Long known as a well-engineered, quality motorcar, the Alvis has a history dating back to the years just after World War I.

Founded at Coventry, England in 1919 by T.G. John, a one-time naval architect, the company that bore his name got its start by building engines and carburettor castings for the car industry.

John with considerable input from designer G.P.H. de Freville developed the first Alvis model the 10/30.

Sporting editions evolved early.

While the regular 10/30 with its 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine managed 60 mph, a Super Sports displayed the "duck's back" profile that would become an Alvis tradition.

In 1923 came the 12/50 model with an overhead-valve four-cylinder engine, one of which won the Junior Car Club's 200-mile race at Brooklands, running at 93.29 mph.

Two years later, an experimental front-drive race car fared well in hill-climbs, althought the production version launched later in the decade lacked sales appeal even with a 100-mph top speed.

The year 1928 brought the first six-cylinder engine, installed the next season in a Silver Eagle model.

Like all Alvis motorcars, its body came from a separate coachbuilder.

A variety of companies produced Alvis bodies in the pre-war years, including Vanden Plas, H.J. Mulliner, Charlesworth, and Cross & Ellis.

During the late 1920s, front-wheel-drive Alvis racing cars (with independent front suspension) made a strong showing on many European courses.

Late in 1931, the new Speed Twenty arrived, carrying a 2.5-litre six-cylinder engine and capable of 90 mph.

On the technical side, an all-synchromesh gearbox arrived in 1934, along with independent front suspension, both for the first time on a British car.

Longer and lower than prior Alvis models, the Speed Twenty drew favourable comparison to the famed SS1 from Swallow Motors, the predecessor to Jaguar.

The outbreak of World War Two saw Alvis switch their entire production to the war effort, producing both engines and armoured cars.

Alvis’s contribution was to be savagely stunted when, during the 1941 blitz that devastated the UK, their plant in Coventry was destroyed entirely.

All the machinery and blueprints for production vehicles going up in flames.

Undaunted, Alvis’s engineers succeeded in creating whole new sets of blueprints for the Speed Twenty, their own production model, by studying cars that were brought into the factory for servicing.

Based on the Twelve Series, the TA14 was offered with a choice of saloon, with the bodywork coming from Mulliner or the Tickford bodied c head coupe.

A TB14 sports roadster also emerged, with styling that won universal acclaim.

In 1950 Alvis introduced the 21 series, powered by 3.0-litre cylinder engines.

The line began with a TA21 tourer, followed by the TB21 sports tourers, with the bodies coming from Mulliner.

Production of the 21 series ground to a halt in 1954 after the Mulliners changed hands and decided to wind up supplying bodies to Alvis.

As a result of this significant setback, Motorcar production shrunk to a trickle during the mid-Fifties, with only a single model, the TC108/G designed by Graber (of Switzerland)on the market.

Production levels at Alvis stepped up during 1958 when Alvis reached an agreement with renowned bodybuilder Park Ward .

The agreement was tha tPark Word would produce bodies for the TC 108/G, either a two-door saloon or a convertible version.

Production at Alvis continued, although at a very reduced level, until the company was acquired by Rover in the mid-Sixties.

Rover, on a tremendous run of commercial success during these years, made no secret that they were interested only in Alvis's production facilities, apidly winding the company down.

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