Alvis was founded in 1919 by T. G. John, and started out making the rather mundane side-valve 10/30. Alvis enjoyed a successful period between 1920 and the outbreak of war, and was considered at the time a worthy competitor to the likes of more famous marques such as Bentley. The 4.3 litre iteration offered a top speed of just over 100 mph, a speed to which only truly great cars would ever aspire in those days.
The company was to re-emerge in 1946 with the TA14, having spent the war years manufacturing airplane engines, armoured cars, all-wheel-drive vehicles and other military hardware. Post-war Alvis models were rather conservative Grand-Tourers, although they enjoyed an enviable reputation for quality and performance. Their first was the TA14, however it borrowed heavily on pre-war designs. Freshly designed models would follow in 1950
with the TA21, then in 1955 with the TC21 “Grey Lady”.
The high point of their post war production was undoubtedly the TD21, a car that was remarkably beautiful and has always been highly desirable. These later cars carried elegant bodies designed by Swiss coachbuilder Graber, and were produced for Alvis by Park Ward. In 1965 the company was taken over by Rover and production of passenger cars ended in 1967
. Today it is no longer part of the Rover concern, but it still manufactures military vehicles.
Also see: Lost Marques: Alvis
| The History of Alvis (USA Edition)
| Alvis Road Tests and Car Reviews