This elegant Alvis 3 ½ Litre was delivered as chassis number 13126 with engine number 13576 on 8th January 1936 to Follett of London . It was bodied by the Mayfair Carriage Company of Edgware Road, London with the sedanca coupe coachwork it carries to this day.
It was first owned by Captain the Honourable Henry Rogers Broughton (who later became Lord Fairhaven) and we have log books dating back to 1946 when Captain Broughton still owned the car. These, along with letters from various owners including Lord Fairhaven’s son, tell us the names of every owner from 1936 right up to the present day.
As far as I can see, although the car has been maintained it has never been restored which is a great credit to Alvis and Mayfair as it is in really lovely lightly patinated condition. If I am right about it being largely untouched then it must be one of the most original cars of its era you are likely to come across.
The bodywork is very sound and rattle free and is remarkably free of signs of ageing. The quality of the exterior paint finish, allowing for reasonable wear here and there, is really nice with a deep black shine. The interior trim and upholstery are in very good condition considering their age as are the carpets, headlining and wood trim. It is still has its two cigarette lighters in the rear as well as a pair of small vanity mirrors in their own compartments. The wind-up chauffeur’s division works perfectly as does the opening front roof which folds away neatly behind a panel in the main body.
The car has been extensively checked over and we have fitted a new specially made honeycomb radiator core, the engine cylinder head and block have been removed and casting core plugs renewed as necessary plus the valves have been re-ground and a new head gasket fitted along with a new water temperature gauge. The carburettors have been tuned and balanced, the ignition retimed and the coil/magneto switch changeover switch has been rebuilt. The starter motor Bendix has been replaced and various elements of the wiring replaced as necessary with a new battery isolator switch being fitted at the same time and finally the brakes have been adjusted and balanced. The file contains a detailed list of the work done and its associated invoices.
The engine starts very readily, pulls strongly and maintains good oil pressure . The gearbox, as you would expect from Alvis, is a delightful all synchromesh four speed and reverse unit which is quiet and smooth in operation, as is the rear axle. The suspension is good with no bangs or rattles, the brakes are good and the steering is light and responsive so it is a pleasure to drive.
The dashboard instruments are present, correct and work as do the steering wheel controls for hand throttle, ignition advance retard, driving lights and horn and the semaphore indicators work properly and although the ride is fine I am not sure that the dashboard mounted shock absorber adjusters work.
So we have a very rare and striking to look at original unrestored coachbuilt Alvis which should make a fine long distance touring car and whoever owns it will know they are unlikely to run into too many identical cars on their travels!
Clearly it is not a recent rebuild which to my mind can sometimes be a very good thing, especially if you prefer originality and it will appeal more to someone who values owning a really lovely original 78 year old car rather than one which has been extensively restored .
P.S. There are fifteen photographs of this actual car in Chapter Six of Nick Walker's excellent book "Alvis Speed Models in Detail"