1932 Alvis Speed 20 Vanden Plas Sports Tourer - Earls Court Motor Show Car

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1932 Alvis Speed 20 Vanden Plas Sports Tourer - Earls Court Motor Show Car

2.00
  • The 1932 Earl's Court Motor Show car
  • Recent full mechanical restoration, re-wired and re-painted
  • Previous ownership of 52 years
  • Charles Follett demonstration car
  • Wonderful history file with known history from new
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ALVIS SPEED 20

Vanden Plas 2-door 4-Seat Sporting Tourer

SA Model

Chassis number 10029

Engine number 10479

Registration number YY 6484

  

 The extremely sporty open four seat coachwork with the distinctive low swage line rear mounted spare wheel and slimline folding hood was specifically designed in 1931 by the leading coachbuilding house of Vanden Plas for the charismatic London Alvis dealer and leading proponent of the British manufacturer Captain Charles Follett.

 

On production of the car it was immediately clear that the proportions were in harmony and Vanden Plas presented it in prime position on their Motorshow stand at London’s Olympia in 1932.

 

Charles Follett retained the car for himself for the next two years presumably using it as a demonstration vehicle from his smart Barclay Square showrooms and in 1934 sold it to Captain John Litchfield OBE RN and it was driven home from the Follett stand at the Motorshow.

 

10029 has recently been reunited with the son of Captain Litchfield who has confirmed that his Father bought the car and drove it away from the Motorshow stand in 1934 and has kindly provided family photographs of his Father taken in the 1930’s proudly posing with his new car at the family home in Kent.

 

Upon his marriage in 1939 he sold the Alvis to his brother Dick, sadly lost at sea during the subsequent World War. The Alvis like so many cars at the time was laid up and then sold in 1948 to Dr. Edward Elmhirst who retained it until the mid 1950’s selling it to David Denny who in turn sold it to his friend and rally co-driver Robin Bendall in 1961.

 

Bendall, an active member of the Alvis Owners club retained the car for the next 50+ years entering Alvis Club rallies all over the world. Initially not realising the Motor Show significance of the car he applied a personal registration number AOC 18 to it and during this time the ministry of Transport re-issued the original number to another car. Years later when this was discovered a similar registration number was re-allocated to the vehicle which accounts for the change in registration from YY 5581 during its life. The car is now registered YY 6484. 

 

In 2010 reluctantly becoming rather too old to use the Alvis and after 51 years of ownership Robin Bendall sold the car to Mr. Tom Callanan and in 2015 I bought the car from him.

 

I then embarked upon a thorough engine re-build with one of the UK’s leading Alvis engineers Tim Walker Restorations and over the course of the last 15 months have totally stripped and re-built the engine with replacement crank, pistons and con rods. I have renewed the suspension, clutch and brakes, a new wiring loom has been fitted by Winston Teague’s craftsmen

 

The original Vanden Plas coachwork has been stripped back to the bare metal and the body of the car re-painted in Deep Burgundy over Masons Black wings.

 

10029 is a delight to drive cruising comfortably four-up with its fresh engine and the lively suspension of the desirable SA series of the Speed 20 model. Being one of just 36 Alvis’s fitted with the Vanden Plas Sports Tourer coachwork it will be a welcome entrant in pre-war rallies and shows

It has impeccable provenance from the day it was first displayed on the Motorshow stand 84 years ago and an impressive history file which traces all of its owners and details the thorough recent restoration work.