1963 Alvis TD21 Series II Drophead Coupe

Make: Alvis

Model: TD21 Series II Drophead Coupe

Year: 1963

Registration Number: 2 YKM

Chassis Number: 27001

Engine Number: 27001

Transmission: Manual

Steering: Right Hand Drive

MOT Test Expiry: 23 July 2014

Sold For: £53350

Auction Date: 19 September 2013

Lot No: 227

Founded in 1919, Alvis (or T.G. John Ltd as it was then) developed into one of Great Britain’s finest engineering companies. Initially producing light motor cars powered by side valve engines, the company launched its overhead valve unit in 1925 which resulted in a range of sporting, powerful models that, during the 1930s, rivalled vehicles from competitors such as Bentley. As well as performance car production, Alvis also became famous for its Alvis Leonides aero engine from 1936 and a range of military and armoured vehicles. Civilian car production resumed in 1946 with the launch of the new ‘T’ series, beginning with the TA14 which was largely based on the pre-war 12/70. The ‘21’ series arrived in 1950, boasting a powerful three litre engine. Alvis’ partnership with Mulliner ended in October 1954 and the company concentrated again on military vehicles. By 1958, Alvis had found itself a new coachbuilder in Park Ward and this advantageous association continued until 1967. The TD21 was produced from 1958 until 1963; offered with either a four speed manual or three speed automatic transmission and an upgraded 2993cc engine, these prestige sporting motor cars were the pinnacle of mid-twentieth century British engineering. The Series II arrived in 1962 with four wheel disc brakes and by October of that year, a five speed manual ZF gearbox. The TD was replaced in 1963 by the TE21.

This one family from new TD21 Series II Drophead Coupe was ordered by the late Mr Cyril Sayer from G.S Sheppard & Son Ltd Craybrooke Garage of Sidcup, Kent, at a cost of over £3000. Mr Sayer had the pleasure of collecting the fine motor car from Alvis’ Coventry factory himself in 1963; indeed, he was also given the choice of registration numbers from 1 to 10 – he apparently chose ‘2’ because it was his second three-litre model! Mr Sayer had been an Alvis enthusiast for many years, owning several different models prior to his new TD21, including a TA14 Drophead Coupe which became the stable mate of 2 YKM. These fine motors were loved and well-maintained by their custodian, but equally were used as daily transportation without affectation.

The Park Ward TD21 Series II, with styling by Graber of Switzerland, is arguably the most desirable model of the Alvis TD/TE/TF range, with its integral spot and fog lamps and elegant, sophisticated styling. Two hundred and eighty-nine TD21 Series II models were  produced, and of that number just sixty were Drophead Coupes. 2 YKM is equipped with the superb five speed ZF gearbox, and although power steering was available at the time, Mr Sayer did not order it because he was wary that it would be ‘something else to go wrong’….. Of course nowadays, this can be installed with ease.

We understand that the TD21 was driven by its custodian until the mid-1990s for business and pleasure, covering one hundred thousand miles in its first twenty years. It is thought that the motor car has visited every county in England, Wales and Scotland, and was a well-known participant of the Alvis Owner Club, having attended numerous ‘Section Days’ and AOC tours, winning many awards in the process.

The history file contains a meticulous record of maintenance, with paperwork dating from 1964 (we recommend that prospective buyers inspect the file). Other items included are the original Manual of Instructions, the RF60 registration book, the V5C registration certificate, numerous MOT test certificates, old road tax discs, photographs, sundry invoices and a cutting from the June 1996 Classic and Sports Car magazine, featuring 2 YKM.

The Alvis was upgraded in 1972 with a stainless steel exhaust system and in 1974, the hood was replaced and remains in good working order (a hood cover and tonneau  are supplied). A hazard flasher kit has been sensibly installed, and the radiator was re-cored in 2002. Recent works carried out include the fitting of four new brake discs and brake pads and new handbrake pads. The odometer reading is now 143200 miles.

It would be fair to say that this elegant Alvis is not in concours condition; however, one could not wish for a more genuine and historic TD21. This is the first time that this matching numbers model has been placed on the open market and thus presents itself as a rare opportunity indeed.

PLEASE NOTE: An independent vehicle examination has highlighted the fact that the wire wheel splines and splined hubs are worn. We recommend replacement; these items can be obtained at a reasonable cost.