Alvis 12/40 TC, 1923
Alvis 12/40 TC ‘Duck’s Back’ Supersports, year 1923. Colour unpainted aluminium bodywork with green mud guards and green wire wheels. Sage green leather interior and matching carpet. This fantastic Alvis 12/40 TC was shipped to Australia, in chassis form, on 7 December 1923. After arrival in Australia the chassis was fitted out with a four-seater touring bodywork by the firm of Charles Kirkham in Petersham, Sydney. From new the full history is known and documented… This including TWO trips from England to Australia and back… The full history will be given with the car, here we present a short version. The 3rd Australian owner sold the car to Orchid Cars in the U.K. who respectively sold the car (then again chassis with scuttle only) to ex Alvis drawing office employee Mr. O. Stoke in the year 2000. Because of Stoke’s then ill health the nearly finished Alvis (now with ‘Duck’s Back’ Supersports body) was sold to Richard Dyson-Harvey in the year 2006, who then emigrated to (guess where) Australia taking the Alvis with him. Once back in Australia the Alvis was commissioned for rebuild by Mr. T. Heard of Adelaide in the year 2011. The Alvis was fully rebuilt to perfection and the work was completed in 2013. A detailed photographic record of the restoration is present with the car. The prior owner and Alvis employee Mr. Stoke purchased the car unseen in 2014 and it arrived back in the U.K. in 2015. Today, writing late 2020, this gorgeous Alvis 12/40 TC ‘Ducks Back’ Supersports is owned by a Dutchman and registered in the Netherlands. The automobile is in a superb top condition, this is one of the most beautifully crafted Alvis motorcars we have ever seen. The aluminium ‘Ducks Back Supersports body is a work of art the mechanicals look and feel perfect. Alvis has always been an engineer’s make; but we were again impressed by the advanced engineering of the chassis and mechanical components. The driveability of Alvis cars of the 1920s was and is far ahead of their period competitors!
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four cylinder in-line engine (side valves)
cylinder capacity: 1598 cc.
induction: 1 x Solex carburettor
capacity: 30 bhp. at 3800 rpm.
top-speed: approx. 60 mph - 100 km/h
gearbox: 4-speed manual + reverse
brakes: cable operated drum brakes
Alvis was founded by Thomas George John and G.P. de Freville. The first cars built under the Alvis name were manufactured in 1920, and the last Alvis (sports) cars came out of the factory in Coventry 47 years later. The ending of the brand name Alvis was sealed when it was incorporated into the British Leyland concern, where it became part of Rover.
The Alvis cars were of great quality and workmanship and were very fast as well. As for their cars, many parts were designed and manufactured by Alvis’ own staff, and production was small-scaled and exclusive. In the 1920s, Alvis was the first British car model to experiment with four-wheel drive. In fact, in 1925, they even manufactured sports and racing cars equipped with front-wheel drive, which had also been fitted with an overhead camshaft.
© Marc Vorgers