Alvis In North America: 1935 Alvis Speed 20

1935 Alvis Speed 20

We already featured a Speed 20 project today, but it’s in England. So, here’s something for those of us in North America! This one is a tad newer and benefits from a little more displacement. It has some crash damage, but the car is mostly there and the seller knows its history from new. It’s located in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada and is listed here on kijiji without a price. Thanks goes to Jay M for the tip!

Crash Damage

Here is a shot of the damage. Reconstruction of that tail seems like a daunting task. According to online sources, there were only 1,165 Speed 20s ever built, so parts aren’t exactly plentiful. There are a lot of people who love these cars still though so I’m sure there’s someone out there with the knowledge needed to restore this one. There’s even a few guys attempting to bring the brand back to life so maybe they could provide assistance?

Four Spoke Steering Wheel

The four spoke steering wheel and full set of gauges are still in place. It looks like a lot of pieces are missing, but the seller claims that everything is there… Somewhere. This probably isn’t a project for the unexperienced as a lot of fabrication work will need most likely need to be done. Some parts may still be out there, but you’re not going to be able to call up Moss Motors and order the missing bits.

Bigger Inline Six

There’s the triple SU carb equipped inline-six. This one has a bit more displacement than the last one we featured and presumably a bit more speed. I doubt it was driven 90 mph on the gravel roads of Canada, but you never know. It’s doubtful that many of these ever made it to North America, so it would be interesting to learn about this car’s past and how it got where it is.

Alvis Badge

This is going to be a huge project and few people will see the draw here. The more you learn about these cars though, the more you will come to realize how special they really were. Alvis may not enjoy the brand name recognition that other British brands like Bentley and Rolls Royce do, but this car was once a high-performance machine and it deserves to be saved Do you think you have what it takes to complete the job?

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Comments

  1. Ed B

    Besides your link to the Alvis video, anyone interested in the brand might enjoy reading about it in connection with a 1964 Alvis TE-21 drophead coupe just put on the market by Hyman Ltd. for $129,500 at http://www.hymanltd.com.

    • Van

      OMG you smut monger
      More car porn
      Now I’m going to go home and slap the family toyota

  2. Birdman

    The gravel roads of Canada?? I beg your pardon??

    We don’t need no stinkin’ gravel roads here….not for our dog sleds…we make our own roads….

    All kidding aside…so no one gets the wrong idea, we do have paved roads here, contrary to popular belief…

    If anyone is interested in getting a close up on this thing, I know a lot of people in and around the Winnipeg area that could probably go have a look for you…

    Now…I need to go put an addition onto my igloo….

    • grant

      Lol to be fair, when this car was built the roads in most of North America were not exactly to today’s standards.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      @Birdman – It was just a reference to the last Alvis we posted that was driven 90mph on the gravel roads of Nigeria and wasn’t mean to be an insult against Canada.

      @grant – Good point.

  3. Lee

    Looks like the owner had a new idea each week on what to take apart with little where with all how to reassemble anything /Lee

  4. billy de Hulst

    Here is another car that should be almost free, because the cost of even a home restoration ( What, 3000 hours work in a well equipped shop?) is going to cost half the earth. But it if you need the parts, this one is for you.

    For those living in isolation from the rest of the world: Please note, Canada is a modern country with many benefits such as Mc Dungholes, Home Despots, and lots of six lane, non-gravel freeways, which can take you from coast to coast without seeing a tree, an Indian or an Eskimo, who we call Inuit in this goofy monster of a country. Our problem is that we are not nationalistic, pugnacious or loud, so with only 35 million people we are pretty quiet. Oh yeah, we won our last war against the United States.

  5. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Who ever said anything bad about Canada? If you guys would read the story, you would see that I was referring to the other Alvis we featured. Also, just because a car is a project doesn’t mean it should be free. Just like any other big dollar car, even projects are worth a lot of money.

  6. Van

    This car will be great.
    I’ll bet you could visit every cars and coffee in America and not see anything even close.
    We see lots of cars hear that are old and slow. It should do fine at 70 if you are respectfull. This thing will most likely out handel most US cars through the 50s.
    This car is only calling for your time and passion.

    • Dave Wright

      And it is real……….

  7. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    E-mailed, the seller. Starting bid was $30K

    Sent a second e-mail wonderinf if more picture were possible, also asked if he had a “buy it now” price. The $30K was the start and he wanted to see where it goes, so no would be the answer.

    Intersting car. Thirties era car in the UK that isn’t a flathead.

    Alvis always an upscale company compared to many though the numbers were far fewer.

    Anyone know if the engine and frame were theirs?

    The frame looks like a product of Standard, who also supplied SS, Avon and AC.
    Standard supplied both engine and frame to SS and Avon, but only the frame to AC which always surprised me as apparently in short runs AC had amortized money for engine tooling but not frames?

    These cars had more pedigree than the fledgling SS company, more on a par with Bentley and sometimes used Park Ward bodies, but cost less.

    Both Alvis’s appear reasonably complete, if the storage was dry the structural wood of the body should be fine. Could be upside down if a lot is needed and panels are in poor condition, but being an open car it’ll command more.

    BIggest worry is the engine in hoping the casting hasn’t suffered any ill effects.

    I’ll be interested to see what this goes for. Most likely going overseas as they have a lot more love and familiarity with the Red Triangle marque.

    Also wonder why only one has a seperate windshield assembly. Possibly one is a converted coupe?

  8. Dolphin Member

    Either of the two Alvises (Alvi?) would be great fun to show up at cars ‘n coffee in, but of the two I would prefer the earlier ’30 Speed 20 for its lighter looking body and fenders, and the all-around rakish look. Both have tri-carb bragging rights—-who wouldn’t be impressed by that on a ’30s sportscar?

    Either car would take big money to do properly, so for most people they are a pipe dream. But the $30K ask for this car doesn’t seem outrageous since these sell at auction at between $100K-$200K, and this car is mostly all there. But you would have to spend more than it’s worth to buy it and then make it into a 100 point car.

    The best way to go might be to do enough to make it solid, presentable, and good-running, and then just drive it to really enjoy upscale ’30s style motoring—especially to cars ‘n coffee. It would take a lot of car for someone to top it on Sunday mornings.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Dolphin, does the difference in the year of manufacture have anything to do with one of the cars having the windshield posts as part of the cowl versus the other example that has a seperate windshield assembly?

  9. Terry

    Use a tub from an MG T series and build a special.

  10. billy de Hulst

    For those who are interested in building a Special you can Google a magazine article about my MGY Special at:

    MGY 1302 Special Peter Lee Special

    The car is still a work in progress, but is great fun to drive.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Nice work Billy, has that vintage look.

  11. Jeff Milsom

    Hi,
    I can answer a couple of the questions raised. I have 2 Alvis cars in the UK.
    Alvis built the whole of the chassis, engine and running gear. This was then sent to a coachbuilder of the customers choice to add a body to that customers spec.
    Main coachbuilders were Van den plas, Cross and Ellis and Charlesworth.
    The two cars under discussion have different body styles, one is a Drop Head Coupe, with flat door tops, wind-up windows and a robust hood frame with external support arms. The other is a Tourer body, curved door tops, no wind up windows but removable ‘side screens’ to keep the weather out. The hood (thats what we call the double duck fabric roof in the UK) is supported on a series of steel hoops. There are quite a few of these in the UK. Yes they cost a fortune to restore……white metal bearings etc. You would be lucky to turn a profit on either of those unless you do as much as you can and don’t charge for your time!
    Good luck…

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Mr. Milsom, are you telling me that no one has refitted shell bearings for these yet?

      Pouring Babbitt is sort of a lost art, but there are specialists.

      My issue was with the example with the windshield pillars built into body. The tops of the pillars didn’t look like they would accept a finisher. They looked abbreviated from cutting off the roof.

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