OWN­ING AN ALVIS SPEED 25

Classic Cars (UK) - - Alvis Speed 25 -

Hugh Brad­num’s first Alvis was a TA21 Tick­ford drop­head, but since then he’s dis­cov­ered the charms of the Speed mod­els. He has ac­quired not only this Speed 25 but a cou­ple of closed cars too, in­clud­ing a 1932 Speed 20 which par­tic­i­pated in the 1933 and 1934 RAC Ral­lies. The tourer, though, has a story that sets it apart. ‘ERF 349 has been through at least 14 pre­vi­ous own­ers and has been ex­ported to the USA twice. While there, and in di­lap­i­dated con­di­tion, it was once lost in a poker game,’ ex­plains Hugh. ‘Over here, it was used in the late Fifties by a bank cashier from Black­burn to ex­port stolen cash to Switzer­land hid­den in the near-side spare wheel cover.’

By 1997, the car reached an owner with the means and pa­tience to give it the restora­tion it de­served. Hugh and Ann Brad­num are now bear­ing that task them­selves along with Ann’s 1936 3.5-litre coupé, sup­plied new for a young lady’s 21st birth­day present and the only one bod­ied by Gur­ney-nut­ting.

‘It didn’t look too bad, but the riv­ets in the chas­sis had worn their holes oval,’ says Hugh. ‘So it had to be stripped right down and reriv­eted. Then we dis­cov­ered that the wood in the body frame was also de­cay­ing and we’re now about five years into the restora­tion. Any un­re­stored Speed model car­ries that kind of risk – they’re not the kind of cars that can be main­tained on a shoe­string!’

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