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Lot 120: Alvis 4.3 Charlesworth Sports Saloon


The 4.3 litre, the final flowering of Alvis' superb succession of great sporting chassis in the pre-War era, appeared in 1936. The triple carburettor engine, biggest capacity the company had ever built, was far from over-stressed in producing 123 b.h.p. at only 3,600 r.p.m. and the chassis was very similar to that of its predecessors, with Dewandre brakes with a vacuum servo, and Luvax finger tip controlled shock absorbers. Even in its original form the car was capable of a startling maximum of over 100 miles per hour with a 0-70 acceleration time in 18 seconds, and even this gradually improved to 16 seconds, very impressive for the era, by 1939. As was usual with the Alvis it was outstanding value for money, with complete cars costing around 1,100, slightly undercutting contemporary rivals such as the V12 Lagonda at 1,450 and the 4 1/4 litre Bentley at 1,510. Coach builders such as Mulliner, Vanden Plas, and Alvis' favourite, Charlesworth were quick to appreciate the potential of this fine chassis and created many beautiful bodies for it, though of course the car was competing in a heavily-contested price sector in a tough economic climate, and only about one hundred cars were in fact sold. We are delighted to be offering an extremely rare survival, a very elegant close-coupled owner-driver sports saloon by Charlesworth. Though its early history is unknown and will make a fascinating field of study for the next owner, the car is known to have spent a period in the United States where it has been more fortunate than many cars in having been preserved in delightfully original condition, The superbly well-proportioned coachwork is finished in Lincoln Green, with a slightly darker colour to the leather of the interior, which is of a charming and rarely-seen originality. The car has just undergone a careful programme of basic recommissioning after a period of careful storage, carried out at the expert hands of premier London vintage engineering expert Bob Thredder and his team. The work, of which a detailed record is in the car's history file, included rebuilding of the fuel system, attention to normal engine service items such as oil, plugs and points, and the result is that it now seems to drive very pleasantly, and of course like most cars of its era will improve with further sparing use. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire one of the best, though least-known, of all post-Vintage thoroughbreds, and one which will amply reward further use, and, where necessary, improvement.

Lot Details
Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number120
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberDUL 601
Chassis number18621
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors