Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Alvis is blasting back from the past

Alvis is blasting back from the past

A GREAT British carmaker is back in business — 50 years after it ceased production.

The Alvis Car Company will have order books open at a car show really worth attending — the London Classic Car Show, which takes place from February 23 to 26 at ExCeL London.

But Alvis isn’t simply attaching its famous red triangle badge to the front of a modern supercar like some rivals — it is recreating supercars from an earlier era.

One original that’s now available as an Alvis continuation model is the gracious Bertelli-bodied
4.3-litre Sports Coupé from 1935, which will be shown on the Alvis stand.

Other classics on show will be a stunning 1966 Graber-bodied TF21, made in the company’s penultimate year, and a wonderful 4.3-litre drophead coupé with Lancefield coachwork from 1937.

The cars are originals but Alvis is offering hand-built facsimiles of both as part of a limited run of continuation models.

The Graber and Lancefield cars can be seen and heard in action as they will be taking part in one of the show’s major displays — “The Perfect Ten”.

Sixty of the world’s great classic cars in 10 categories — saloon, coupé, convertible, sports car, supercar, hatchback, shooting break, sports racer, streamliner and single-seater — will be paraded along the Grand Avenue, an automotive catwalk that will run through the centre of the show.

A fourth Alvis, a unique Brooklands racer known as the Powys-Lybbe Special after its original creator, amateur racer Antony Powys-Lybbe, will be another of The Perfect Ten entrants.

Based on a 1931 Alvis 12/60 “Beetleback”, it had been given a lighter and narrower body and ran at over 90mph on the outer Brooklands circuit.

“Our continuation cars are as close to the originals as we can get,” says Richard Joyce, Alvis’s managing director.

“We have had to make some modifications to ensure they comply with current Individual Vehicle Approval regulations, but essentially the idea is to give owners the same supercar driving experience that owners had when the cars were new.

“When you bear in mind that the 4.3 Tourer had a 0-60mph time of 11.3 seconds back in 1938, there’s no denying these were the supercars of their day.”

Alvis is just one of the many marques that will be featured at the show. Another display brings together 20 of the greatest Ferrari road cars, worth an estimated £120 million. New for this year is the Grand Avenue’s open paddock, allowing visitors to get even closer to the star cars while another innovation is the Beaulieu Pop-up Autojumble.

Some top-class stalls will bring a flavour of the world-famous autojumble to London by selling classic car parts, books and magazines and motoring ephemera.

Now in its third year, the London Classic Car Show is bigger than ever and will have more than 700 classic cars on display — some of them for sale. The show has always attracted star names and this year’s visitors will include Le Mans legends Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell as guests of honour.

This year, the London Classic Car Show even incorporates a second show, Historic Motorsport International, which is devoted to historic racing and rallying.

As well as motorsport specialists, championship organisers, competition car dealers and race teams, displays will celebrate 50 years of both Formula Ford and the all-conquering Ford DFV F1 engine. Also planned is a presentation underlining the breadth of historic machinery that will be taking part in this year’s Silverstone Classic festival in July.

Tickets for the 2017 London Classic Car Show/Historic Motorsport International are available from the show website at www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk and start at £24 for single adult entry (£27 on the door on the day).

Gala evening standard entry costs £42 — or for access to the Grand Avenue Club, where the interviews take place, tickets are priced £70.

Motoring

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