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1959 Alvis TD21 Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd
Registration no. Not Registered
Chassis no. 26245

The first production Alvis to be styled by the Swiss Carrosserie Graber appeared at the Paris Motor Show in October 1955. Based on the existing TC21 Grey Lady chassis, the newcomer brought a much-needed injection of Continental style and modernity to the Coventry manufacturer's range. Lighter, stiffer and with a much smaller frontal area than the traditionally styled Grey Lady, the Graber Alvis enjoyed much improved handling and a higher maximum speed in excess of 100mph. The first Graber-styled model - the TC108G - was built by coachbuilders Willowbrook before production switched to Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward on the introduction of the restyled TD21 for 1959. The TD21 retained Alvis's torquey, 3.0-litre, overhead-valve six, which in up-rated form (from March 1959 onwards) produced 120bhp courtesy of a redesigned cylinder head. With its increased power, this under-stressed engine proved capable of propelling the TD21 to a top speed of 103mph while turning over at a lazy 5,000 revs.

Inside, there were improvements to the accommodation, with increased headroom and legroom, especially in the rear. Lockheed servo-assisted disc brakes were an option, becoming standardised for 1960. The Motor magazine remarked on the Alvis's exclusivity and individuality of character: "As a perfectly serviceable everyday car with extra 'chic', extra performance, and high standards of comfort and safety, its appeal to a select but important clientele should be strong."

A desirable manual transmission model, this TD21 Drophead Coupé was signed off on 31st December 1959 and delivered to Alvis dealer DH & AH Bloomer of Grimsby in February 1960. The first owner was The Ross Group, which still exists today as Ross Foods. Alvis Owners' Club records show two member-owners up until 1976 when the car was exported to the USA. It did not resurface again until 1988 and did not change hands again until 2005. After this the trail goes cold until the Alvis was acquired, out of storage, by the vendor and repatriated to the UK in 2019. Re-commissioning and possibly more extensive works will be required before returning the car to the road.

The factory specification included wire wheels and Reutter reclining front seats, which the car retains. The seats have been reupholstered in black leather and the wire wheels are now new chrome items, shod with new Vredestein tyres. The car is offered complete with an owner's manual, copy of the factory build card, Alvis OC key ring and baseball cap, an Alvis waterproof jacket, and a substantial quantity of bills and correspondence relating to its early life in the UK. There are various spares with the car, including a windscreen and an original, black enamel valve cover.

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