1933 Alvis Firefly SA 11.9 Cross & Ellis 4-seat open tourer

***Pictures provided by seller***


・88-year-old original car
・One owner for last 15 years
・Fantastic condition inside and out


In 1919 the Avis company originally started building stationary engines, carburettors and motor scooters, and went on to produce some hugely successful cars, establishing a reputation for quality workmanship and superior performance for which it became famous. Their sturdy construction set them apart, their chassis one to stand very hard driving for long periods with a minimum of trouble. 

The Alvis Firefly was manufactured from 1932 and followed on from the 12/50 TJ model. It remained in production until 1935 by which time some 904 examples have been sold, 88 of them with open tourer body by Cross & Ellis, and here is one of those very cars.

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Introduced in September 1932, this Alvis Firefly was produced with a Cross & Ellis open tourer body and sold in black to a Ms. Litton of Bath in March 1933 as number 10 from 88 examples. 

Built to the same high standards as the more expensive Alvis Speed 20 and notably low-slung, it was based on a 'double-dropped' ladder frame chassis equipped with all-round semi-elliptic leaf-sprung suspension, friction dampers and four-wheel 14in drum brakes. 

Utilising a 9ft 10. 5in wheelbase and 4ft 4in track, this model was presented with four-speed manual transmission and was capable of 75mph. This particular car has complete matching numbers with all original parts (body, engine, gearbox, roof, leather upholstery). 

With its original 1496cc straight-four cylinder engine delivering 50 bhp, the 4-speed non-synchromesh gearbox was originally fitted with a single SU-carburettor system, but has since been upgraded to rally specification with a double-SU-carburettor system taken from an Alvis 12/60, with an individually produced carb-bridge. 

The current owner has had the car for about 15 years and has always had it regularly well maintained by a German mechanic specialising in pre-war era cars. It has only been used for summer outings, historical rallies and the annual meeting of the AOC (Alvis Owners Club) section of Germany. It was from the former president of AOC, Manfred Fleischmann, that the current owner purchased the car back in 2007.

Mr. Manfred Fleischmann owned the car from at least 2002 until 2007 and invopices show he has a new clutch fitted during this time. 

While little is known of the cars early life, the owner confirms that it has had three owners in Germany but he was unable to confirm the date of importation. Since ownership, the car has only driven approximately 2000 miles in total and never caused him any mechanical problems whatsoever.

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The owner reports an extensive file history accompanies the vehicle along with the original manual and photographs of work and activities. A photocopy of the original V-5-document is included and the stack of invoices relating to work done during his ownership and photos clearly show the car has been cared for extremely well. 

The owner frequently towed it from Germany to Alvis specialists Earley Engineering Ltd, whose Director Alex Simpson is well known in the Alvis Owners Club, to carry out any major works and servicing such as installation of the double-SU-carburettors system and several other visits besides, suggesting when he wanted something done to the car, it had to be done properly. Invoices throughout the period add up to several thousands of pounds. Other paperwork includes a license stamp book showing stamps from the 1960s.

It’s worth noting that the car has also been valued 5 times from 2004 to 2020 by Classic Data Germany, and the last one in July 2020 its condition received an international car ranking of ‘2+’. Such reports are required for any classic car insurance in Germany.

The car also has the is the latest check by  DEKRA/TÜV (official technical examination -German MOT) valid until Feb 2022.

The odometer reads 4756, but naturally once could safely assume it has been around the clock once or more.

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As can be seen from the pictures, the interior somewhat belies its 88 years. There are remarkably few scuffs to the seats and the red leather is nicely worn adding a wonderful patina to the cabin area.

It also contains a double stop-watch-system and an integrated mechanical tripmaster, as well as Brooklands screens for those occasions when the windshield is folded down. Everything is reportedly working as it should, as the owner’s fastidious attention to detail would imply.



The exterior appears to be in fine condition of a car its age and its clear the owner has cared for it well. Full wet weather equipment in black is added to the old-English white body, and also contains a full body sprayhood specially manufactured for this car that can be opened for access to the front seats, or solely to the driver’s seat. The removable side windows have been restored, and the roof, naturally a little faded, is completely original and in very good working condition. It has seldom been used in the last 15 years as the car has mainly been driven during the summer months.

All five tyres were renewed in 2019 and the original wire wheels were also refurbished in 2019. The car comes with the original 1933 black private plates and after the auction process, the car will be unregistered from the German traffic authorities and transferred to the buyer with these original black GB license plates.

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The current owner has kept the car garaged, changed the fluids every year, and reports that the fantastic original engine runs beautifully. The head gasket has been renewed during his ownership and the four-speed gearbox has never been tinkered with or caused any problems. 

The car is registered with the German Traffic Authorities as an historic vehicle and its documentation indicates that it has been upgraded with an electric fuel pump. 

The original single carburettor system, as well as the original exhaust are also included as spare parts for the new owner.

An electric fan has also been added to the water-cooling system and an additional leather belt secures the bonnet.

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This is nothing short of a stunning original Alvis Firefly of which there are so few left of today. It wears its age extremely well and has a great vintage feel about it, beautifully cared for and lovingly upgraded to help along the modern roads of today.

This is a genuinely lovely used example that wants to be used and certainly looks fantastic in white rather than the original black. Given the summer we’ve just had, one loathes to jinx it, but could this one be coming home?

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As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1933
  • Make Alvis
  • Model Firefly SA
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 4,756 Miles
  • Engine size
  • Town Dusseldorf
  • Location NOT STATED
  • Country Germany
Bidding history
47 bids
  • vr•••• €39,000 03/10/21
  • Fr•••• €38,750 03/10/21
  • vr•••• €38,500 03/10/21
  • vr•••• €38,250 03/10/21
  • Fr•••• €38,000 03/10/21
  • vr•••• €37,750 03/10/21
  • Fr•••• €37,500 03/10/21
  • vr•••• €37,250 03/10/21
  • Ba•••• €37,000 03/10/21
  • vr•••• €36,750 03/10/21

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