By the 1930s, Alvis had established a reputation for producing fast and beautifully built motor cars that also proved very competitive in motorsport events. It was the 12/50 model of 1923 that really set the company on the road to success after a win in the Brooklands 200 mile race the same year with a sports model, after which there was a consequent jump in sales figures. By the late 1920s Alvis was prospering, with healthy sales figures and the launch of its six cylinder Silver Eagle.
The Alvis Speed 25 was a British touring car made between 1936 and 1940 by Alvis Ltd in Coventry. Widely considered one of the finest cars produced in the 1930s it replaced the Alvis Speed 20. The earlier car’s six-cylinder, four main bearing engine was replaced in the Speed 25. It propelled the occupants at high speed in exceptional luxury accompanied by the attractive sound of a powerful deep and throaty exhaust. Its beauty is also confirmed as it is the only car to win the prestigious Ladies Choice VSCC Oxford Concourse prize two years in a row.
Cross & Ellis only bodied 39 Speed 25 chassis in this style, which combined sleek lines and a low profile with the practicality of four doors.
As confirmed by the Alvis Archive Trust, according to factory records this rare and desirable Speed 25 Cross & Ellis tourer was supplied new via dealers E.W. Stone Ltd. Of Station Garage, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire to Lieut. Cmmdr. E.P.H. Pinckney, then serving on board the cruiser HMS Berwick. Having achieved the rank of Commander, he was sadly killed in October 1943 when his minesweeper was torpedoed as he sailed from Gibraltar to Algiers.
Immediately after WWII the car was owned by a Mr. Andrew and the history file contains photographs of the car at this time featuring Mr. Andrew’s son who still takes an active interest in the car’s whereabouts, keeping in touch with its’ owners as well as those of another Speed 25 that his father owned around the same time. The Andrews family emigrated to Bermuda in 1948, the car remaining in the UK.
According to information on file from the Alvis Archive Trust, Wiltshire registration records show the car as having been in the hands of Cradley Heath Motors, Staffordshire in December 1964 and in 1965 it was with well known sportscar dealers Halfway Motors of Padworth, Berkshire and their proprietor Commander Allison. It was from here that the car moved to the USA.
Well known collector Raymond Suerth owned a disassembled Mercedes 500K that was coveted by a Benz collector called Paul Wild. After some negotiation Mr. Suerth was persuaded to let the Mercedes go if a suitably interesting and desirable running replacement could be found. The Speed 25 fitted the bill perfectly and was purchased from Halfway Motors sight unseen. The February 1966 Alvis Register ( copy on file ) records Mr. Suerth as the new owner of AWV546 at his Chicago address.
Having driven the car for many years, Mr. Suerth decided that the car deserved a body-off restoration but for various reasons, before it was completed, he sold it to one Jerry Bradley in 1990. Mr. Bradley continued the restoration but sadly passed away before it was completed. The last owner, another notable collector in the Chicago area, purchased the car in 1992/3 and completed the restoration, going on to show the car with success many times in CCCA and Alvis events.
On returning to the UK the car was reunited with its original registration number with the help of the Alvis Archive Trust and all of their documentation is included in the comprehensive history file along with the aforementioned historical photo’s, club magazine features and sundry other documents. The Trust’s inspection confirmed that the car retains all of its original major components, their numbers matching those from the factory records and recorded on the Car History Certificate.
Strikingly finished in red with black trim, the car is further enhanced by a set of polished wheel discs which are covering a complete set of chrome wire wheels if a new owner should prefer it in that more sporting form.
The under-bonnet area is particularly attractive, featuring as it does lashings of chrome and polished surfaces along with a good selection of tools. The Speed 25 is an accomplished performer with a powerful 3 ½ litre engine, independent front suspension and synchromesh gearbox and makes an ideal choice for rallies and touring.
For further information or to arrange a viewing, please contact our sales department.
|Auction||Blenheim Palace July 2015|
|Day of Auction||N/A|
|Registration Number||AWV 546|
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