PLEASE NOTE THE POSTS RUNS CHRONOLOGICALLY UPWARDS
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Posted on January 23, 2014 by eileen4tatb14s
Christmas and the holidays now well behind us and back to matters Alvis and Fourteen.
After last month’s blog I read through the biography of James Mason but only found one comment that he drove very fast in his sports car so no further on identifying which TB 14 he owned.
I received a lovely photo of the Tony Bros of Acton Ice Cream Van and this is now posted up. Took a while browsing the Internet and learning what a lovely family they were and how fondly remembered by staff. There was even a reference to the Valente family who may have been the Valentes who started and ran an Ice Cream Parlour for many years in my home town? Sadly no further pictures of the Van. Another interesting side story relates to Vincents of Reading. It appears that they were horse box makers to the Royal Family and also coachbuilt a few Rolls Royces in addition. The TA 14 Woodie with the Vincents of Reading badge on the dashboard was actually manufactured by Gaze and retailed through Vincents.
I have been communicating with a new Member of the Fourteen family. Undecided he was wondering whether to buy a Tickford or Carbodies TA 14 or to go for a TC21/100. Well what other decision could he make he is now the proud owner of both the Tickford and the TC21/100! He has parts of Tickford TA14 hood but does anyone have drawings/plans of the hood, he would be very grateful.
We also are looking for a Woodie in Scotland who might be interested in attending the Scottish Game Fair this year? Historic Vehicle Display, Scone Palace, Perth, Scotland, 4,5,& 6 July. See www.scottishgamefair.com for more details. Similarly Charles Mackonochie is looking for a TB14 to join him on the Fougeres Rallye 23 – 26 May around the Brittany coast. Details available in the AOC Pink newsletter.
I found it interesting to Google the site where ‘Aunty May’ first lived, quite nice to see her garage back in the 1940s so can recommend this pastime to add another piece of the jigsaw to your car’s history.
We have added some more photos to The Gallery and other sites. We shall shortly be coming out of the large group of Woodies and onto Duncans and more Dropheads. As we are working through one batch of photos when this one is finished we shall start again with the next batch. I am also hoping to get clearance to post up a lovely set of black and white photos, from the post war factory days, so hopefully soon.
Having got a charging problem with ‘Aunty May’ an internet search uncovered a useful Lucas publication on generator and control box testing this has now been posted in the Technical section. Hoping this endless rain will ease up sometime soon, at least there should be no hosepipe ban in the summer for washing cars!
13 January 2014
Original Publicity PhotosClick on images to enlarge, further click on pixel size to get full size photo!
Motor Mecca of Magdelan Road Exeter were Alvis Agents and Albert H Warren kindly donated a number of items to the Club many years ago. The following gallery of ten photos includes some Tickford, TB14 and Duncan photos and one which identifies a number of important Alvis people:
8 December 2013
The budding Sherlock Holmes out there may be able to help us in our quest to find the identity of the TB 14 shown in the Celebrity Cars Section advertisement with James Mason. Was the car part of his own private collection as we thought or was it provided as an advertising prop for the photograph. We know that in 1961 it was left hand drive and white but was it always thus? Checking the available Factory Record Cards and the Guarantee Cards does not produce a likely candidate. I spent some time the other evening looking up James Mason and where knowledge might be. It appeared that he left his whole Estate to his second wife, omitting his children and then when she died she left everything in Trust, managed by three friends, for the benefit of an Indian Bagwan! So the trail has gone a little cold or hot depending on which way you look at it. Can anyone add to the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle?
On an even colder note Chassis 21366, Mulliners Saloon Registration MNO 880, Black, was owned by Thomas Driberg, the somewhat notorious M.P. for Maldon. He became Baron Bradwell and was a biographer for Guy Burgess ( hence the cold bit). We have no trace of this car, so any information is welcome. Anyone ‘googling’ this Gentleman will realize that the car must have had one of the most infamous lives of any Fourteen, but I am writing this before the 9 o’clock watershed!
I have been corresponding with Colin Peck of the Woodie Car Club. Those who appreciate these fine vehicles may have seen their most entertaining Club magazine ‘Tailgate’ that often contains Articles on Alvis Woodies.
I shall be writing an Article about the Alvis Archive site for Tailgate and Colin is going to reciprocate with one about the Woodie Club that should be most interesting. Pictures of Woodies have started to appear in The Gallery and there will be more.
I have also been corresponding with the new owner of MVX 963. A new Fourteen owner, he has confirmed the Fourteen’s name as Mavis. We are starting to build up a bevy of ladies, as examples we have Aunty May, Ruby, Katy, Bluebell and of course the beautiful French Special in Cars of Interest, Lady d’Armor, how much more French can you get? Then we have the male name Guthrie very suitable for a fine Shooting Brake, about whom you can read elsewhere on this site. So if anyone else wants to have their car’s name put on the records please let me know and this will be done.
I had a tip off that one of the two 14 ice cream vans was in Tony Hancock’s 1963 Film ‘The Punch and Judy Man’. We purchased a copy and scrutinized it very closely. We could not see an ice cream van but there is a lovely Triumph Woody that looks remarkably like a Fourteen Woody until you see the radiator and the globe mascot. Anyway it was a fascinating glimpse back into the past and the empty roads. We now have to watch the companion film ‘The Rebel’, not so hopeful as mostly set in Paris.
Hoping that it will not be long now before the computer sticks containing all the Alvis Owner Club Bulletins up to 2006 are available. I have paid my £50 and am looking forward to receiving it. Would make a good Christmas present and details on the main site. Then you can search by word, e.g. After burn eliminator and all the articles etc., on that topic will come up and this should be a really useful tool to help in the maintenance of Fourteens.
My Fourteen had a bit of excitement when she had to be evacuated to secure safe accommodation as we were on Flood Alert on the East Coast last week. Always good to have a prearranged evacuation point for cars but hope they are never needed. She is back now and tucked up in the Garage with her Christmas tree! Christmas present this year will be a nice new fire extinguisher, time goes by very quickly and it can come as a shock to find how old and out of date they are. Halon even!
Finally the nag bit, please do think about writing an Article about your car if this is still on the ‘to do’ list. Christmas is a good time to settle down for a couple of hours and then the Article becomes part of your car’s history and provenance. I was reminiscing with Bluebell’s owner about the time his grandad misjudged his turning circle and grazed Aunty May’s newly chromed front bumper 30 years ago. Without writing up these memories they are gone.
For anyone who does not have English as a first language I should be happy to check the draft before the Article is published.
4 November 2013
2013 is whizzing by like a rocket and by now most Fourteens will be starting to appreciate their cosy garages.
By reading this you will be aware that we outgrew the main site and are now developing our stand alone site under the umbrella of the Trust’s main site. Terry and I have been away from home for the majority of the year but like Mole in Wind in The Willows we have now come back home and can spend more time developing the site.
You may have read elsewhere on the Trust ‘s site that the princely sum of fifty pounds will enable the purchase of a stick containing all the back copies of the Alvis Owner Club Bulletins. I have already ordered my stick. It will enable a search to be done on various topics and so should prove to be very useful.
We visited Red Triangle in the Autumn and were very grateful that we were allowed to obtain information for Members on the provenance of their cars. It is not often that an adult feels like a kid in a sweetshop but on this occasion I did, the original documents were there and I found out details of my Fourteen’s first owner. We were also treated to the sight of the next true Alvis to be produced. It really is a stunning car and will turn heads wherever it goes and not much need for fettling! The new 4.3 may not be a TA 14 but it is a worthy successor to Alvis’ last model produced with stand up headlights!
In some way it could be compared to the new build Pacific class ‘Tornado’ locomotive – a testament to British engineering at it’s best but incorporating material and technical improvements to meet the demands of the age we live in. The success of the Tornado project has spawned other heritage railway venture companies to be set up to build further locomotives. It’s very early days but who knows could we see other marques copying this brave initiative taken by the ‘Alvis’ Motor Company (Red Triangle)?
Over the next few weeks we shall be putting more material onto the site and developing it further. I am hoping that visitors to the site will be able to provide us with new material for the site. Regular contributors would be most welcome – (a ‘follower’ in website jargon!!). Only today I have been corresponding with an owner who is putting some 1970s cine material onto modern format and we look forward to seeing that.
Eileen and Terry
19th February 2013
Coen van der Weiden writes:
First of all my compliments with your fantastic initiative on the Alvis archive.
If this is only the beginning and you/we succeed in maintaining this level of quality: “you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
I attach two pictures on the 1947 Geneva car show which I got via my great-uncle Frans Vrijaldenhoven (84) who is one of the best documented Automotive Historians in NL and beyond.
Keep up the good work and there is more to follow from this side of the North Sea.
1947 First post-war continental car show Geneva (Frans was there). One of the pictures shows the Alvis Stand. If you combine the 2 pictures, with a little bit of imagination, you get an impression of the total show. Question: who built the TA 14 DHC seen from behind? Who has more pictures of the show?
12th January 2013
I never knew who it was who had the Eureka moment!
We were attending one of the excellent Lakes weekends one Spring in the 1980s and all the Alvises were parked up outside the hotel. Someone who was concentrating suddenly did some counting and confirmed that the gathering contained an attendance of no less than 6 TA 14s. Not that surprising maybe until we realized that they were all Tickfords. I apologise now to any other Fourteens that attended but 6 Tickfords were quite special. For the history books we did some shuffling around for the record photo and here we are. We even have all the hood alternatives on display.
- Left to right we have JUR 934 owned at the time by Chris Holt and she has passed onto Gez Holt and so remains in the family. Next OPU 438, Mick Fletcher’s family car, now with new friends but with Mick remaining a stalwart of the Alvis Owner Club. Third in line is Bluebell, LUM 920, Ron Spinks’ car, notable to myself in particular. Ron executed a fine turn in Bluebell thus demonstrating that TA 14 turning circles are not the tightest! JFJ’s newly chromed front bumper was nudged! Bluebell was forgiven and has passed on to other loving owners. ‘Aunty May’ JFJ 286 is next in line and she is downstairs as I write, comfortably tucked up waiting for Spring. Number 5 is HRK 360 and I think she had come down from Scotland where she still resides. Quite rare to see the Coupe de Ville position a veritable reverse spinnaker when driving along. Last but not least and a little camera shy is OCE-785. Now for anyone with a good magnifying glass they can see KYP 87 as she was before moving to Belgium. She was also previously TUS 386.
I had a computerized magnifier for Christmas, it fits on the computer and should prove useful for the elusive characters on the number plates that enlarged pictures can’t help with.
It is lovely that all the cars are still around, we have a good chance when the cars are Dropheads but hopefully we shall not lose many more Mulliners or Woodies.
So when shall we see the like again. Only 3 years until the 70th Anniversary so we shall have to start thinking about how to celebrate?
Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year.
Eileen Terry and Aunty May.
P.S With apologies to Archimedes.
10th January 2013
Jamie Davis writes..
I have identified an Alvis TA14 for Pathe in this clip…..
You can also spot footage of other Alvis cars in the following clips;
December 6, 2012
Eileen Goddin is our latest Model Secretary to contribute to the website. We hope this will be a useful forum for this sometimes overlooked model that restarted Alvis car production after the war.
Welcome to ‘The Fourteen’ blog page
Who would have dreamt that when the Fourteens were built we should be writing about them in cyberspace!
John Fox has done a superb job in getting the whole site ready and has now handed the FOURTEEN Section over to myself for editorship. For those of you who don’t know me I‘m Eileen Goddin, the Model Secretary for Fourteens.
My e mail address is email@example.com I hold the TA/TB 14s records for the Club, such as exist, – paper and increasingly computerised records.
I have a Tickford TA 14 which has been in the family since 1959. I have also owned two glorious TB 14s in my time, anyway enough of me and onto the blog.
The aims for the blog are to bring interesting information about Fourteens to those who visit the site and to be a conduit for Fourteen owners, past, present, future and those who just like Fourteens. One final note at this stage is to give a heartfelt mighty thank you to my husband Terry who has dragged me kicking and screaming into the 21st century and still has to push me up the learning curve of attachments and data manipulation.
We have a wonderful array of Fourteens and in all, I have records, of varying completeness, for the 3313 cars built which makes them the most prolific of all Alvises. From Mulliners/Duncan saloons, Carbodies/Tickford dropheads, all manner of Utilities, TB 14s, numerous small coachbuilders and now of course quite a few ‘Specials’.
There is only one car that could be considered for my first ever blog and that is ‘Auntie May’, Chassis 21830, JFJ 286, our Tickford.. The origin of the name is lost in the mists of time but as a student eking out battery life it was something to do with she May or she May not start. As she came to the family in 1959 she avoided the depth of downward spiral that affected many Fourteens before they were fully appreciated. She was the current colour scheme when my father purchased her in 1959 so I kept the colours when I had her restored. Fortunately she remained very original but I have had many discussions with purists over her rear bumper number plate arrangement not being standard!
One of my projects over Christmas is to write a full article for the Alvis Owner Club about Auntie May for the “second generation” series they are currently running so much more about Auntie May then.
One of the other benefits of the blog is to see if we can put names to faces, both cars and people so have a look in the ‘Lost Cars’ section.
Finally I do my emails on an iPad and keep the computer records on my 5 year old laptop which does not recognise the words blog or ipad, Oh how fast the passage of time!
Eileen, Terry and Auntie May
John Fox (Alvis Archive Trust Website Editor and Graber Model secretary) writes
The Graber Fourteen
Graber’s introduction to Alvis was in 1946 when the TA14 was being produced. A number of chassis were exported to Switzerland but the car’s lack of power, beam axle suspension, and mechanical brakes made it unattractive for alpine motoring. When the 3-litre came along the partnership flourished and endured.
Research both from Alvis records in the UK and by the Swiss, in particular Ferdi Hediger’s research with Hubert Patthey, the Alvis agent before Graber took over, has shown that some 22 chassis or complete cars went to Switzerland. Three of these were actually returned to the works by Patthey to be renumbered as they could not be sold. From this research we find that Graber built two cars, Worblaufen two cars, Langenthal one car, Brunner one car and Bil-Nidau one car.
This car is believed to be 20576 TA14 Worblaufen
This is believed to be the Bil-Nidau car.
Can our Swiss friends confirm this?
Click on this article from AOC Bulletin 498 of March 2006….