In 1931 the 12/50 had been joined by an even sportier partner – the 12/60hp. Introduced in 1931, the 12/60 came with a raised compression ratio and twin carburettors, modifications that raised maximum power to 56bhp. A sports saloon, four-seater sports and two-seater sports were offered, the latter clothed in graceful ‘beetleback’ coachwork. Testing a 12/60 ‘beetleback’ in 1931, Motor Sport found the car could almost touch 80mph, yet was capable of returning 30mpg even when driven hard. Today, Alvis’s 12/50 and 12/60 are among the most highly sought after sports cars of their day, with an enthusiastic following worldwide.
This 12/60 ‘beetleback’ was dispatched from the factory on 19 November 1931 to Skurrays of Swindon, first registered WV 310 and believed by the current vendor to be used as either a dealer demonstrator or company car for a few months, before being sold in 1932 to Leslie Alan Lansdowne
Leslie Alan Lansdowne (LAL) a renowned Aeronautical Engineer who worked on the famous R100 airship and later helicopters. She was driven and maintained by him for 43 years initially in Yorkshire and later in the Somerset area around the village of East Chinock, where LAL worked as a stress test engineer for Westland Helicopters. Annual holidays were taken in the Alvis at the family home in Coverack, Cornwall. The car was run and maintained by LAL until his death in 1975 when she was bequeathed in his will to his niece and nephew, Marion Campbell of Boothby Graffoe, Lincoln and Alan Bland of Berkhampsted, the car was transported up to Lincolnshire and put into dry storage at the Campbell farm in Boothby Graffoe and registered in the name of Alan Bland.
Around the mid-1980s Andrew Campbell son of Marion got to know Peter Leech a local vintage &classic car enthusiast, engineer and restorer, they decided the car must be restored from its now sorry state and came to an agreement with the owners, Andrew’s mother and uncle.
Restoration work began in late 1988 being managed and competed by Peter Leech, numerous specialists were researched and involved (all receipts and correspondence for the complete restoration together with photographic record are included) Several coachbuilders were visited for the placing and the all-important body restoration and Wilkinson’s of Derby were selected as the marque specialists and having an excellent reputation, their Frank Gilbert oversaw the body restoration and made copies of the beetleback ash frame for other clients.
Alan Bland died in 1994 and registration passed to Andrew Campbell
The restoration was completed in April 1994 at a total cost of £32,000, at 1990 prices without any initial purchase price or costing of the 420 hrs labour recorded by Peter Leech.
The car has been run and maintained by Peter & Andrew since with no expense spared and full records kept, she has competed just over 10,000 miles in the 23 years and has been on the road with running costs of £8,600.