1961 Alvis TD21 Saloon
Always in regular use; just three owners from 1975 - 2021; only 72,800 miles from new; unleaded head; alternator conversion; high ratio back axle; front disc brakes; stainless steel exhaust; nice transferable number plate; large history file; good running order with scope for cosmetic improvement
Launched in October 1958, the Graber-styled Alvis TD21 was an immediate success, the combination of a luxury interior, elegant bodywork and 100mph performance proving immensely attractive to the well-heeled clientele at which it was aimed.
The Motor described it as having "a Jeeves-like quality of responding to its master's whim" while Autocar praised it as "one of the most enchanting owner-driver cars imaginable," singling out the quality of the Park Ward coachwork with doors that "close with a majestic clunk - more like an air of finality than a noise."
Qualities that were no doubt appreciated by owners as august as the Dukes of Edinburgh and Windsor, Sir Douglas Bader and James Mason – all as quintessentially English as the car.
Powered by a torquey 120bhp straight-six engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox as standard, the car was capable of effortless high-speed cruising and handled exceptionally well for such a stately machine. Just 1,069 TD21s were made before it was replaced by the TE21 in 1963.
Copies of the factory build sheets show that this TD21 Series 1 was completed in May 1961 finished in Metallic Grey with red leather upholstery, red carpets, grey headlining and optional Delaney Galley full harness seat belts. It was supplied new via DH Bloomer Ltd of Grimsby to first owner George Sleight of the same town. The original buff logbook and copies of old V5s document most of the subsequent owners, around eight in total.
It comes with a very large history file extending back to the mid-1970s showing regular upkeep throughout its life along with 20 old MOTs which indicate that the 72,800 miles on the clock is almost certainly correct. For around 25 years (c.1975 – 2000) it was owned by a Mr Wardley of Northants who clearly looked after it extremely well, judging by the many invoices on file.
From 2000 – 2009 it was owned by a Mr Galloway of Somerset who also kept it in tip-top condition and used it extensively, covering some 18,000 miles including tours of Italy, Switzerland and Scotland, even taking the car to an Alvis rally in Australia in 2008. Fitted with a stainless steel exhaust, front disc brakes and a high ratio back axle, he stated that the car was in its element at 3,250rpm giving relaxed 70mph cruising and 23mpg economy.
From 2009 – 2021 it was owned by a Shrewsbury gentleman who also used it regularly, covering some 15,000 miles. In early 2020 he spent around £5,000 on the car which included removing the engine and gearbox, fitting a new rear main oil seal, new core plugs, rebuilt cylinder head converted to run on unleaded fuel, new clutch, alternator conversion, recored radiator, new wiring plus much else besides.
Starting promptly and running sweetly as we have moved it around on site, it is now in need of some localised attention to the bodywork, as can be seen in the photos. The driver's seat also needs some minor leather repairs and the steering wheel will also need immediate attention as the spokes on one of the three support sections have come adrift. Supplied with an original owner’s manual and parts catalogue, it also retains a period Lincolnshire-issued number plate, 125 EBE, which is transferable.
With top examples routinely making £25k+ at auction, this well-historied TD21 is on offer here at a very sensible guide price and should amply reward the remedial works now required.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email email@example.com
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