1932 Alvis 12/50
Year of manufacture1932
1932 Alvis 12/50hp Tourer
Registration no. DG 5193
Chassis no. 9632
Engineer T G John founded the Alvis company in 1919 when he acquired the rights to an automobile engine and with it the brand name of its aluminium pistons: Alvis. Beginning in 1922 and using the 10/30hp model as a starting point, newly appointed Chief Engineer Captain G T Smith-Clarke and Chief Designer W M Dunn created the car that effectively established Alvis's reputation: the immortal 12/50. The latter was powered by a new overhead-valve engine of 1,460cc, and on its competition debut at Brooklands in 1923, secured a legendary victory in the premier 200-Mile event. A model of exceptional importance for Alvis, the 12/50 remained in production until 1932 and today is one of the most highly sought after of Vintage sports cars, with an enthusiastic following worldwide.
'DG 5193' was originally supplied to Imperial Motor Mart in Cheltenham on 21st September 1932 with a saloon body, and is known to have moved to Castle Hedingham in Essex by 1962. The car re-emerged as a 'barn find' in the early 1990s, fitted with what appeared to be a P-Type Lea Francis body. The Alvis was featured in Michael Worthington-Williams' 'Finds and Discoveries' column in The Automobile magazine in late 1992.
After its rediscovery, a full restoration was undertaken at significant expense, and the opportunity taken to fit the most of attractive of the Vintage-era Alvis open bodies: a narrow TJ tourer. Overseen by Vintage Alvis specialist, Tony Leech at Caleng Engineering in Rugby, Warwickshire, the full restoration included rebuilding the chassis, body, engine and gearbox. The interior re-trim was undertaken by Pro Tectus in Yorkshire, and included a new double duck full hood, hood frame, a complete set of side screens, and a full front and rear tonneau. The car is finished a lovely mid-green and trimmed in red Pibroach leather. It also benefits from a gearbox rebuild undertaken by Hardy Engineering of Leatherhead in 2014.
'DG 5193' had seen little use since the 1990s rebuild, although the current owner has enjoyed reliable family motoring with the car since he bought it in 2014. It is known to the Alvis 12/50 Register and has attended VSCC meetings in the past few years. It was also used during the filming of the BBC series 'Life in Squares', about the Bloomsbury Group of writers, intellectuals and artists. This 12/50 is a wonderful Vintage family car, with a decent turn of speed, excellent build quality and unfailing reliability, exemplifying the model's enviable reputation of being able to cover the miles with ease and in comfort. It is fully serviced with a recent oil and filter change and is ready to be enjoyed.