1932 Alvis TL 12/60 Sports Saloon
'Oily rag' Alvis well known to the Register; successfully completed a 2,500 mile run from Land's End to John O'Groats and back in 2001; good running order; believed one of only four surviving; use and improve or leave it just as it is?
First registered in Coventry in May 1932, this splendid TL 12/60 Sports Saloon sadly comes with very little history but we are told that it was discovered languishing in a Cornish barn in 2000 where it had lain undisturbed for the previous three decades. Treated to a thorough mechanical overhaul, it was then entered into the 2001 Land’s End to John O’Groats Rally, joining an Alvis Register Tour of Scotland at the same time, before returning to Cornwall once more, a journey of some 2,500 miles in all.
As you can see it remains in wonderfully original condition throughout and is a prime candidate for some sympathetic conservation rather than a full-on restoration which would destroy all that irreplaceable patina. Used regularly, it has recently been treated to a new fabric roof, new brake shoes and a new steering cross shaft, as recommended by the Alvis Register.
Supplied with a V5C and a large amount of technical literature relating to the model, it started easily and ran nicely as we moved it around for these photos. Apparently well-known in Alvis circles, we are told that it is one of only four such cars known to survive. That is about all that we can say about it for now, but we feel sure that an inquisitive new owner will be able to unearth a lot more detail about the car using the services of the thriving Alvis Register.
The first Alvis car, the 10/30, appeared in 1920 and was a conventional light-car with side by side valves and made in very limited numbers. The 11/40 that followed in 1921 had an increased capacity of 1,598cc which produced a reliable 40bhp. In 1922, newly appointed Chief Engineer, Captain G T Smith-Clarke and Chief Designer W M Dunn, created the car that established Alvis's reputation – the 12/50.
The 12/50 was powered by a new overhead-valve engine of 1,460cc and on its competition debut at Brooklands in 1923, secured a famous victory in the 200-mile event crewed by Harvey and Tattershall. The production version went on sale later that year priced at £550. A model of exceptional importance for Alvis, the 12/50 remained in production, updated and improved, until 1932, by which time it had grown in engine capacity to 1,645cc.
In 1931, the 12/50 had been joined by an even sportier partner the 12/60, which came with a raised compression ratio, twin carburettors and other modifications that raised maximum power to 56bhp. A sports saloon, four-seater sports and two-seater sports were offered. Testing a 12/60 in 1931, Motor Sport found the car could top 75mph, yet was capable of returning 30mpg even when driven hard.
Clutton and Stanford in their staple ‘The Vintage Motor Car’ said of the 12/50 "We cannot but consider it one of the classic designs of the time, and it remains of all Vintage sports cars the one which needs the least apology". Today, the 12/50 and 12/60 are among the most highly sought after sports cars of their day, with a reputation for extreme reliability, performance way beyond what would be expected of a 50hp car, quality construction and a feeling of ‘oneness’ way in excess of the sum of their parts.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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