a dealer in the sense that we understand “dealer” now. From what I am told, my Mulliner was sold and delivered to Portugal, but I do not, at this moment, have any other support information like you have on your Alvis. I have sent a note to the Red Triangle hoping they can share some specifics for me. When you ran your TA-14 last, how much valve clatter did you hear? I hope to have my engine running this spring and figure with solid lifters, I will experience more clatter than with a car having hydraulic lifters.
Alan

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bruce sharman permalink

Hi Alan
glad the info was of use, but yes i think you are right. They must have sold from catalogue or by word of mouth.
I have never had my engine running. When i purchased the car it hadnt been started in 30 years so decided to check the motor out first. Valve gear was all rusty, bottom of engine was ok. So I have stripped it down and had it fully reconditioned, new white metal bearings, new valves, new guides, hardened seats,rebore, new pistons, new rings etc etc. But from my experience of other pushrod cars from this period, they dont clatter at all. If they do there is something wrong. they will make a slight ticking noise especially when cold, but if you can hear them clattering, they probably need adjustment or the rockers need regrinding. I had a car with a V8 which had hydraulic lifters which clattered. I replaced the lifters and it still clattered. I never did fix it!!!!

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Bruce,
Now I am jealous, you having your engine rebuilt. My Mulliner was bought as a donor for the DHC as it had a “good engine”. It does appear to have new gasketing in it but I have no written history of repair so who knows. I do hope to get it running this spring, then I will know for sure. I have been on You tube watching a couple of running TA-14′s. Maybe they were worn out as they did have an elevated amount of valve clatter. I have had three cars with solid lifters, 1956 Ford 312 V-8, 1957 Corvette 283 V-8 (solid lifter) and a 1948 Chev. I-6 216. None of them were even close to as quiet as hydraulic lifters. However, I rather like the charm of solid lifters and what they represent, even if you have a bit more noise. Do you know, the next series Alvis TA-21, would they be hydraulic or are they still solid lifters? When do you think you will get to a first run on your TA-14 engine? That would be nice to see on You Tube!
Alan

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bruce permalink

Hi Alan
sorry for the delay in a reply. The next series Alvis all had solid lifters as far as I know. Hydraulic lifters I think were very much an American thing. I had never seen them until I came to Australia. I think most if not all British cars would have been solid lifters.
The engine is waiting to be assembled. I am still some way from having the body ready for engine installation. I dont like to assemble engines until the car is ready for them. Damp, condensation etc gets into them and can spoil an expensive rebuild if they are left sitting around. So it is all covered in a product called soft seal, awaiting the right time.
If I knew how I would post some pics of it
Regards
Bruce

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alvisarchive permalink

Anyone wanting to post photos, please email them to alvisarchive@btinternet.com preferably in .jpg
format with a detailed caption.

Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Bruce,
I recall that I lack proper horns for my DHC. Do you know of a near accurate replacement horn that will fit and look the part?
Regards,
Alan

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Dave Wilkinson permalink

Hi Alan, very interesting conversation between you and Bruce. As regards tappet clat ter, i’ve had my TA/14 rockers machined where the faces were pitted by years of wear, but they still make quite a noise. At an Alvis Day here in England I drove my noisy engine past two old-timers, and one said to the other,”That’s what an Alvis should sound like”, so I shouldn’t worry about it too much.Chris Prince in the Pink magazine might be able to supply horns second-hand, and Red Triangle have new domes and trumpets, or used to have them. I so admire you setting out to rebuild the car from scratch; I’ve had my DHC since 1967, but never had the courage to do ash-framing! Any mechancal stuff I’d be glad to talk about. Best Wishes Dave

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Dave,
I will check with Chris P. He has helped me a couple of times in the past with a few items I am saving up for the DHC project. Which model is your DHC? Does your TA-14 have the original trans and rear end gears? What speed can you comfortably drive?
Regards,
Alan

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Alan Dewsnup permalink

Hello Dave,
I should ask one additional tech related TA-14 question. What is your frank opinion of the mechanical brakes? It probably does no good to travel faster than you can safely stop.
Regards,
Alan

Like this:

22 Comments 
  1. Eileen Goddin permalink

    Thank you John for getting the blog underway, I hope it will be the start of an extra means of enjoying our fourteens and liasing with other owners.

  2. Mike Waslker permalink

    thank you for creating an interesting diversion on my computer! I have TA14 reg HAS 197 Mulliner saloon, definitely not concours but spoiled rotten mechanically. I use it very regularly to take muddy dogs for walks so I’m glad it’s not concours!. The traditionalists won’t like this, but I have installed electric power steering (unit from a Corsa B, with electronic pulse generator to operate the thing from a clever chap in Ireland), and a J type overdrive. It all makes the car far more “useable” on modern roads. More details on request and if I have the time to wtrite, Mike Walker

    • eileen4tatb14s permalink

      Hi Mike, many thanks for your kind comments, you have the honour of being the first person to comment on The Fourteen site. I am sitting here with a very nice picture of HAS sitting in the sunshine in August/September 2004. She certainly looks nice and polished but the headlamp glasses look a bit recessed but maybe it is the angle of the photo.
      I wonder if you have radial tyres to need the power steering, there was a big debate many years ago with some feeling that they made the steering heavy. Aunty May has always liked Avon Tourist Crossply tyres, anyway I think the power steering is the first I’ve heard for a TA fourteen.
      As you were the first to reply would you like HAS to be the featured car in my next blog? Nothing you need to do and I’ll do a complete check of the records and write the script unless there is anything you wish to write.

      • Mike Walker permalink

        Thanks for your kind comments. I am intrigued you have a photo of “HAS” as you put it. The recessed glasses in the headlights were plain glass that came with the car. I have now installed proper lenses curtesy of Chris Prince, but I have done the (perhaps unforgiveable) thing of installing into the shells two 7-inch Lucas lights (actually, the same as was fitted to classic British motorbikes, like Norton and BSA). I now have reliable, properly focussed main beams and non-mechanical dips (I have retained the original solenoid dip, though, even though it’s not wired up).
        Your question about the power steering – I have got Avon 16 inch crossply tyres (sometimes called “taxi tyres” since they fitted that size to London taxis). I found the car was not easliy “useable” in modern conditions, like trying to manouver into tight car parking spaces), I found the steering very heavy. Hence the electric power steering conversion, absolutely transforms the feel of the car (it takes out a lot of the “shocks” you get on uneven roads). The steering wheel (oh hum…) is not opriginal, being a wood-rimmed jobby but it looks OK – allowed me to install a stalk indicator/horn/dip switch.
        I expect by this time you are melting down with indignation but I have retained all the original parts (with the exception of the steering column and prop shaft, which I had to cut down) so a purist could put it back to absolutely original. By the way, I don’t hold entirely with this obsession with keeping old cars original if they are to be used and enjoyed on the road – for instance, we don’t need the ignition advance/retard control any more as petrol is so much better than it was just after the war, and you can’t now legally use the one-light dip-the other goes on main beam- headlights even in day light (it won’t pass an MOT). Question for the interested members – anyone know exactrly what is the position now about MOTs for these old bangers? Mike

      • eileen4tatb14s permalink

        The latest information I have is that contained on pages 10, 11 and 12 of the latest Bulletin, still says all vehicles manufactured before 01/01/1960 will be exempt but more discussions to take place. All the Fourteens left will have had a few modifications by now and you are right to keep the bits for a future owner. I kept quite cool until the old banger bit! By the way see next blog for the sunny photo.

  3. Neil Millington permalink

    Thanks Eileen for a most interesting and informative page. I`m still not happy with the term “blog” but I do realise it`s the way forward and a great way to communicate. Now all we need is for the remaining model secretaries to follow your lead!

    • eileen4tatb14s permalink

      Many thanks for your kind comments. Interesting you do not like the term blog as we are just having a debate as to what a blog actually is and we looked it up on Wickopedia earlier this evening Iit seems you can have several interpretations of what it is and it is still evolving. I think we are all going to have a settling in phase as to how it all works but I think the signs are very promising. This is my first attempt at a blog reply so here goes!

      • Perhaps to reflect the times we are recording we should call a blog a column and a post a contribution? Any other suggestions?

    • eileen4tatb14s permalink

      Many thanks for your comments. I did post a reply before but the reply box got stuck and then Rocketmail derocketed on Saturday. Anyway we are all learning!

  4. alvis1949 permalink

    The Fourteen has for many years been regarded by some as the Cinderella of Alvis models. However, the Fourteen is certainly no pumpkin and Cinders as you know did get to go to the ball. Back in the Sixties & Seventies the old guard in our Club would often say to me, why don’t you get yourself a real Alvis – meaning I had two cylinders missing.

    The Fourteen is slowly coming of age and is often referred to as the most reliable Alvis ever built. Ron Walton gave a talk last year where he reminded us that during the war years the factory used a 12/70 as their regular transport. This gave the Alvis engineers several years to develop their ideas on how to improve the 12/70 into a post-war model.

    Today the Fourteen is gaining in popularity with those who appreciate it’s robust pre-war engineering and style, with prices, that although on the increase, are still affordable compared to their Speed model cousins.

    Steve Tillyer 4780m

    • eileen4tatb14s permalink

      Yes and as we know who got the prince? No disrespect to the big disorder Wayne. What is also so nice now is that all Fourteens are now getting the respect they deserve.

  5. david sweetman permalink

    I learned to drive in my father,s TA14 drophead,1948,I think it may have been a Carbodies but could have been a Duncan.Registration began KTA but I am unable to recall the numbers!

  6. eileen4tatb14s permalink

    I only have two 14s with KTA, one is a Mulliners Saloon and the other is a Carbodies Dhc KTA 138, I think she must have been your father ‘s car.
    We have no record of any Club Members owning this car and she is lost to us. Hopefully she is tucked up in a barn somewhere awaiting discovery?
    I do have the original factory record card that shows she was originally light green with a fawn interior and fawn hood. she was delivered to South Devon Garages on the 12th July 1948.
    Other than the factory record card we have no photo and very little material on this car so if you have any photos or further information I should be grateful if you could let me have copies, email or snail mail is fine.
    Many thanks for your comment.

  7. david sweetman permalink

    Yes.KTA138 was fathers car.When he owned it we lived in Sheffield.The coachwork was at that time Black !but the hood and upholstery were fawn.He would have been the owner approximately 1960/61.We,the family,have asked our 91 year old mother to go through the family photographs and fingers crossed,some photos might eventually be forthcoming!I will then forward copies.Prior to the TA14 father owned a silver grey lady and we may discover some information on that at the same time.

    • eileen4tatb14s permalink

      Many thanks for this comment and look forward to seeing if you have any photos etcetera. The Grey lady information will also be most appreciated.

  8. Dale Hanley permalink

    Can anyone tell me how many 1948 Shooting Brakes are there in existence? Many thanks, Dale Hanley from a Land-down-under

  9. Dave Wilkinson permalink

    Hello Dave,
    I will check with Chris P. He has helped me a couple of times in the past with a few items I am saving up for the DHC project. Which model is your DHC? Does your TA-14 have the original trans and rear end gears? What speed can you comfortably drive?
    Regards,
    Alan

    Reply

    Alan Dewsnup permalink

    Hello Dave,
    I should ask one additional tech related TA-14 question. What is your frank opinion of the mechanical brakes? It probably does no good to travel faster than you can safely stop.
    Regards,
    Alan

    Hi Alan, sorry for the delay, haven’t been on the computer for ages– sometimes real life catches up! My car is a Carbodies DHC, original gearbox and rear-axle. I usually drive at about 40 mph, but have chased Andrew Robison in his saloon TA/14 at 50 or 55. Car seems quite happy .As regards the brakes, Eileen very kindly supplied me with the very comprehensive TA/14 brake manual, which must be worked through in the given order, start to finish, and the brakes are excellent now,,I hadn’t realised that such a manual existed until Eileen told me about it, and my brakes just didn’t respond to my amateurish fiddling at all! If sorted using the manual, the brakes are fine, but will naturally fade eventually if they get hot on long descents. Apologies again, and Best Wishes, Dave

  10. guysatchwell permalink

    Mike, re HAS 197 ( previously DST 18 ) . I have the factory spares book originally issued with your car. BUT……there’s a hell of a back story to it….rather than retype it all, I’ll simply copy and paste the text from my Facebook post today

    ………….

    Okay…this is complicated…but it’s worth it…honestly.

    About three years ago we bought a 1947 Alvis TA14 motor car ( reg GCG 144 originally registered in Southampton ) from an extraordinary guy called Patrick in Somerset ( who incidentally runs The Bakelite museum!!! ) He drove it as a daily car from the mid seventies to the mid eighties, having bought it from a bloke in the pub in Greenwich, who in turn said he bought it from the Lord Mayor of Lewisham ( no hard evidence for this one )
    Patrick put GCG 144 into store until we bought her in about 2010 in a bit of a sad state. In the glovebox was the original owners handbook and the factory Catalogue of Spare Parts. The latter however belonged to another Alvis TA14 registration DST 18, and in the front cover, inked with a fountain pen is the details of the first owner of that car;-

    G.S.Ferguson
    6 Swanston Avenue
    Edinburgh

    Anyway, back to the present. Last year, having moved back to Edinburgh, to an address about two or three miles from Swanston Avenue, I rehoused GCG 144 to a rented garage on a property in Bilston, belonging to Lynn, a friend of a friend.
    I got to wondering why the spares book for DST 18 ended up in the glove box of GCG144, I called Patrick, he says he thinks it was with GCG 144 when he bought it back in ’73.

    So;- Elaine goes to work today to try to trace what happened to Gordon Ferguson. Turns out he sold 6 Swanston avenue in ’74 and bought…wait for it…..the same property in Bilston that Lynn now owns. She bought it from Gordon Ferguson in ’82. It’s where GCG144 now lives with the spares book for DST18 in the glovebox!!!

    Elaine traced the Fergusons to a farm in Dumfries. I just phoned them. Got Gordons son in law who says Gordon died years ago but his wife only very recently. He then said “there’s a whole load of spares for that old Alvis in a shed on the farm, we don’t know what to do with them” !!

    I’ve made them an offer, it would seem highly appropriate all things considered if the remaining bits of DST18 end up as a spares stock for GCG144, which is by the way the only roadworthy Mulliner bodied TA14saloon left in Scotland.

    • guysatchwell permalink

      I’ve been led to believe it’s the only Mulliners saloon left in Scotland…..but I’d love to be proved wrong. HAS 197 is an old Nairnshire reg is it not? Are you still up there Mike?

  11. Mike Walker permalink

    Hello Guy Satchwell, what an impressive bit of research. You are right to say HAS 197 was originally DST 18. From my researches, it had an interesting history. My log book for DST18 has a lot of handwritten comments from “Major” Furguson, I think he live up in the highlands near Inverness. It is full of comments like “greased all round” which he later shortened to GAR. The history then becomes a bit vague, but I was contacted not so long back by a chap near Biggleswade in Bedfiordshire. He had moved the car from his brother’s garage in Scotland somewhere when his brother became ill. At some stage his brother recognised that the plate was worth something, and it got sold (presumably for “DST” on his 18th birthday!) and the current (non-transferable) number HAS 197 used instead. When I got the car it actually had two front number plates, with HAS 197 overlying DST 18. The chap from Bedfordshire got in touch with me as he had seen, and followed, “DST 18″ attached to a rather nice modern BMW saloon on the M1.

    I bought the car on ebay from a chap in Dumfrieshire about 8-9 years ago. He had acquired it from someone in the West Country, but I don’t know the history of that. There was a funny tale about getting the car back to Kenilworth, where I live. I had ascertained by email and phone that the car was in reasonable nick and had a current MOT, so I planned a mini holiday for my wife and self to go up to Scotland by train, spend a night there and drive the car over a gentle course of two days down the “old” roads, through the Yorkshire Dales, and on the Kenilworth. I had booked a hotel and everything. I must have been mad, assuming a so-called “roadworthy” old car would be capable of such a thing. It went about two miles before expiring completely (engine totally knackered). So, back it went and we returned in a train. The car was delivered on a trailer the following week. Obviously an engine re-build was top of my priorities, and I soon learned all about “re-metalling” with white metal and “line-boring”. The advantage of being near Coventry is that these old engineering skills are readily available.

    That’s about all the history I know, but it would be interesting to see (and perhaps have copies of) any documentation for DST 18. Regards, Mike Walker

  12. guysatchwell permalink

    Fantastic!!!
    Mike, I’d love some pics of HAS if you have them? ( guysatchwell@gmail.com )

    ALso…the story just got crazier…..The coincidences continue…….Gordon Ferguson appears to have acquired another TA14, a Drophead Coupe CHH 991, and pencilled that registration number in the front of the spares book alongside DST 18……now….wait for it…CHH 991 not only still exists!!!!But belongs to an elderly gent called Arthur,who lives near Galashiels and is a member of the Borders Vintage Automobile Club ( I used to be a member). When we first acquired GCG 144, and lived in Galashiels, I went to visit Arthur and look over his car to gain an understanding of some of the structural issues I was facing in the recommissioning of GCG144!!!

17 Responses to Chat Room

  1. Alan Dewsnup says:

    Hello All, I check in here on each of the evolutions that have involved the Alvis TA-14 forums/archive and now this new medium. Eileen, thanks for doing the work to get us to a point that we can converse with one another! Even though some of us are a “long drink of water” away. I am in process of getting set for wood work on the Carbodies DHC but have not, as yet, broke ground (or wood)…so to speak. I do have a question, is anyone else from the US visiting this forum? It would be nice to get a chance to travel and see another TA-14. I would like to go the other side of the pond for a visit, but that will not be for a while. Oh yeah, I will soon have another Alvis sharing home, a TA-21.
    From Utah, Alan

  2. alan bratt says:

    looking for all tb14 owners would love to liase with any fellow owners of this great little car owner of 23509

  3. Alan Dewsnup says:

    Hello Alan B., Does your TB-14 still have the factory two carb. intake? I would like to see how it is configured. My TA-14 Mulliner came from the factory with dual carbs. However, sometime in the past was changed to a single carb. set-up. If it is not a big deal, I would like to change back to the dual carb. configuration.
    Alan D.

  4. alan bratt says:

    hi Alan send me your email address and i will get some photos to you . my car doesnt have the manifold on at the moment but i should be able to get you something regards alan bratt

  5. Alan Dewsnup says:

    Hello Alan, Thanks for taking the time to respond. How complete is your TB-14? I looked once at a TB-14 for sale in one of the Carolinas (Eastern US). I decided to stick with the TA-14 DHC. Then I picked up a donor Mulliner sedan. It is this Mulliner that came from the factory with the two carb. intake. I intend to use all the best items from the Mulliner to put my DHC back on the road. My email address is: alsfarms@hotmail.com
    I await your information and pictures, please include a picture or two of your TB-14.
    Regards,
    Alan D.

  6. Alan Dewsnup says:

    Do any current owners of TA-14 models know if the window garnish moldings are the same between a TA-14 and a TA-21? Could you make comment as to any or other interchangeable items between the two sister models?
    Alan Dewsnup

  7. Alan Dewsnup says:

    Do we have the option of including pictures on the chat forum?
    Alan

  8. Hi Alan, only too pleased to include photos within reason but you will need to send them to me by email on eileen4ta.tb14s@rocketmail.com. Photos should preferably be not less than 300 dpi and no more than 2 MB size to assist download. The photos may be allocated to another part of the website eg. The Gallery but you can always reference them in the Chat Room.
    Thanks for your contributions!
    Eileen

  9. Hi Eileen. Just been looking at the TA14 Website now that I’m spending more time doing research. Great to see some publicity for these wonderful cars: well done for all the hard work. My 1949 Carbodies drophead 23461 is fast approaching 275,000 miles from new and I am drafting an article on “Fifty Years of Ownership”, having had the car since 1964. It is interesting to note the comments about driving speeds: I have always driven at about 60mph. This is particularly relevant on the long Continental trips that we do, as it would take forever to get anywhere! However, I do adore bumbling along, top down, at 40 – 45 on the wonderful French country roads when we are exploring. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi David,
      Glad you are enjoying the site and sorry for the delay in replying.
      Shall look forward to seeing the Article when it comes out and shall pop it on under Articles once it has been published in the Bulletin.
      ‘Aunty May’ enjoys cruising at about 55 mph on the open road, very relaxed and hardly any effort.

    • Tony Osborne says:

      Hello David,

      You may recall that we briefly ‘spoke’ about our Carbodies TA14, Alvira, a few years ago? We are planning an epic in ours for September/October 2016 visiting Mulhouse, Lake Constance, Brno, Kraków, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Trieste before returning back home to France, about 4300 km later. As you probably have more experience than anyone else in long distance TA14 cruising I’d be really grateful to discuss some of the mechanical (and other!) issues that you suspect are likely in such an adventure.

      Hope that Samantha is still going strong and that you cast your eye over this forum from time-to-time.

      Regards,

      Tony Osborne

  10. rodolfo says:

    Hi i’m Rodolfo, from Italy, i bought a few months ago the alvis ta14 drophead DHC (GSG 639), i would like to have some historical information about the car, maybe pictures or previous owners.
    thank you

    • eileen4tatb14s says:

      Hello Rodolfo,
      I do have details about your car which I will e mail to you. For my records it would be helpful to know your full name and address. Also if you can e mail me any photos of CSG I can put
      them on the website. Yours is quite a rare Duncan DHC.
      Kind Regards
      Eileen

  11. lucas says:

    hello,I have just acquired a 47 shooting brake JTV 600,does anyone know where the chassis number is or know what it is? its not on the plate on the bulkhead,thanks lucas.

  12. graeme rust says:

    Hi i think we met at the classic car show nec,

    I just dropped a headlight lens, after 10yrs of caring for it!

    Do you have a spare for a 14?

    The 9 inch lucas

    Or could you please guide me to someone who has.

    Gray

    Graeme Rust
    Barkla Farm
    St Agnes
    Cornwall TR5 0XN

    01872 552286
    07977 110886

  13. Andrew says:

    Hi my father owned 23558 (JGB 659) in the mid to late 50’s. I have some historical info and at least one period photo that may be of interest to the current owner (if the car is still extant). Thank you.

  14. No knowledge of the car since the 1960s. There was correspondence in Thoroughbred and Classic Cars June 1989, page 116, written by an owner from the 1950s S.Collier. Shall email you direct.

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