To be offered by Silverstone Auctions as part of the 'Silverstone Classic Live Online Sale' on Friday 31st July. Please see our website for full listings and to find out more on how to register for bidding.
Lot No. 318
Estimate: £36,000 - £40,000
Buyers Premium 12.5% + VAT
A rare hand-built 1960s Tourer that was the choice of Royalty in period.
One of less than 100 TE Cabriolets produced
Enjoyed by the rich, famous and Princes
Renowned for its sharp styling and enviable interior space
Late production TE with strengthened chassis and improved performance
Four former keepers. Original engine
This car has formed part of a large collection with little or no use. An element of recommissioning is to be expected to return it to the road once again
The name Alvis was always synonymous with craftsmanship and performance and the final models produced by this very British manufacturer were no exception. When production of the three-litre cars ended in 1954, the end was in sight for Alvis Cars, however, the fortuitous intervention of the Swiss coachbuilder, Graber, saved the day. For some time Graber had been successfully clothing Alvis chassis with their own elegant and modern designs and, in 1953, Alvis reached an agreement to build the Graber cars under licence. Loughborough coachbuilder, Willowbrook, built the first model, the TC108G, but it was expensive and only 17 examples were sold during the next three years. Production ceased in 1957 when Alvis, having bought the Graber rights two years earlier, struck a deal with Park Ward to build the cars at a more reasonable cost. The resultant new TD21 was announced in October 1958 and benefited from a strengthened chassis, sharp styling and increased interior space. In 1962, a Series II version was launched with disc brakes all round as standard as was a five-speed ZF gearbox. It received excellent press, Autocar calling it "One of the most enchanting owner-driver cars imaginable" a somewhat quaint phrase to our ears but during the early sixties, a significant proportion of large luxury cars were driven by chauffeurs. In 1964 the Series III, otherwise known as the TE21, was introduced and it was simply a masterpiece of understated elegance. By this time, the 2993cc engine had been developed to produce just over 130 bhp, and with its ZF box, disc brakes, and the new recirculating-ball steering, the TE could give many a sports car a run for its money.
The purchase of an Alvis said a lot about the buyer. The car was not slow (the 130bhp straight-six would propel it above 100mph with relative ease), yet it did not shout ‘performance’, ‘money’ or ‘extravagance’. Just 352 TE21 models were produced in total, only 95 as cabriolets and as a testimony to their build-quality and desirability, an estimated 88 still remain.
This particular TE21 has only four former keepers recorded with the DVLA and appears to be in very good condition. It's finished in a lovely shade of Burgundy with good chrome and a pristine set of chrome wires. The interior is generally very good apart from the grey leather seating which is a little 'lived in', the red carpets look fresh and the grey soft top appears recent. The indicated mileage is 8,786 but we imagine it's probably 108,786. A rare Alvis in period and we are sure that only a couple of dozen cabriolets will still be on the road today so this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a model that was once the vehicle of choice for both Prince Philip and Prince Charles.
In recent years this car has formed part of a large collection and as such has received little or no use and an element of recommissioning is to be expected to return it to the road once again. Your inspection pre-sale is welcomed and encouraged to appreciate the potential of this rarely offered motor car.
You can now book a one to one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location between 16th and 30th July. Please contact us on 01926 691 141 to secure your appointment or [email protected]
to discuss the car in more detail. The health and safety of both our customers and team remains the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.