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Alice the Alvis: 1950 Alvis TA14


Alvis was one of those relatively obscure British marques that survived World War II but did not make it into the present day, at least as an auto manufacturer. They were known for producing solid and graceful touring cars, some with a sporting edge, but always sophisticated and somewhat understated. The first model produced after the war was the TA14, an example of which named “Alice” is for sale here on eBay in Knoxville, Arkansas with an opening bid of only $5,000 and no reserve.


This TA14 was imported from England at some point and is still on British ownership papers, although the seller states he can get an Arkansas title at extra cost (I would highly recommend that). Alice also comes with the records of her British owners from 1950 through 1968, and with a very active owners club in the UK and Red Triangle still carrying the remaining stock of spare parts and production records from when the factory stopped making cars, support should not be an issue. I love the rear tire cover on the deck lid and the classy wheel covers. The owner describes the body as being in good condition with a few rusty spots and dents. It certainly looks solid in the pictures!


The TA14 was powered by an 1892 cc 4-cylinder closely related to the engines Alvis made before the war. The chassis was also a development of their pre-war work and featured mechanical drum brakes on all four wheels. The engine apparently runs, or at least has run in the near past, as the owner says that he’s optimistic that the car can drive onto a trailer. He has replaced hoses and belts and changed the oil to try to get the car on the road but has done little else.


The interior is described as having a nice patina, although the headliner needs replacing. I have seen amazing transformations with leather conditioner, dye and some work, so perhaps these seats have life left. With a working sliding sunroof and a crank-open windshield, I can imagine touring in Alice would be an enjoyable experience. Many spares are included, including a complete new wiring harness and metal sills to replace the plastic ones currently on the car. Supposedly mostly everything works, at least to the owner’s recollection. I look at that beautiful wooden dash and I keep thinking Arkansas isn’t that far from me. Is it too far for you? Let us know if you’d consider dragging “Alice” home!


  1. Rick

    Now that is COOL!

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  2. Catfishphil

    A proud car – would be an honor to own, drive and enjoy… it looks very complete and almost ready to go. I’d find a way to modernize those brakes somehow, if possible… get it going and enjoy it with the patina.

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  3. Robert J

    Lovely find! The Jaguar he is selling looks like a great candidate for an engine swap at its current price;


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  4. jim s

    seller also has a 64 MGB for sale. Alice has about 2 days to go on ebay and no bids! great find

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  5. Tirefriar

    Very nice car, it’d be my honor to restore, too. Alas, the lack of any sort of decent work as well as its distance from me space would preclude me from buying this sleeping beauty. The wood structure will require a professional PPI as repacement can cost $$$. I hope Alice finds a great home….Jamie, go for it my man. What a write this would make!

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    • ross w. lovell


      unless alvis was really behind the curve in manufacturing, i would have thought the only wood in the car would be cosmetic, not structural being that it was 1950.
      later, ross w. lovell

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      • Tirefriar

        The TA was based on a pre war design. Alvis factory was almost razed by the Luftwaffe during WWII and after the war resources were quite limited. The chassis frame was steel but the treated ash wood was used for structural reinforcement in pillars, etc. I am not an Alvis expert by a long shot, but I believe welded structural panels appeared on the later 3 liter models. When buying anything vintage, I always suggest a PPI route by an expert – few hundred $ for a thorough PPI will save you thousands after you buy it.

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  6. Mark E

    If you read the comments on the bottom of the listing, the owner mentions that registration would entail applying for a bonded title which translates to the fact that he doesn’t have a title of ownership.

    It’s a beautiful classy car and if I was younger I’d love to take it on. It certainly deserves to be taken care of and owned with pride!

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  7. charlie Member

    Having owned a pre war MG SA (full four passenger, 119″ wheelbase) I can say there is a great feeling to be had driving one of these, with that relatively enormous hood out in front of you, your ass close to the ground (compared with any US car until the ’48 Hudson) and a top comfortable speed (skinny bias ply tires, puny engine, brakes good for one full stop from about 60 mph on the flat before fade) of 55 mph – although I bet it would do 75 mph on the flat. But, put in a dual master cylinder, modern brake hoses, new tires, whatever gaskets and rubber parts you can get, and drive it. Have a spare fuel pump in the boot, and a generator as well, and a coil, and go on a nice long trip on the roads built before 1950. And a set of Whitworth wrenches – not US, not Metric – a whole different UK system.

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  8. Grant

    Not 100% sure, but as I recall, these models were known as “Grey Lady”. I have an original Earls Court picture of the model on show there in the English AUTOMOBILE ENGINEER magazine of 1949/50. Some were fitted with pre-selector transmission as an option, which gives problems if not in use for a long time…..hope this one has standard manual transmission.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Grant, the Grey Lady was the model after the TA. That picture must be really cool!

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  9. 57Wayne

    I had contacted the seller on eBay as this seems a sweet car for the money. However, the title paperwork is the real issue. While the seller was happy-ish to pursue the title effort in his name at my cost, it was getting expensive and not guaranteed. There are still some states where getting the paper straight would be reasonably straight forward. Mass is not one of them. Having sold the last of my untitled cars to a new home in Minnesota, I am working on resisting the temptation to bite on this lure. Then you go and post it here too…

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  10. Frank

    Too bad it’s a right-hand drive.

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  11. Tirefriar

    Frank, that’s the way it was originally built. It’s a non-issue unless you plan to use it on daily basis with a lot of left hand turns to make.

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    • Frank

      But I’d always be dropping my wife off in traffic.

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      • Tirefriar

        Hmmm, a good point to consider when driving wth my mother-in-law…

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    • RickyM

      Or a lot of overtaking and you can’t see round the vehicle in front………… :-)
      Doubt you would as this is more the car for graceful cruising.

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      • Tirefriar

        The only car I think this would overtake is the Polski Fiat 126p. Top speed is 74 mph when everything is running right!

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