1949 Alvis TA14 Drophead Coupe by Carbodies

Make: Alvis
Model: TA14 Drophead Coupe by Carbodies
Year: 1949
Registration Number: ERX 161
Chassis Number: 01702-22397
Engine Number: 23248
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Guide Price: £20000 - 25000
Sold For: £22000

Lot No: 280

Founded in 1919, Alvis of Coventry (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. Post war Alvis motor cars retained the elegant styling, coupled with excellent build quality and solid engineering. Manufacturing returned to normal for the company after World War II, and in 1946, the 1892cc TA14 was launched. The new model evolved from the pre-war 12/70, and was offered with only one chassis type – a longer and wider version of its predecessor – and clothed in the body choice of the new owner; Mulliners of Birmingham provided the standard steel saloon body and Tickford and Carbodies produced drophead coupe versions.

This exceptional example has been in the care of the current custodian for some fourteen years, during which time it has had, we understand, twenty five thousand pounds lavished on a photographic restoration. Work included a partial replacement of the timber body frame, a body restoration and bare metal respray, together with the fitting of a new stainless steel exhaust system, wiring loom and flasher lamps.

We are told that the engine was the subject of a full rebuild: the crankshaft was reground with new white metal bearings fitted, the unit was re-bored and new pistons installed. A cylinderhead overhaul and conversion to unleaded fuel was also carried out, the flywheel was balanced and a new clutch fitted, the gearbox was overhauled and the rear axle checked. The steering was thoroughly checked, a new steering box fitted, and the radiator reconditioned.

Much of the brightwork received attention; a retrim, we understand, included the fitting of a new three-position hood, new upholstery and carpets.

The Alvis Owner’s Club member has regularly used the TA14 for continental touring and rallies, and the motor car appeared on the August 2010 Alvis Owner Club ‘Bulletin’. The efforts of the restoration have been rewarded by many concours awards.

The vast history file contains the V5C registration certificate, a large quantity of invoices, old MOT test certificates and tax discs, a folder of technical data, a copy handbook and a spare parts book, an AOC publication “TA14 – 50th Anniversary Collection”, the aforementioned photographs and others.

Auction Date: 19 March 2015