Skip to main content

1939 Alvis Speed 25 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Coachwork: Cross & Ellis
Chassis Num: 19575
Engine Num: 15078
Sold for $90,000 at 2004 RM Auctions.
Sold for $173,250 at 2009 RM Auctions.
Sold for $231,000 at 2009 Russo & Steele.

1939 Alvis Speed 25 Tourer by Cross & Ellis

This beautifully restored example of a fine British touring car is the 37th of the 38 built. It has a number of special features including a Luvax one-shot chassis oiling system, adjustable shocks, chassis mounted scissor jacks, wind tone horns and dual side mounted spares. It has been shown at Amelia Island and Pebble Beach as well as events in England.

The Alvis Company was a successful British automobile manufacturer that built a reputation for reliable and competitive cars. Their cars set many racing records and had many racing successes. They developed an innovative front-wheel drive car with a De Dion front suspension in the pre-World War II and they built the first British automobile with fully independent suspension and the first fully-synchronized four speed gearbox offered on a British production car.

The Speed 25 was introduced in mid-1963 and it was powered by the Speed 20's 2.8-liter engine that was enlarged to 3.6-liters. The Speed 25 was a sporty automobile that could achieve speeds in excess of 100 mph. In total, there were 391 examples constructed with 207 surviving in modern times. 38 were given coachwork by Cross & Ellis and 34 of those are believed to exist.

This Speed 25 Tourer is the next-to-last of the 38 examples and was sent to Canada on August 4th of 1938. It has a Luvax one-shot chassis oiling system, Luvax A.L.C. adjustable shock absorbers, wind tone horns, cigar lighter, chassis-mounted scissor jacks, a special-order fold-flat windscreen, dual side-mounted spares and quick release radiator cap, and a two-inch longer steering column.

The car's previous owner had it shipped to England for the anniversary meeting of the Alvis Club. It is an AACA Junior winner at Hershey in 1992, was shown at Amelia Island in 2001 and at Pebble Beach the following year. It was given a restoration in the 1990s which still shows well in modern times.

The car is powered by a 3571cc overhead valve six-cylinder engine capable of producing over 100 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. The engine is believed to be the original one it was given when it left the factory.

In 2009, this Cross & Ellis Tourer was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Amelia Island auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $125,000 - $175,000. Bidding began at $40,000 and rose by increments of $10,000 until it reached $70,000. From there, bids rose by $5,000, all the way up to $110k. The bids got smaller, rising by $2,500, but there was still a plethora of bids left to come. In total, there were 29 bids before the hammer final came down for the third and final time, signaling that the lot had been sold. The high bid, including buyer's premium, was $173,250.
During the close of the 1930's, Alvis introduced new models to their line-up that shared many similarities and carried over many of the design and mechanical features that had made the Speed 20 model so successful. The first of these new models sat atop a slightly lengthened chassis with the old 2.8 liter engine replaced by a 3.6 liter six-cylinder unit. Next was the 4.3 Litre which actually had a 4.4 liter engine. Both of these versions were popular with coachbuilders often being delivered as only a rolling chassis. The most popular of these new models was the Speed 25 which had the same chassis as the Speed 20 but powered by a 3.5-liter engine.

The three new models were produced from 1936 until the onset of World War II with only minor modifications occurring over that period. All three had ladder frames with hydraulic shock absorbers with the rear being independent. The drum brakes were adequate while the four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh was considered technically advanced. In 1937 a brake servo was adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle under control at speeds.

Most of the Speed 25 vehicles were delivered to the customers as a complete car. A few received custom coach bodies and are very rare in modern times. During the production lifespan of the Alvis Speed 25 nearly 400 examples were produced. There were around 60 examples of the 3.5-Liter version produced while the large 4.3-Liter version had nearly 200 examples produced.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Recent Vehicle Additions

2017 Chrysler 300

2017 Chrysler 200

2017 Audi S5

2017 Audi S5 Sportback

2017 Audi A5 Sportback

2017 Seat Leon
Seven New Jeep® Concept Vehicles Unleashed for 49th Annual Easter Jeep Safari
Vehicles showcase array of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts available to enthusiasts • Jeep® Chief: inspired by the classic, original Cherokee, with a nod to the west coast surfer lifestyle •Jeep Staff Car: a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles •Jeep Wrangler Africa: the ultimate Wrangler for back-country and overland expeditions •Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander: built to meet the demands of lengthy wilderness treks •Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk: newest Jeep SUV built ...[Read more...]
• Three Featured Collections Including 45 Cars from Houston's Charlie Thomas
WALWORTH, Wis. – March 12, 2015 – Following the historic sale of the 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype for $7 million in 2014, Mecum Auctions returns to Houston's NRG Park April 9-11 with 1,000 American muscle cars, Corvettes, classics, hot rods, Resto Mods and more set to cross the auction block. The auction will feature three private collections including 45 cars offered by Houston's Charlie Thomas, the...[Read more...]
Atlanta/Leipzig. The drastically expanded Porsche plant in Leipzig officially opened today. Taking roughly two years from start to finish, the facilities now include a body shop and an ultra-modern paint shop in addition to the final assembly to accommodate the production of the new Porsche Macan with a capacity of 50,000 plus annually. The plant, which was designed to meet stringent environmental criteria, has been assembling the Cayenne and Panamera models of Porsche for the past 10 yea...[Read more...]
◾Total production of 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine hit 3 million today ◾Available in 17 Chrysler Group vehicles across nine vehicle segments ◾Powers vehicle range once served by seven different V-6 engines ◾One of Ward's 10 Best Engines three years running ◾Contributes to 22 best-in-class benchmarks, from fuel economy to towing ◾Design has spawned Pentastar engine family – 3.2-liter V-6 (all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee) 3.0-liter V-6 (2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee sold in China) ◾Nearly half of all...[Read more...]
Audi At Le Mans: Engine Technology Forges Close Links To Production
◾Fuel consumption of the TDI units reduced by more than 20 percent ◾Direct technology transfer between motorsport and products ◾Piston area output significantly increased Ingolstadt, June 13, 2013 – One more week before the Le Mans 24 Hours celebrates its 90th anniversary. 15 years of engine development have been shaping Audi's prototype racing commitment. Through intensive development work the engineers have repeatedly compensated for the restrictions imposed by the regulations whil...[Read more...]

Speed 20
Speed 25

Image Left 1938 Speed 25
© 1998-2016. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.