Background Alvis manufacturer cars from 1920 until 1967 and never officially imported their products to the United States. When the company was first created, it was the T.G. John Company which manufactured stationary engines. The man credited with providing the necessary motivation for the first complete Alvis automobile came from Geoffrey de Freville, the principal of Aluminum Alloy Pistons. He provided a 1498cc side-valve four-cylinder engine and the Alvis name written in a red triangle.
The production version of the new Alvis 10/30 car featured a reduced 1460cc engine that provided 30-horsepower. The reduction in size was for taxation purposes. Founder T.G. John made the decision to continue with automobile production and by the end of 1921, a total of 150 Alvis cars had been produced with a modest profit to boast.
The Alvis cars were well engineered. The taxation laws crippled engine size but the Alvis marque found ways to maximize their products potential by using lightweight construction techniques such as the use of aluminum in mechanical and structural components. This helped the company achieve their goal of a 100 mph car.
The six-cylinder engine soon displaced the four as the prominent powerplant of choice. The displacement size would gradually increase over the years and by October of 1935, the company announced its new 3.5-liter model. It displaced 3571cc and had seven main bearings and overhead valves. It breathed through triple SU carburetors and produced just over 100 horsepower. There was a fully-synchronized four-speed transmission mounted in a ladder-frame chassis with solid axles and leaf-springs on all four corners. Mechanically operated drum brakes provided the stopping power.
The Speed 25 The Speed 25 Alvis was produced from Aubust of 1936 to a1940 with 391 examples constructed. 39 were given Tourer bodies. The Speed 25 were basically upgraded versions of the 3.5-liter Model and resting on a shortened 126-inch wheelbase. The spare wheel was moved from the rear to the left side and there were many minor aesthetic detail changes, including a revised air-cleaner system and Luvax hydraulic shock absorbers which replaced the earlier Andre units. The engine displacement was unchanged but several other modifications to the engine resulted in a boost in horsepower to 106 bhp at 3800 RPM. The heavier bodied sedans were able to achieve a top speed of just under 97 mph. The lighter bodied cars were surely able to achieve the 100 mph mark.
Chassis 14579 This is one of 39 Tourer Speed 25 Models constructed. Of those, only seven, including this car, were fitted with the upgraded SC series engine.
In the mid-1990s, this Speed 25 was treated to a restoration where it was finished in ivory coachwork with twin side mounts. There is a folding canvas top and aluminum covers for the side-mounted spares. Other features include Brooklands-style windscreens and are original to the car.
In 2007 it was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, Ca where it was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $250,000 and offered without reserve. Bidding exceeded the estimates, settling at $330,000 including buyer's premium.