1953 ALVIS TA21 'GREY LADY' DROPHEAD COUPE
COACHWORK BY TICKFORD
Chassis No. TA21 25019
Metallic silver and burgundy with burgundy interior and burgundy soft top
Engine: Chevrolet V8, overhead valves, 327ci; Gearbox: turbo Hydromatic four-speed; Suspension: independent front with coil springs and wishbones, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs to live axle, telescopic dampers; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic drum. Left hand drive.
Formed in the early 1920s, the Alvis company quickly built a reputation as a maker of fine quality sporting motor cars with its four cylinder, 1,500cc, 12/50 model. With its high polished aluminum 'duck's back' sports body, the 12/50 did well in every kind of competition from the 200 Mile Race at Brooklands to long distance reliability trials. A decade later came the impressive Speed Twenty-Five and 4.3 models, endowed with independent front suspension and powerful six cylinder, overhead valve engines.
By 1950 the company introduced a completely new Three Litre, with a silky straight six cylinder engine. At first, in the tradition of English specialist makers, performance was subordinate to great refinement. That changed with the arrival of the brilliant designer Issigonis. One of his early assignments there was to evolve the Three Litre into the TC21/100, a conventional, even staid-looking, sports saloon, which in Grey Lady form nevertheless was guaranteed to be capable of 100mph.
This particular 1953 Alvis was purchased by the current owner two years ago from a private doctor collector in Beverly Hills, who had himself owned the car for over twenty years. In the mid-1980s the drophead was fitted with a 327 cubic inch Chevrolet engine and turbo-Hydramatic transmission. At the same time the differential was also upgraded, although all the suspension is still original Alvis. The instrumentation was also brought up to date utilizing some instruments from a Jaguar XKE. Described by the vendor as an older restoration, the two-tone paint in silver and burgundy appears still to be in very good condition. The burgundy interior is newer and the seats have been upgraded. A new top is fitted in matching burgundy Haartz cloth, and the trunk is fully carpeted. A modern AM/FM stereo is fitted. With an active Owners' Club and dedicated parts suppliers, and this car having the added benefit of being very much at home in modern driving conditions, the Alvis is a logical choice for the car enthusiast who enjoys the classic driving experience with modern reliability.