2011 marks the 60th Anniversary of the Alvis Owner Club and they celebrated in style at their 56th International Alvis Day held at Brooklands. One of the day’s highlights was an impressive gathering of Alvis cars that had been used in motor sport from rallying to circuit racing.
Alvis founder T.G. John was indeed most prolific in racing his cars at Brooklands, and first time out was in 1921 with a 10/30 race car with the ensuing years proving most successful for the marque. In 1923 Major C.M. Harvey won the JCC 200 Mile Race in an Alvis 12/50 race car. The display included a 1939 4.3 litre SC Standard Vanden Plas Short Chassis Tourer that was driven in the 1939 RAC Rally by Dorothy Stanley-Turner and gained premier award for the best open car taking part in the coachwork competition.
Long distance rallying was represented by John Hickman’s 1934 Silver Eagle SF 16.95 that took part in the Peking to Paris event in 2007, while Anya Ledwith’s 1935 Silver Eagle Special has continuous competition history with her family since 1964. Peter and Vicky Martin’s 1951 TA21 DHC with bodywork by Tickford was previously campaigned by Rowland Simmonds of Red Triangle in two Pirelli Classic Marathons.
The car is something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and has been tweaked and tuned for greater performance.
One of the rarest cars in attendance was Adam Gilchrist’s Alvis-Healey of which around 18 were built, with only a handful now known to exist. The car is mostly Healey, except for the Alvis 3.0 litre straight-six engine. Ian Smith’s 1939 12/70 Mulliners Tourer was used by the police force in Glasgow during WW2. It was taken off the road in 1963 with a cracked engine block and has undergone much refurbishment work since, with a body and interior restoration completed this year. The car has been used for extensive touring in New Zealand, America and 13 European countries. The full gamut of Alvis models were on display, from single seater race cars, Graber bodied cars, Specials, pre-war cars, late production cars and Woodies too!
Cars arrived from around the UK, the continent and some travelled all the way from Australia, making it a truly international event. It also incorporated a stopping off stage on the Nick Walker Tour, a round Britain drive by Alvis Club enthusiasts in their cars, to raise money for charity and in memory of the club’s previous Chairman Nick Walker who sadly succumbed to cancer around a year ago.
There were Driving Tests, Concours, Model Parade, Competition cars demonstration, passenger rides up the Test Hill courtesy of Earley Engineering and a full and light hearted running commentary from Frank Kay, making this an extremely memorable club event that was very well organised and a credit to all concerned