“The new Alvis Speed Twenty is the type of car which looks right, feels right and is right. From the driver’s point of view, the controls are all just where they are required and the power, speed and acceleration provided by the ‘hotted-up’ but, nevertheless, silky six-cylinder engine are literally an eye-opener to anyone accustomed to driving about in a more or less sedate manner in ordinary motor cars of medium size.’ – Motor magazine in praise of the new Alvis Speed Twenty in March 1932.
The Alvis Speed Twenty was a fine quality, sporting car in the Coventry marque’s best traditions. Carried over from the preceding 20hp Silver Eagle, the 2,511cc, six-cylinder engine produced close to 90bhp, an output sufficient to propel the touring-bodied versions past 90mph. The low-slung Speed Twenty chassis was all-new, addressing criticisms levelled at the ‘tall-in-the-saddle’ Silver Eagle. It offered levels of grip and controllability matched by only few of its rivals.
This wonderful Alvis Speed 20 (chassis 9885) was first supplied via Charles Follett to Alvis employee Charles Percy Joseland. It is believed that he may possibly have used the car for racing due to some non standard modifications such as the smaller dash of a similar design to the Dunham car raced at Brooklands, in addition to the twin fuel pumps as fitted on the passenger footwell floor up until the late 1990s, and a battery cut off switch under the drivers seat. There was a belief that 9885 may have been commissioned by Follett as part of a planned race team, although this is as yet unsubstantiated. We do know that the car was later sold to the Rt. Hon Earl of Shrewsbury of the Talbot car-making family, as supported by a letter from his son in the House of Lords with his memories of the car.
Having changed hands over the years, the Alvis still performs well and as has been used recently for a number of outings and events. The original Vanden Plas coachwork is in good order, whilst the interior is patinated and showing signs of wear in places, however in such original order that it seems a crime to replace it. The Alvis is offered with extensive historical documents including a buff log book, historical ownership and also licensing paperwork. All in all, a nicely sorted example from the golden era of motoring.