1938 Alvis Speed Twenty FiveSpeed 25 Tourer
Year of manufacture1938
- Offered from the Muckel Collection
- One of seven examples delivered with upgraded SC engine
- One of 39 examples clothed in Cross & Ellis’s four-door Tourer coachwork
- Comprehensively restored during the 1990s; engine upgrades conducted during the 2000s
- A full CCCA classic; ideal for open-air touring
- Accompanied by original Brooklands windscreens, wheel covers, owner’s manual, period photos, marque literature, and history from the Alvis Owners Club
In August 1936 the British manufacturer Alvis introduced the Speed 25, a more highly developed version of the 3.5-liter model it had announced a year earlier. Utilizing a shorter 126-inch wheelbase, and improvements such as a revised air-cleaner system and Luvax hydraulic shock absorbers, the Speed 25 was equipped with the same inline six-cylinder engine, although power was raised to 106 hp. A total of 391 examples were built in four series through 1940, a great majority of which were clothed by coachbuilder Charlesworth, including 246 saloons. Conversely, Cross & Ellis bodied only 39 examples in the sleek four-door Tourer style, and these lighter open cars were capable of exceeding 100 mph.
According to the records of the Alvis Owners Club, chassis number 14579 was originally finished in black paint with a green leather interior and distributed in May 1938 to Waterhouse & Sons, Ltd. in Yorkshire for retail. The 31st example produced in the last build series, the car is one of just seven examples equipped with the upgraded SC engine. While the original owner is currently unknown, by the mid-1950s the Speed 25 had passed to Jack Bond of London, who exhibited the Tourer at Silverstone in July 1955. Virginia-based Alvis collector Ballard Crooker then purchased the car from Bond for continental use, after which he imported it to the United States.
Mr. Crooker displayed the Alvis at the New Hope Auto Show in October 1965 and at the Buck Hill Falls show ten years later. In 1975 he sold the Tourer to John Grotz of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, who retained possession for four years. In 1979 the Speed 25 was acquired by collector James Hammers of San Jose, California, and he went on to keep the Alvis for a remarkable 28 years. During the 1990s the car underwent a full restoration in Napa, California, that included a cosmetic change to the current color scheme of ivory paint. A few years later the engine was further upgraded with a new aluminum cylinder head with hardened valve seats, an internal full-flow oil filter system, and a stainless steel dual exhaust.
Sold to the consignor in August 2007, this Alvis has continued to receive dutiful care and maintenance as needed and was presented in September 2009 at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance. It is separately accompanied by original Brooklands windscreens, sidemount wheel covers, and an original owner’s manual and is documented with period photos, various Alvis literature, and the history from the Alvis Owners Club. Deemed a full classic by the Classic Car Club of America, this rare and beautifully presented Tourer is ideal for CCCA events and exhilarating open-air driving; it is sure to make a wonderful addition to any collection.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.