1934 Alvis Crested Eagle TE 19.82
Great-looking Special believed to have been built
around 50 years ago; recent £5,500 spend on cosmetics; very appealing
Manufactured from 1933 to 1939, the Alvis Crested Eagle
was designed to compete in the fast luxury saloon market and was only available
in three body styles, a choice of four-light or six-light saloons or a
limousine. All featured an X-braced chassis frame with transverse-leaf
independent front suspension and mechanical brakes.
Four engine sizes were offered, 2,148cc, 2,511cc, 2,762cc
and 3,571cc in capacity, all of them overhead-valve sixes with triple SU carbs
on some and a single Solex carb on others. All were capable of 70mph+ with 85mph
on tap for the top spec TA model.
As copies of the factory build sheets show, this rather
splendid Special started out in life as a Crested Eagle TE 18.82 with Mayfair
Limousine coachwork. It left the factory in May 1934, the buff logbook showing
that it was first owned by a Mr Albert Coffin of Cosham, Portsmouth, who kept it
until 1963 when ownership transferred to a Mr FE Salter of Chichester. It then
had four further owners (A Trump; K Adams; P Williams; H Gallagher) before
appearing in a Sotheby’s auction at Brooklands in July 1999 shortly after which
it was bought by a Mr W Jones of Dorset who was to keep it until 2019 when our
vendor acquired it.
At some point in the 1960s/70s the car was turned into the
Special you see today with a shortened chassis and custom-built aluminium
coachwork in the Vanden Plas style. The original engine has been replaced by a
triple carb 2,148cc unit from an Alvis Sixteen SF 16.95 at some point, notes on
file suggesting that it was later rebuilt and bored out to 2,511cc to take Speed
20 pistons, although you will need to make your own minds up on that score. It
has a bespoke heat-wrapped tubular exhaust manifold and an electric cooling fan.
The four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox is easy to use and the throttle pedal has
been moved from the centre to the right.
A good file of invoices attest to regular upkeep over the
years, including a substantial bout of mainly cosmetic work in 2019 which cost
£5,455. We are told that the canvas hood and frame came from a vintage Bentley –
they certainly look to be of good quality and have a nice patina.
Five old MOTs show the mileage rise from 1,230 in 2005 to
2,595 in 2010, the odometer currently showing 3,105 miles. Retaining its
original Portsmouth-issue number plate, RV 5089, which is transferable, it comes
with some useful tips on driving and has been starting promptly and running well
as we have moved it around on site, proving remarkably easy to drive, more like
a car from the 1950s than the 1930s. An original Speed 20 instruction book
and a copy of a period workshop manual are also included, along with much
technical literature about Alvis cars in general.
A most handsome Special all round, it is only reluctantly
for sale due to a recent house move and consequent loss of storage.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or