Engineer T G John had founded the Alvis company in 1919 when he acquired the rights to an automobile engine and with it the brand name of its aluminium pistons – 'Alvis' and quickly thereafter he introduced the first Alvis car - the 10/30hp - appearing in 1920
Despite the somewhat conservative image Alvis has today, T G John Ltd produced some technically innovative cars in the inter-war period, pioneering front-wheel drive technology and championing small-capacity, high-performance engines and he also introduced an 'all synchromesh gearbox in 1934 - all very avante-garde stuff
When the new Silver Eagle was introduced in 1934, the leading motoring magazine of the time, Motor, summed their experiance as follows:-
'Well equipped, beautifully finished and of up-to-date design, the price of £595 is moderate considering the quality of the chassis and coachwork,'
First introduced in 1929, the Silver Eagle was revamped for '34, gaining a stronger X-braced frame and a new all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox. The sturdy and reliable Alvis six-cylinder engine was available in either 2,148cc or 2,362cc capacities and produced 60-70bhp, which was good enough for a top speed of around 75mph and comfortable cruising at 60
Equipped with the larger capacity engine, our Silver Eagle is the last and only to have been delivered in 1937 by the factory and is fitted with the very elegant Cross & Ellis Open Tourer 4 door bodywork
Cross & Ellis bodied many Alvis' as they were based but a stones throw away from the Alvis works and the quality of their bodywork was well known at the time
In correspondence with the Alvis Owners Club historian, a previous owner was trying to establish why this car had been held-back by the factory until 1937 - the last of the Silver Eagles production had been completed and delivered in 1936
The outcome of those discussions would indicate that it may well have been a development car that the works retained
One indicator to this fact of it's retention maybe the additional gauges located to the right of the driver on the dash. These two dials are specific to this car and are for a hydraulic damping system
Operating on both front and rear suspension - the pipe work and the gauges are present, whist the dampers have been replaced with normal units
Many factories used their own product to development work and it seems that '13522' was used primarily this purpose - when the development team had finished the factory then spruced up the car and sold her
Again the latter versions of the Silver Eagle were superior to the earlier versions
The chassis based on the Speed 20 SA and amended to take the all synchro-gearbox
The steering, braking , wheels with knock-on hubs, propeller shaft and rear axle were all identical with the more expensive Speed 20 model
This final Silver Eagle was stroked by 100mm and had a front bumper fitted.
The factory records are scanned in the file - so we have a very interesting Alvis here and one for the aficionados
Moreover when the last owner purchased found her it was this interesting history together with such a good history folder, for the chap from whom he purchased her, had spend 5 years having her sympathetically restored, keeping the original interior as original as possible, whilst removing the body from the chassis, repairing the ash frame as required and then repainting her beautifully
Chrome works and mechanical works undertaken to his expenditure was to the tune of £40.000 - all bills are within the history folder too
Since when a fresh engine rebuild has been undertaken, taking the 2.3 litre engine up to 2.5 litre giving her a spirited turn of foot
The engine is as sweet as a nut - all final tuning has been undertaken by Phil Smorley better known for Bugatti expertise
Obviously owned by many Alvis enthusiasts, the Owners Booklet lists at least 4 previous owners who were members of the Club and the originality and personality of this special car is evidenced by the personal touches seen on the fascia board - the factory dials for the special suspension, extra dials for this and for that, fob watch applied to the fascia, volt meter and even a Silver Spoon ...........
So we have a very fine Alvis with original body work, engine and gearbox as fitted by the factory and sold in 1937
CHASSIS NUMBER 13522
ENGINE NUMBER 13972
CAR NO 18698
BODY NUMBER 53603
A 1930 Silver Eagle fabric-bodied sports 4-seat tourer. A completely original fabric body and interior. 16.95 6 cylinder triple-carb engine. Unique opportunity to purchase a very rare car in extremely.....
1935 Silver Eagle 16.95 4 door Tourer. Extensively restored over the past few years with coachwork and paint by Fisher Restoration and an engine rebuild and set up this year, also by Fishers. This.....