Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1934
  • Chassis number 
    11286
  • Engine number 
    11735
  • Lot number 
    183
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1934 Alvis Speed Twenty 'SB' Tourer
Coachwork by Vanden Plas
Registration no. BMF 323
Chassis no. 11286
Engine no. 11735

'The new Alvis Speed Twenty is the type of car which looks right, feels right and is right. From the driver's point of view the controls are all just where they are required and the power, speed and acceleration provided by the "hotted-up" but, nevertheless, silky six-cylinder engine are literally an eye-opener to anyone accustomed to driving about in a more or less sedate manner in ordinary motor cars of medium size.' - Motor magazine in praise of the new Alvis Speed Twenty in March 1932.

Introduced for 1932, the Alvis Speed Twenty was a fine quality, sporting car in the Coventry marque's best traditions. Carried over from the preceding 20hp Silver Eagle, the 2,511cc, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine produced 90bhp on triple SU carburettors, an output sufficient to propel the touring-bodied versions past 90mph. The low-slung Speed Twenty chassis was all new, addressing criticisms levelled at the 'tall-in-the-saddle' Silver Eagle, offering levels of grip and controllability matched by few of its rivals. 'When cornering it is not only free from rolling – the low build sees to that – but the layout is such that it clings to the intended path at quite unexpected speeds, and when centrifugal force does eventually produce a skid it is of the rear wheels only and easily controlled,' observed Motor Sport's tester.

This particular Alvis is an example of the second-series (SB) Speed Twenty with the all-synchromesh gearbox and independent front suspension, making it one of the more technologically advanced British cars of its day. '11286' comes with a copy of its factory 'Car Record' which shows that it was delivered in 'chassis only' form to Messrs C Follett Ltd in London. The car carries two-door, four-seat coachwork by the London-based coachbuilder Vanden Plas, a firm that had forged its not inconsiderable reputation by a most fortuitous alliance with Bentley, bodying some 700-or-so of the latter's chassis during the 1920s, including the Le Mans team cars. The firm survived Bentley's demise and resurrection under Rolls-Royce ownership, diversifying into other makes, Alvis being one of the most prominent customers.

Restored at date unknown, the Alvis was acquired by the Sondes Fields Collection in the 1980s. The Collection's mechanic's accompanying notes detail various works in addition to routine servicing, including the installation of a new fuel system and a stainless steel exhaust, and overhauling the centralised chassis lubrication system and starter motor. Last MoT'd in 2006, the car has been driven only on private roads since then and is currently running well. Only minimal re-commissioning should be required before it returns to the public roads. Sold strictly as viewed, this powerful post-Vintage thoroughbred is offered with expired MoT (2006) and V5 registration document.