Parts stored for more than 50 years are being used to breath life into a new generation of British Alvis cars.
Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd was a British car maker that manufactured vehicles in Coventry from 1919 to 1967.
In 1965, it was taken over by Rover and later became part of British Leyland.
From 1952 to 1955, Sir Alec Issigonis, the creator of the original Mini, worked for the company when he designed a new V8 model.
Fast foward and the new generation of Alvis Continuation cars remain faithful to the original spirit and design.
The Continuation Series has now been extended to include two chassis and six body options, with post-war derivatives assembled using original chassis and engine blocks unused since production stopped in 1968.
Powered by either a 3-litre or 4.3-litre Alvis-designed in-line six-cylinder engine, each has been developed from the original Works designs and, thanks to fuel injection and modern engine management electronics, meets legislation in a number of markets including Japan, where five of the new cars have now been ordered.
Unlike many continuation cars offered for sale, Alvis has worked closely with authorities to ensure its vehicles are fully approved and road-legal.
Each model is carefully hand-built at the company’s Kenilworth Works, the home of Red Triangle, Alvis’ service and restoration centre, that was created when the original Coventry factory closed in 1968.
At the time, the factory’s stock of chassis, engine blocks and thousands of other components were brought to Red Triangle and have been carefully stored in their original crates ever since.
Each derivative takes between 4000 and 5000 hours to build and features period bodywork styles created by prestigious coachbuilders of the times:
3.0-litre Park Ward Drop Head
3.0-litre Graber Super Coupe
3.0-litre Graber Super Cabriolet
4.3-litre Vanden Plas Tourer
4.3-litre Bertelli Coupe
4.3-litre Lancefield Concealed Hood
The Alvis series also carry the distinction of being true continuation cars rather than a re-interpretation of something long gone.
As well as using original parts for the 3.0-litre cars, the 4.3-engined car chassis numbers follow on from the numbers allocated to the pre-war production run.
“Our models are, literally, what Alvis would have created had it not halted production for over 50 years,” owner of The Alvis Car Company, Alan Stote, said.
“The factory had planned to build 150 4.3-litre chassis in 1938. As the site suffered serious damage by bombing in 1940, only 73 chassis were completed so we will continue that series, with new chassis, built to the original drawings.”
All models are made to an individual specification with owners encouraged to visit the Works and review some of the 50,000 drawings, build sheets and history files for inspiration.
“Blending history with modern technology is a delicate task, which the brand has undertaken sensitively,” he said.
“We are mindful of our original core values that ensured Alvis cars never suffered the fate of so many other British brands, which fall foul of quality standards and gained a bad reputation as a result.
“We offer a range of desirable options to make the car ideally suited for however you plan to use it,” adds Stote.
“It can be a very practical and relaxing way to enjoy a classic driving experience, with added peace of mind thanks to a three-year warranty.”