1964 Alvis TE 21

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1964
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Chassis number 
    27053
  • Engine number 
    27053
  • Lot number 
    418
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Red
  • Interior colour 
    Black
  • Interior brand colour 
    Black
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Guide price: ??50000 - ??60000.  
- This matching numbers TE21 has covered 99,329 miles, and just three previous owners
- Bare metal restoration by Classic Cars of Coventry in 1978. Changed from grey to Jaguar Carmine Red
- 5-speed ZF gearbox, E-Type brakes, period Motorola with USB and Bluetooth connection
- Very interesting celebrity, titled and media ownership
- Many UK and European trips and, more recently, ventured to the USA for a road trip
- Featured in many advertisements and more recently "The Lady in the Van" 
- Fastidiously maintained. In-depth detailed history file
The name Alvis was always synonymous with craftsmanship and performance and the final models produced by this very British manufacturer were no exception. When production of the three-litre cars ended in 1954, the end was in sight for Alvis Cars, however, the fortuitous intervention of the Swiss coachbuilder, Graber, saved the day. For some time Graber had been successfully clothing Alvis chassis with their own elegant and modern designs and, in 1953, Alvis reached an agreement to build the Graber cars under licence. Loughborough coachbuilder, Willowbrook, built the first model, the TC108G, but it was expensive and only 17 examples were sold during the next three years. Production ceased in 1957 when Alvis, having bought the Graber rights two years earlier, struck a deal with Park Ward to build the cars at a more reasonable cost.The resultant new TD21 was announced in October 1958 and benefited from a strengthened chassis, sharp styling and increased interior space. In 1962, a Series II version was launched with disc brakes all round as standard as was a five-speed ZF gearbox. It received excellent press, Autocar calling it "One of the most enchanting owner-driver cars imaginable" a somewhat quaint phrase to our ears but during the early sixties, a significant proportion of large luxury cars were driven by chauffeurs. In 1964 the Series III, otherwise known as the TE21, was introduced and it was simply a masterpiece of understated elegance. By this time, the 2993cc engine had been developed to produce just over 130 bhp, and with its ZF box, disc brakes, and the new recirculating-ball steering, the TE could give many a sports car a run for its money. Just 352 TE21 models were produced in total, only 95 as cabriolets and as testimony to their build-quality and desirability, an estimated 88 still remain.This, matching numbers, TE has covered 99,329 miles and has had just three previous owners in fifty-five years. Delivered new to Brooklands of Bond Street on 30/01/64, it became the property of its first owner, musician Johnny Johnson of 'Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon'. Subsequently purchased in July 1978 by Lord O’Neill of Antrim for his collection, it was immediately dispatched to Classic Cars of Coventry where it received a bare metal restoration at a cost of over £3,000 (1978) and the history file contains the original invoices and photographs of the work. As with the other cars in the Baron's collection, the colour was changed from its original colour of light grey to Jaguar Carmine Red. In 1985 it became the property of Steven Stevens, from whom our vendor purchased it in 1998.The present owner has enjoyed many UK and European trips and, more recently, ventured to the USA for a road trip with other Alvis owners. He is heavily involved in the world of advertising so it's not surprising that such a distinctive motor car has featured in various advertisements and even had a part in the 2015 Alan Bennett film “The Lady in the Van”.With the car is a carefully documented and recorded 70mm thick lever-arch history file detailing ownership history, containing a genealogy document of the O’Neill family, and a list of Jonny Jonson’s top ten hits. It also shows many invoices from marque specialists detailing restoration and mechanical works during our vendor's tenure, as well as an original Alvis parts book and the original owners manual. Viewing of the history file is highly recommended, though you may need an armchair and a spare hour or two!This remarkable piece of British automotive history has led a full life whizzing Pop Stars around London, transporting members of the Irish Peerage from castle to castle, featuring in a hugely popular movie and being admired by classic enthusiasts on the West Coast of America. Maybe it needs a bit of a rest now, but with the British Summer just around the corner, I suspect it will be top-down, load the cool box, picnic basket and blanket, and off to the Cotswolds.