Looking back at the history of Alvis, one can easily determine that quality and superior performance was in the mind of the founder. Originally known as TG John and Co Ltd, the company was initially focused in producing carburettor bodies, motor scooters and stationary engines.
The name Alvis supposedly came after the company was requested by Geoffrey de Freville to engineer various designs, including a 4-cylinder engine. The engine's pistons were to be made from aluminium and utilise pressurised lubrication, which was not unique during that period.
Alvis has remained in the minds of car enthusiasts despite closing in the late 60s. What made Alvis stand out in the market was its focus on selling upscale vehicles for affluent customers. Alvis was founded in 1920 and it did not take long before it made a name in the market.
The car company focussed on appearance, performance and an elegant finish, making sure that units which rolled off the production line would meet the highest standards. Many drivers believe that driving an Alvis is a form of expression, as it only caters to a niche market, that equates to success.
A few years before World War 1, an Alvis was a popular car for racing and was active in the Grand Prix circuit through the 50's. Given the relatively short time span of the company's existence, the cars are strongly desired by collectors of classic cars today. Take note that Alvises were always produced in limited quality and were usually manufactured in batches.
Those belonging to one batch share similar mechanical parts, which were made with only the best materials available. An Alvis was never known to make repeated visits to mechanics, as the reliability of the cars was outstanding, even if the cars were udriven aggressively.
The first car to be based on a design given by Mr. de Freville was the 10/30. This model was a hit among car buyers and enhanced the popularity of the company. The company officially changed its name to the Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd and established its first production facility in Holyhead Road, England.
Continued engineering of the 10/30 eventually resulted in the creation of the 12/50, which is known as one of the most popular vintage cars ever produced. Other popular models produced by Alvis during this era include the 12/60hp, 4.3 Litre, the Speed 20 and the Speed 25 models, which were designed by former Daimler engineer Captain GT Smith-Clarke.
Alvis was again forced to suspend production when World War 2 erupted. After the war, the company released the Speed 25 and 12/70 through 40's. However, Alvis suffered a major setback when its car factory was heavily damaged during the blitz.
Alvis was only able to resume full capacity in 1946. Alvis continued to expand its business by producing aircraft engines and other equipment for airplanes.
The TF21 was the fastest car produced by Alvis, but remains a rare find with only 109 sold. However, Alvis succumbed to tight competition from rivals and the manufacturing recession in the UK. Alvis eventually decided to cease production in 1967. Alvis remains active in the production of armoured fighting vehicles.
Original Authors: Manny
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 21/05/2007