Fifty years after Alvis stopped making cars, the company is back and its order book is open. And the company will have a significant presence at the London Classic Car Show (23-26 February, London ExCeL) to mark the occasion.
Unlike some marque revivals, The Alvis Car Company isn’t simply attaching the famous ‘Red Triangle’ badge to the front of a modern supercar but instead is recreating genuine supercars from an earlier age.
Among the Alvis cars at the capital’s premier classic car show will be a stunning 1966 Graber-bodied TF21, made in the company’s penultimate year, and a wonderful 4.3 drophead coupé with Lancefield coachwork from 1937 (below) . The cars are originals but Alvis is offering hand-built facsimiles of both as part of a limited run of Continuation Models.
The Graber and Lancefield cars can be seen and heard in action as they will be taking part in one of the show’s major displays, The Perfect Ten. Sixty of the world’s greatest classic cars in ten categories – saloon, coupé, convertible, sports car, supercar, hatchback, shooting break, sports racer, streamliner and single-seater – will be paraded along The Grand Avenue, an automotive catwalk that runs through the centre of the show.
Another original that’s also now available as an Alvis Continuation Model, the head-turning Bertelli-bodied 4.3-litre Sports Coupé from 1935 (below), will be shown on the company’s display stand.
A fourth Alvis, a unique Brooklands racer known as the Powys-Lybbe Special after its original creator, amateur racer Antony Powys-Lybbe, will be a further of The Perfect Ten entrants. Based on a 1931 Alvis 12/60 ‘Beetleback’, it had been given a lighter and narrower body and ran at over 90mph on the outer Brooklands circuit.
Richard Joyce, managing director of The Alvis Car Company, said: “Our Continuation Cars are as close to the originals as we can get. We have had to make some modifications to ensure they comply with current Individual Vehicle Approval regulations but essentially the idea is to give owners the same supercar driving experience that owners had when the cars were new. And when you bear in mind that the 4.3 Tourer had a 0-60mph time of 11.3 seconds back in 1938, there’s no denying these were the supercars of their day.”
Alvis is just one of the many grand marques that will be featured at the show. Another major display brings together twenty of the greatest Ferrari road cars, worth an estimated £120 million. This special showcase is being curated with the help of renowned London-based performance car expert Joe Macari.
New for this year is The Grand Avenue’s Open Paddock, allowing visitors to get even closer to the star cars while another innovation is the Beaulieu Pop-up Autojumble. Some top-class stalls will bring a flavour of the world-famous autojumble to London by selling classic car parts, books and magazines and motoring ephemera.
The Pop-up Autojumble will form part of Car Club Square where some of the country’s leading one-make clubs will be staging displays of their favourite machines and will have club members on hand to discuss the merits of their chosen marque or model.
Now in its third year, the London Classic Car Show is bigger than ever and will have more than 700 stunning classic cars on display, some for sale from leading dealers in the classic world. The show has always attracted star names and this year’s visitors will include Le Mans Legends Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell as guests of honour.
This year, the London Classic Car Show even incorporates a second show, Historic Motorsport International (HMI), which is devoted to historic racing and rallying.
As well as countless motor sport specialists, championship organisers, competition car dealers and race teams, special displays will celebrate 50 years of both Formula Ford and the all-conquering Ford DFV F1 engine. Also planned is a thrilling presentation underlining the breadth of historic machinery that will be taking part in the Silverstone Classic festival in July.
An open forum on Thursday and Friday, the Historic Motorsport Conference Programme – hosted in the show’s Supagard Theatre by motorsport broadcaster Henry Hope-Frost and with expert opinions from leading names in the historic motorsport world – will debate a wide variety of topics including Scrutineering and Eligibility, Driving Standards and Safety and the Promotion and Marketing of Historic Motorsport.
With The London Classic Car Show going from strength-to-strength and the instant success of its new HMI sister show, the organisers have already confirmed dates for both events in 2018. Bas Bungish, Group Event Director said: “HMI has been a fantastic addition to The London Classic Car Show and the two events complement each other superbly. We’re already in discussions with partners for next year’s events which again will combine at ExCeL London and run from 22 to 25 February, 2018.”
In the meantime, next month’s HMI will be officially opened by racing legend Jacky Ickx at 12 noon on Thursday, 23 February, with the London Classic Car Show opening its door later in the afternoon in readiness for a special, star-studded Gala Evening honouring Le Mans legends including six-time winner Ickx and five-time winners Derek Bell and Emanuele Pirro.
Tickets to the 2017 London Classic Car Show/HMI are now available from the show website – thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk – and start at £24 for single adult entry (£27 on the door on the day). Gala evening standard entry costs £42 or for access to the Grand Avenue Club, where the interviews take place, tickets cost £70.