1947 Alvis TA-14 Drophead: Worth Restoring?

left front

Reader M George spotted this rare car, an Alvis. The model TA 14s were produced after the war, from 1946 until 1950. The convertibles were built on a modified pre-war Alvis 12/70 with either Carbodies or Tikford bodies. This one is said to have an aluminum Cooper body instead. This grand old Alvis is listed on craigslist in Pittsburg for $19,999.

left inside

The engine is said to run well. It needs a complete restoration, but looks solid. Unless the special body makes this one a lot more valuable, it appears to be way overpriced. The average sale price for a droptop is $8,000 according to Hagerty and even a condition 2 car would still only be worth $20,000. This is far from a condition 2 car. I guess if someone just had to have one of these, they might pay crazy money for it.

right rear

Sadly, at current values this doesn’t appear worth restoring at any price. There’s a completely restored convertible for sale in England on CarAndClassics for about $30,000. Do you think the aluminum body might make this old Alvis worth enough more to make restoration feasible? This is another example where rare doesn’t mean valuable.

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Comments

  1. Roger Owen

    Coincidentally, there’s a very pretty Alvis 12/70 ‘special’ up for auction in the US that is expected to go for between $80,000 – $200,000. Maybe this tourer could provide the chassis, drive train and running gear (apart from wire wheels) for a similar project.

    More info;

    https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/alvis/1270/1940/340360?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Classic+Driver+Daily+2122015&utm_content=Classic+Driver+Daily+2122015+CID_0fa5ba37d1427ebe82dea91118a8b316&utm_source=newsletter

  2. DRV

    I love a 3 position drophead, but I would get the Jaguar mark V version to restore before this one. Still love it….

  3. Howard A Member

    Not much could be found about the aluminum body. Apparently, this was the 1st post-war car from Alvis, after playing a huge role in WW2. Wiki claims, after the war, their body plants were heavily damaged, and sought outside suppliers for the bodies. So there could indeed be very few of these aluminum ones, unless all early TA-14’s were aluminum. This car is claimed to still have mechanical brakes. I think this is well worth it.

  4. Albert

    I thought this one looked familiar. I saw this Alvis at the fall AACA Hershey meet where it was priced at $25,000. So I see it didn’t sell there.

  5. Brad

    Neat. Love the older paint job, hate the big patches of rust. Reminds me of how conservators work on old oil paintings; they match the color and paint in the lost areas, but they use reversible techniques like water-based paints, etc., so that better technologies can be used down the road as methods improve.

    I would do that here, keep as much of the age as I could, even trying to salvage the top if possible by (again, like a conservator) mounting the cloth on top of new material below. I’d try and keep all the character, while turning back the clock by 15 or 20 years. That black and silver is beautiful.

    • David Frank David Member

      Interesting thought, but would you be willing to pay $20K for a car that is only worth 8K if it was running, driving and presentable because it is rare?

      • Brad

        Yeah, that’s the rub. I’m already upside-down in a car project, and not interested in repeating that. If the seller is really flexible (and if the car had truly solid bones), it could be cool at 10 or 12K, paying a little premium for the age, which still seems like a detriment to most – but which I love.

  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Being in the middle of a very comprehensive restoration of a similar era car, an SS1 Tourer, the wood beneath the metal in the cowl and doors would worry me, the aluminum not a bit.

    Being upside down before you even start, that’s an issue. I also believe the value from Hagerty is for a closed car, not a drophead, just seems very low as this car in the UK would bring the money asked in this condition. Not crazy about four bangers in this big a car.

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