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Single family ownership for 50 years
1934 Alvis 16.95hp Silver Eagle Tourer
Coachwork by Cross & Ellis
Registration no. JR 1404
Chassis no. 11358
Engine no. 11808

Despite the somewhat conservative image Alvis has today, T G John Ltd produced some technically innovative cars in the inter-war period, pioneering front-wheel drive technology and championing small-capacity, high-performance engines. Engineer T G John had 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'. The first Alvis car - the 10/30hp - appeared in 1920.

'Well equipped, beautifully finished and of up-to-date design, the price of £595 is moderate considering the quality of the chassis and coachwork,' was how Motor magazine summed up the new 16hp Alvis Silver Eagle saloon in April 1934. First introduced in 1929, the Silver Eagle was revamped for '34, gaining a stronger X-braced frame and a new all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox. The sturdy and reliable Alvis six-cylinder engine was available in either 2,148cc or 2,362cc capacities and produced 60-70bhp, which was good enough for a top speed of around 75mph and comfortable cruising at 60.

Equipped with 2,148cc engine, the Silver Eagle offered here features open two-seater coachwork by Alvis' Coventry neighbours Cross & Ellis, which is unusual in so far as it has both a dickey seat and a boot. 'JR 1404' first came into the vendor's family's possession in 1964, and in the late 1990s was treated to a complete 'body off' restoration. Shopform Ltd of Darlington repaired the body's ash frame, totally re-trimmed the interior and carried out a re-spray. The engine was rebuilt by Maurice Jennings of Cleveland using parts supplied by marque specialists Red Triangle, and the latter then rewired the car, fitted a new exhaust system and completed the restoration. The rebuild process was fully recorded on video and in photographs. Bills for close to £30,000 pounds are available.

After completion the Silver Eagle was shown at the Northern Alvis Day at Harewood House in 1998 and since then has been well maintained but seldom used. Described as in generally very good condition and ready to enjoy, this delightful 1930s sporting thoroughbred is offered with sundry restoration invoices, old-style continuation logbook, current road fund licence and V5C document. The provision of a heater is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department