H&H Classics | 12-Oct-2016 | Imperial War Museum Duxford | Venue : Duxford Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR
Category : Classic Cars
Lot No. : 114
Year : 1934
Engine Size : 2762cc
Colour : Dark Blue
Interior : Grey
Registration No. : BLE 892
Chassis No. : # 11940
Engine No. : # 12391
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


- Understood to be a 'matching numbers' example but re-bodied in the style of a Vanden Plas Tourer as part of a major 'chassis up' restoration (1988-1995)
- Continuous ownership history from 1944 to date (just four keepers during that time)
- Offered for sale by the executors of the late C.J. Trigwell, history file chronicling the restoration
Introduced at the 1934 London Motor Show, the Speed 20 SC was among a new breed of Alvis cars that combined high performance (long a recognised marque virtue) with luxury and refinement. Based around a sturdy cruciform-braced ladder-framed chassis equipped with sizable fourteen-inch drum brakes and 'jelly mould' wire wheels, it boasted such technological novelties as independent transverse-leaf front suspension and synchromesh on all (four) forward gears. Powered by a smooth but free-revving 2762cc OHV straight-six engine featuring dual magneto / coil ignition, triple SU carburettors and an aluminium crankcase, the model was reputedly capable of 89mph. A corollary of its low-slung stance and long bonnet line, the Speed 20 SC proved an ideal canvas for the coachbuilder's art. Although, the majority were bodied to factory-approved designs by Charlesworth and Cross & Ellis, a select few received rather more bespoke treatment.
Chassis 11940 was originally bodied as a limousine by Lancefield and supplied new to Albert Testemale Esq of Surrey on 23rd November 1934. Registered to John James Richardson Esq of Selby a decade later, the Alvis remained in his care for forty-four years. Barn stored for the last thirty-six of those, `BLE 892' was purchased from Mr Richardson's estate by Keith Taylor Esq during 1988. Having discarded the original coachwork because it was beyond economical repair, Mr Taylor embarked upon a major `chassis up' restoration. Able to carry out all the mechanical work himself, he commissioned a replacement Tourer body based on Vanden Plas' Speed 20SC design for the 1935 model year before advertising the car as an incomplete but running project in late 1992. Some three years and £24,000 later, new owner Chris Watson Esq finally succeeded in returning `BLE 892' to the road thanks to the assistance of marque specialist Red Triangle and Rob Green of Gloria Coachworks who fitted the more flowing Continental-style wings etc at the rate of £12 per hour!
Now offered for sale by the executors of the late C.J. Trigwell Esq who bought it from Mr Watson via H&H's April 11th 2001 auction for £42,000, the Alvis appears to have been well kept ever since. Although its refurbishment was completed some twenty-one years ago, the overall impression is of a highly presentable motor car that the executors variously rate as being in `very good' (engine, electrics, gearbox, paintwork) or `excellent' (bodywork, interior trim) condition. An engineer and garage owner by profession, Mr Trigwell was also an Alvis enthusiast owning several examples of the marque. Understood to be a `matching numbers' car with regard to its major mechanical components, the four-seater also sports Brooklands aeroscreens, sidescreens and a tonneau cover. The history file comprises a copy of the original factory build sheet, continuation buff logbook (in Mr Richardson's name), restoration photos and numerous receipts / invoices.