Attractive four-seat Sports Tourer; from long-term ownership, running
and driving; known to the Alvis Register
That the Alvis 12-50 became regarded as a Sports Car was more of an accident than by intent.
This car was to build the reputation of the firm, for it delivered extreme reliability, performance way beyond what would be expected of a 50bhp car (thanks to its light weight), quality construction and a feeling of “oneness” way in excess of the sum of its parts. 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”.
The 12-50 Alvis developed through a number of series, each one carrying a range of attractive coachwork. The most famous of course are the “Ducksback” and later the “Beetleback” 3-seaters, but for those requiring more space, Cross and Ellis produced a most elegant 4-seat tourer with a stout bulkhead behind the front seats, no doubt the quality coachwork contributing to their sporty reputation.
This 1926 model was despatched from the works on 5th March and made its way to Australia. In order to avoid the punitive import tarrif, it was sent over as a chassis for local coachwork, which was duly fitted.
Alvis used car numbers as well as chassis numbers, so to put the record straight, this one is car number 9484, chassis number 4161 (as per V5C) and was fitted with engine number 4870 which it still carries today.
The bodywork closely resembles a Cross and Ellis four-seater, although as we know, it is of Australian construction. The car has seen less use of late and comes with weather equipment as can be seen in the photos and has consistently started well and driven around the site as one would expect. It also comes with a nice Alvis Hare mascot and an Auster-style rear screen to keep the rear passengers comfortable.
The magneto was rebuilt in 2014 and the car was treated to a full respray back in 2005 with photos to show the work done.
For those with a growing family or who wish to do some proper Vintage touring, a 12-50 Alvis takes a lot of beating.
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