Classic Cars in UK / Alvis

Alvis History


This is the history of the brand Alvis since the establishment of the company and up to the most modern of vehicles produced under this brand.

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History of the English car brand Alvis began in 1919 and begins with the Welshman Thomas George John (engineer and high specialist naval architecture).

Since the beginning of its existence the company TG John Ltd. located in the Midlands city of Coventry, which at the time was the main center of the automotive industry.

The first products manufactured at the plant, were stationary and motor engines, as well as consumables.

At the beginning of 1920 - created the first car brand Alvis, which was based on the design of Geoffrey de Frevilla who previously worked with the brothers Bentley.
At the end of 1921 the company was renamed Alvis Car and Engineering Co. Ltd.

The following year, the company came T. Smith-Clark (chief engineer) and W. Dunn (chief designer) that kept the company at the forefront of technological progress. Thomas George John was a major shareholder and followed the finance and business affairs in the firm.

The history of the brand Alvis knew his financial ups and downs. Director of Alvis sought to produce as many cars on its own plants and to implement them in their own car showrooms. This introduces a brand cars Alvis its share of personality and character.

The management team Alvis company engaged in the research and discoveries that have never been afraid to invest in the experiments.
One of the major discoveries were front-wheel drive, independent front suspension, fully independent suspension and automatic transmission.
The company also developed not only motor companies, but also engaged in the production of aircraft engines and armored fighting vehicles.

In 1936, the name of the company was reduced to Alvis Ltd.

The company continued to work to improve their own engines. The most famous of these was the engine of the brand Leonides, made its first flight in early 1939

In 1940, the company producing cars was badly damaged during a raid by the Luftwaffe in Covert, a factory for the production of aircraft engines remained completely intact, although it was located close to the car factory.

In 1944, TD, John retired and management of the company passed to T. Smith-Clark, William A. Dunn and Verney.
The company has created a car brand TA 14 and improved model 12/70. They were placed on production, but always had problems with the supply of bodies. Because of this, Alvis had a decent level of car sales.

However, creating 9 - cylinder radial aircraft engine Leonides provided a good future of the company.
Later, it was established 14 - cylinder Leonides Major.

After the war, the company again started to manufacture armored vehicles. However, it soon became clear that the production of cars has become a minor part of the business Alvis again due to supply bodies.

The company's management was interested in the purchase of its own equipment. But the necessary amounts, which would provide a return on investment seemed overwhelming.

When creating a new brand Three Litre proposed to use the body of pressed steel, but the price was very high and, therefore, were chosen traditional body from companies Mullliners and Tickford.

In the period from 1952 to 1955 GG the company worked Alec Issigonis. He was engaged in the project technically innovative vehicles with alternative 4 - tsilindrovanym V8 engine and rubber suspension, which came up with Alex Moulton. But the price has created a machine to prevent the implementation of this original design. Unfortunately there is not a single photo of the car.

By 1955 Mulliners supplier reduced the production of bodies, and then a few years later and did stop making them.
Gradually, the company began to lose money in the car and the direction it was clear that the brand TC 21/100 are not in demand and look outdated. Therefore, further investment in car production did not look very promising.

Came to the aid of Hermann Graber of Switzerland.

In 1950, he designed a small number of expensive elegant body on the basis of the brand Three Liter, designed for Swiss customers. These cars had a decent modern look and were more - less durable.

The company hoped that the bodywork in the UK will be considerably cheaper than in Switzerland. In Switzerland sent two cars as a prototype for mass production. In Switzerland, several cars were produced. They liked it, but were very expensive.

The situation improved after their conversion to the reserve fleet Rolls-Royce with a request to modify the body to remake it under the market in the UK and reduce the price. It was a good business move, after which the cars were sold well.

At the end of 1965 the company Alvis was purchased by Rover (which in turn became part of British Leyland) and now their independence ended.

Until 1967 the car division existed in conjunction with the department of aviation engines, which will soon also passed their position.

At present, the range of the company consists of armored vehicles, including light tanks.

In 1981, the company became part of the Alvis United Scientific Holdings, a bit later became known as Alvis Holding.

1994. Alvis moved to a new plant in Uolsgreyve on the border with Coventry, and later in 1999 in Telford, where he continued production.

In 2004 the company became part of the BA Systems.

Latest classic Alvis cars offered in listings in the United Kingdom: