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The reborn Alvis Car Company is expanding its range of Continuation Series models with the addition of new chassis and body variants – and some will even use parts stored since the 1960s.
Though Alvis effectively died in 1968, another victim of the British-Leyland debacle, the company’s stock of chassis, engine blocks and other components, plus all the plans, drawings and data sheets for its vehicles, were transferred to service and restoration firm Red Triangle on its demise.
Red Triangle relaunched the marque as The Alvis Car Company in 2010 and produced several Continuation cars based on an Alvis 4.3 Short-Chassis bodied by Vanden-Plas.
Now it’s adding to the range, with a choice of six bodies and two engines, all of which are entirely in keeping with the original plans and also fully road-legal.
The Continuation Series cars split neatly into three pre- and three post-war models.
The Bertelli Sports Coupé, Lancefield Concealed Hood and Vanden Plas Tourer are all based on 1930s cars and use the firm’s 4.3-litre engine with a six-speed transmission. These are true ‘continuation’ models, in that their production will complete an original run curtailed by the bombing of Alvis’ Coventry factory in 1940 – indeed, their chassis numbers will even follow on from those allocated to the pre-war production run.
“Our models are, literally, what Alvis would have created had it not halted production for over 50 years,” says Alan Stote, owner of The Alvis Car Company.
“The factory had planned to build 150 4.3-litre chassis in 1938. As the site suffered serious damage by bombing in 1940, only 73 chassis were completed so we will continue that series, with new chassis, built to the original drawings.”
As a result, the three early models will be limited in number, with no more than 25 of each Continuation version built.
The other three models hark back to 1960s cars built before Alvis was absorbed into first Rover and then BL.
The Park Ward Drop Head Coupé and Graber Coupé and Cabriolets all use a 3-litre engine and five-speed ’box and also have the option of an automatic transmission and power steering. These three models won't be limited-edition and will be assembled using original chassis and engine blocks unused since production stopped in 1968.
Whether you go pre- or post-war, the engines are in-line six-cylinder Alvis units manufactured from the original drawings, but both use up-to-date tech including fuel injection and engine management to meet modern emissions standards.
And, unlike with many continuation models, these ones are fully road-legal; Alvis has worked with automotive regulating bodies the IVA and VOSA to ensure they're more than mere track toys.
Each model will be hand-built at The Alvis Car Company's Kenilworth Works site, with each one taking a whopping 4-5000 hours to produce. That kind of craftsmanship doesn't come cheap, of course: prices start at £250,000 and vary according to model and options.
“Blending history with modern technology is a delicate task, which the brand has undertaken sensitively,” adds Stote.
“We are mindful of our original core values that ensured Alvis cars never suffered the fate of so many other British brands, which fall foul of quality standards and gained a bad reputation as a result. We offer a range of desirable options to make the car ideally suited for however you plan to use it.”
Interested in buying one of the six Continuation Series models? Head to the Alvis Car Company website here.