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Lot 321: Alvis Speed Twenty Drophead Coupé Project

The Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (7 September 2013)

The new Alvis Speed Twenty is the type of car which looks right, feels right and is right. From the driver's point of view the controls are all just where they are required and the power, speed and acceleration provided by the "hotted-up" but, nevertheless, silky six-cylinder engine are literally an eye-opener to anyone accustomed to driving about in a more or less sedate manner in ordinary motor cars of medium size.' - Motor magazine in praise of the new Alvis Speed Twenty in March 1932. Introduced for 1932, the Alvis Speed Twenty was a fine quality, sporting car in the Coventry marque's best traditions. Carried over from the preceding 20hp Silver Eagle, the 2,511cc, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine produced 90bhp on triple SU carburettors, an output sufficient to propel the touring-bodied versions past 90mph. The low-slung Speed Twenty chassis was all new, addressing criticisms levelled at the 'tall-in-the-saddle' Silver Eagle, offering levels of grip and controllability matched by few of its rivals. 'When cornering it is not only free from rolling – the low build sees to that – but the layout is such that it clings to the intended path at quite unexpected speeds, and when centrifugal force does eventually produce a skid it is of the rear wheels only and easily controlled,' observed Motor Sport's tester. This particular Alvis is an example of the later-series (SC or SD) Speed Twenty with the 2.8-litre engine, all-synchromesh gearbox and independent front suspension, making it one of the more technologically advanced British cars of its day. Believed to be one of only six remaining Charlesworth-bodied Speed Twenty drophead coupés, chassis number '13297' was supplied new to Jean Demange of Eastington Hall, Upton-upon-Severn and is now with only its fourth owner, who acquired it in 1984. The car was in a stripped down condition (mainly in tea chests). Restoration of chassis and brake parts followed while the engine was rebuilt with new pistons, main and big-end bearings, and new valves and springs. A new clutch unit was fitted; the suspension overhauled with new pins, bushes and re-profiled leaf springs; and the brightwork re-chromed. Dry stored and untouched for the past 20 years, 'NJ 9585' is offered requiring completion and sold strictly as viewed. The car comes with its original old-style logbook and Swansea V5 document.

Lot Details
Auction The Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
Lot Number321
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£10000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£11500
Condition rating5
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