The 12/50 is a significant model in Alvis history for many reasons. It was the car that really marked the arrival of Alvis as a serious and successful car maker and set the standard for the remainder of the company's car production. Alvis took the basic side valve design and converted it to pushrod overhead valves in 1923 and all subsequent production Alvis cars had overhead valves. It was immediately apparent that this was a quite exceptional 1500cc sports car and, with minor changes, it was reborn as the immortal 12/50; the very quintessence of the vintage sports car. The 12/50 was produced over a long period but discontinued in 1929 when the firm pinned its faith on the front-wheel drive models. When these failed to win wide acceptance, the 12/50 was hastily re-introduced and is believed to have saved the firm. The Alvis 12/50 is notably regarded as one of the definitive vintage cars with a perfect balance of power, road holding and braking. The model is well reported of having real durability and reliability, contributing factors being the ultra strong chassis and impressive mechanical design. The 12/50 model was in production for ten years and we believe 3616 were built with less than 500 survivors known by the Alvis Club.
VE 5158 was first registered on the 13th May 1931 and from an original brown ‘buff' logbook we can confirm this well travelled four seat tourer spent the 1950's and early 1960's in Hertfordshire, from 1963 to 1970 in Edinburgh, 1970-1972 in Lincoln, 1972 - 1974 in Newcastle, late 1970's in the North West then Derbyshire and from 1984 the Alvis spent 26 years in Berkshire before selling to the most recent owner in Bromsgrove in 2010. The Alvis comes with an exceptional history file with restoration invoices dating back to the 1970's and MOT certificates dating back to 1983 indicate the Alvis has covered 9000 miles in the past 35 years and has been kept roadworthy and on the road throughout this period. Fascinating letters, correspondence and restoration paperwork go into great detail and in a letter dated 22nd January 1974 we learn the Alvis was owned by the secretary of the VSCC in Scotland during the 1960's. We also learn the Alvis was used for some hillclimb events in the 1960's before becoming an every day car for one of its Scottish owners in the late 1960's. It was often driven from Edinburgh to Ayr over the Lanarkshire Moors and used for touring holidays. The owner then moved to Lincoln and in 1972 and the Alvis the owner treated the car to some major work to include an engine rebuild to include re-metalling all main and big end bearings, the clutch was re-lined and the dynamo was overhauled.
Invoices and related paperwork tell us the Alvis was subject of more restoration work during the late 1980's and its long term owner continued to spend money on the car right throughout his ownership of almost 30 years. Major work during the 1990's included stripping and repairing the gearbox, major work to the exhaust manifold, re-conditioning of the clutch, replacing water pipes, engine and gearbox mountings, carrying out rocker shaft modifications, new exhaust sections, overhauling brakes, replacing springs and spring bushes, replacing the rear cross shaft, stripping and rebuilding the steering box, renewing floor boards, new side-screens and hood, re-trimming the interior, restoring the headlamps, carrying out paintwork and carrying out various re-wiring work. Over the past eight years the most recent owner has also maintained the Alvis very well, and invoices detail work to include new distributor, drive gears, replacing carburettor components, new cylinder head gasket and inlet and exhaust gaskets and regular servicing. VE 5158 has had two owners in 35 years, has covered 9000 miles in this time and has been thoroughly enjoyed and proven a true pleasure to own.
This Alvis 12/50 TJ Tourer presents very well with its beautiful four seat tourer body. The metal work is in excellent order and the 1990's bright paint finish has a lovely aged finish but does have evidence of micro-blistering. The car has the look of a very genuine, honest and correct, nicely aged car but paintwork improvements can be discussed if necessary. Brightwork is still of a good standard, the interior is beautifully presented with a lovely patina and the full weather gear is in excellent order. The strong robust chassis is in excellent order and on the road the Alvis performs very well and is very happy at 45-50MPH. The gearbox bearings are particularly quiet, the four cylinder engine performs superbly and sounds delightful and the 12/50 handles and brakes well. VE 5158 is a very charming, well sorted older restoration that has a lovely history and is useable, presentable and incredibly desirable in its correct four seat tourer format.
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