1938 Alvis 4.3-Litre Short Chassis Tourer

  • Brand: Alvis
  • Car Code: 100370
1938 Alvis 4.3-Litre Short Chassis Tourer Coachwork by Vanden Plas Ltd.
Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd was a British manufacturing company in Coventry from 1919 to 1967. In addition to automobiles designed for the civilian market, the company also produced racing cars, aircraft engines, armoured cars and other armoured fighting vehicles.
Car manufacturing ended after the company became a subsidiary of Rover in 1965, but armoured vehicle manufacture continued. Alvis became part of British Leyland and then in 1982 was sold to United Scientific Holdings, which renamed itself Alvis plc.
"In the scheme of things there are cars, good cars, and super cars. When a machine can be put into the last of these three categories, yet is by no means in the highest-priced class, considerable praise is due to the makers. This model is the latest 4.3-litre Alvis Sports Tourer."
One of a dozen cars produced, this fascinating, beautiful and important sports car brings together two companies at their zenith, Vanden Plas and Alvis.
On one hand is the 4.3 Litre Alvis, the result of two decades of refinement in their field, the 4.3 was the largest engine they offered, a silky solid six cylinder which was capable of supplying approximately 140bhp to the road, one of its most ground breaking characteristics was transmission between those two aspects, an all synchromesh 4 speed, which was light years ahead of its time and made these cars easier to drive than an E Type! "A Remarkable British Car" and displaying impressive performance figures of 0-50mph in 7.6 seconds and 105mph top speed in standard road trim, the fastest British un-supercharged pre-war sports car.
On the other, the famed house of Vanden Plas. Throughout the pre-war era they consistently produced great looking sporting coachwork, predominantly for great British marques, but also the occasional Alfa Romeo, Mercedes or even Austro Daimler. In the 1920s they had blended simplicity with looks for the numerous bodies that they had provided to WO Bentley for his own Cricklewood built cars and when times looked more austere and the 'boy racer' touring cars looked like they might have had their day, Vanden Plas simply modernized that similar look for the 1930s. Their most successful renditions in the mid to late Thirties were these 'cut down' door sports tourers.
It is said that their influence for this particular design feature came directly from serial racer and Bentley owner, Malcolm Campbell. In the now low-slung post Vintage chassis' where one sat 'in', rather than 'on' a car, one's elbow could never be comfortable if level with one's shoulder, the solution? Make a notch in the side of the coachwork. Between the ever-stylish Campbell and Vanden Plas' draftsman, this example of practicality was turned into part of the design. A genius move, which was frequently then accented with a side sweep moulding along the body, at once it created one of the design classics of its generation.

Descriptions & pictures by wikipedia & bonhams & motoringresearch & flickr & Other
Production Start 1938
Country of origin Great Britain