1935 Alvis Speed 20 SC Mayfair Saloon Sold

Chassis Nr. 12132. Engine Nr 12582 Car Nr 17442.

They say money can’t buy happiness, but the future owner of this magnificent Alvis motorcar may well disagree. Not only has the car been treated to a chassis-up professional restoration, it is believed to be one, if not the only surviving roadworthy Speed 20 to wear closed bodywork by the famous Mayfair Carriage Co. The more expensive Mayfair coachwork was only specified by special order, unlike the more abundant Charlesworth bodied Alvises. Only four Saloons were reportedly commissioned to wear Mayfair coachwork.

The car was completely rebuilt by Earley Engineering, an independent firm of Alvis Specialists with a worldwide reputation for restoring Vintage and Classic Alvis motorcars. Using traditional techniques, they employ a skilled workforce, backed up by an enormous technical archive amassed by the firm’s founder Nick Simpson, who is the Technical adviser to the AOC.

It follows that the restoration was completed to the highest possible standard regardless of cost, there are bills on file for £95,000 but it is understood that the final figure exceeded this total. A subsequent fastidious owner has further improved the car by the installation of an electric overdrive system, the pedals have also been altered to conform to modern layout with the brake in the middle instead of the accelerator. Bright LED flashing indicators have been tastefully incorporated within the original semaphore arms.

Although over 80 years old, the car is now at home on Britain’s modern Motorway network, so can easily attend National Classic Car events throughout UK and even further afield. The last owner recently visited Stratford and also attended the Longstone Classic Car Rally.

In 1920, the Progressive Carriage Company was formed. By 1929, the name had changed to The Mayfair Carriage Company Ltd. By the 1930s, they were responsible for creating some of the most luxurious and impressive coach bodies of their time.

In 1931 a relationship with upper class manufacturer Alvis cars was established, they provided superstructure for their sedans, coupes and sport cars as well as for some bespoke Rolls Royces. A source speaks of some 400 bodies in total. The Mayfair trademark was their exceptional, elegant and graceful designs which is exemplified by the car presented here, with particular attention drawn to the unique curved roof and luggage compartment design.

This is the 3rd variant of the Speed 20, designated SC it incorporated increased 2762 cc engine capacity with 110mm stroke, changes were made to the steering and front damping, plus 2 electric fuel pumps were added and the rear chassis stiffened.

The Alvis press adverts spoke in glowing terms, of their new model, claiming it was capable of extremely high speeds and vivid silent acceleration to over 90 mph. It was also the first British car with an all synchro mesh gearbox, a big improvement over the somewhat temperamental and crude crash boxes of the period.

A copy of the original factory Build Sheet is included in the history file, from which we learn that it left the Alvis works on 15th May 1935 and was registered with the London CC on the 1st July 1935, by Alvis main dealer Charles Follett on behalf of its first proud owner a Mr J.B.T.Collins of Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

It was next heard of in Norway in the mid 90’s having been discovered there by the aforementioned Nick Simpson, he sold it to a Bentley enthusiast who loved pre-war saloons and commissioned the full restoration from Nick’s specialist facility. The colour being changed in the process from Aubergine over Sky Blue to the more Imperial Rolls Royce Garnet Purple. According to the AOC archives, it was registered in the North of UK, prior to its life in Norway.

The car has been meticulously preserved by the last keeper, always serviced and tuned by well-known Alvis Specialist MCI Engineering. An unrepeatable opportunity to acquire a rare, iconic car restored to full Exhibition Standard.

Comes with V5, MOT to May 2017 (although technically exempt from such things) Starting handle, Copy Owner’s Handbook and Alvis Parts Manual, History file containing Restoration Copy Invoices. Speed 20 Roadtest, Tools.

Overseas enquiries welcomed. Can arrange transport UK or Europe at £1 pr/mile.