1962 ALVIS TD21

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - CLASSIC CARS FOR SALE - Ben Wanklyn


This is lux­ury mo­tor­ing the old-fash­ioned way, with sim­ple, smooth me­chan­i­cals, a com­fort­able leather-lined cabin and plenty of style. The 2993cc straight-six en­gine is quiet and docile at low speeds, but has plenty of verve on the open road; twin SU car­bu­ret­tors mean that it’s a will­ing per­former. The gearchange is firm but pre­cise, with four long-legged ra­tios and a smooth clutch. The heavy steer­ing is less re­lax­ing, but the sus­pen­sion set-up helps the car to feel rea­son­ably sport­ing when cor­ner­ing, de­spite iron­ing out bumps and pot­holes.


Most of the un­der­side is solid, but part of the off­side sill and nearby chas­sis mem­ber have rusted through and re­quire re­pair, as does the lower por­tion of the off­side rear wing. The up­per body pan­els are very straight, with the boot lid and bon­net fit­ting well in their aper­tures, although there are small bub­bles by the rear num­ber­plate re­cess, off­side head­lamp and off­side rear whee­larch. The paint­work on the driver’s door is slightly off-colour, but the ex­ten­sive ex­ter­nal bright­work is all present and cor­rect.


The Jaguar XJ-S front seats won’t be to all tastes but their gen­tly worn cream leather cov­ers are a good match for the orig­i­nal rear seat and door trims and the orig­i­nal front seats are also in­cluded in the sale. The rest of the cabin is very well pre­sented, with tidy cream car­pets and an un­marked head­lin­ing. The el­e­gant wooden dash­board has good lac­quer and a lus­trous shine, although the rev counter needle is rather jit­tery.


The huge his­tory file dates back to the 1970s and shows that this Alvis has re­ceived plenty of me­chan­i­cal care over the years. Re­cent re­ceipts show ev­i­dence of a new clutch and work to the sus­pen­sion, steer­ing and electrics. It’s hard to fault the clean and shiny en­gine, too, which runs smoothly and revs keenly, with a healthy 60psi oil pres­sure un­der load and no ex­haust smoke. The four­speed man­ual gear­box changes with­out com­plaint, as­sisted by a smooth-op­er­at­ing clutch. There are no knocks or rat­tles from the sus­pen­sion over un­even sur­faces and the brak­ing sys­tem – discs front, drums rear – pulls the car up straight and true with no pulling to ei­ther side.


There are Alvises cur­rently on the mar­ket that are in bet­ter con­di­tion than this one, and it will need some work do­ing to it sooner rather than later. How­ever, it’s a rather re­gal clas­sic that you can en­joy and im­prove as you use it, and it ap­pears to be me­chan­i­cally healthy enough to en­joy as it is with­out any un­due worry. Rec­tify some of the rust is­sues and you’ll have a lot of car for your money.

Twin SU car­bu­ret­tors de­liver strong per­for­mance. XJ-S front seats, but orig­i­nals are in­cluded in the sale.

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