Rare Drop-Head Coupe: 1953 Alvis TC 21 100

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Alvis Car & Engineering Co. was a British manufacturer from 1919 to 1967. While they built cars for civilian consumption, they also produced armored vehicles for the military. Here is a 1953 edition of the Alvis TC 21/100 Drop-Head Coupe, which is another way of saying convertible. Production numbers were low and one in any condition in this country today would be a rare sight. As a rolling chassis and body shell, you’d have a daunting restoration project or you could go custom. Located in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, this oddity is available here on eBay for $3,998 (or you can throw out an offer). Thanks, Barn Finder “jonny” for this “from over the pond” tip!

Alvis built quite a few different kinds of automobiles until Rover bought them in 1965 and shut down that side of the business. One of them was the Alvis TC 21 (or TD) which used a 2,993-cc engine that was capable of 100 hp with twin carburetors. The TC 21/100 (also called the Grey Lady) was a 2-door coupe version of the car that had a fold-down top. They were produced from 1953 to 1955 and perhaps no more than 800 of them saw the light of day.

With an increase in the compression ratio and an adjustment to the final drive ratio, we’re told the Grey Lady could bebop along at 100 mph or greater. With that in mind, while the TC 21/100 was luxurious in nature, it was built for those who also had a need for speed. And yet a heater was standard equipment while a radio was an expensive option. How and when this particular TC 21/100 came to the States and became partially disassembled isn’t known. But in its current condition, it’s either a parts car (but who else is rebuilding one of these?) and maybe you could build a one-of-a-kind custom?

The car is left-hand-drive, which in itself is scarce. There is no drivetrain or trim pieces, but it does have its front seats, gauges, and top hood frame along with glass in the doors. Since the suspension is intact, we’re told it will roll just fine on and off a trailer. But there is not one scrap of paperwork to be had, so a bill of sale will have to do.

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  1. Martin Horrocks

    No comments yet? I would say this is far from a worthless piece of junk, though it is going to take hotrod imagination and skills to make it into a car again. And pointless to think about restoring to stock. All parts are in fact available via Red Triangle Services in the UK, but if you have to ask the price….

    On the other hand, there are many nice straight 6 drivetrains which could fit the frame, auto box would suit the nature of the car etc…

    This would also be a valuable source of parts, How much is a door or wing worth on something like this?

    Like 4
  2. Graeme T

    This car has been for sale locally for many months on CL. Too incomplete and too far gone for a back-to-original restoration, but if someone needs a body panel or two, a reasonable buy. Looks like someone at least started a restoration, but since then it’s been picked over.

    Like 0
  3. CeeOne

    I never realized how rare these were untl a few months ago. A friend of my grandfathers has the sedan version of one of these in the 50s and 60s. I loved it, sliding metal sunroof, suicide doors, Lucas trafficators. He sold it in the 70s of $250. Without asking me. 30+ years ago we moved to Vermont and I met a Dr in Keene that had a Bentley and a later Alvis TF-21. Then last year a friend of mine from high school, who has 70+ cars, bought a convertible like this one. Very nice condition, I think he paid $28K for it.One year, one of the sedans was raced at Goodwood. I guess they race anything. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1SCmSoEImY&t=254s

    Like 1
  4. Rod

    We just had a beautiful Panhard to admire. I would say that the Alvis Car and Engineering Company was the British equivalent of Panhard in many ways.

    Like 0
  5. maxVitesse

    Alvis Red Triangle in UK possess . . . .

    ## all 22,000 Car Records, one for every car Alvis produced ##

    . . . so the lucky new owner should soon be able to check its origins!

    Like 0

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