Alvis TD21 dhc

Glo­ri­ous Alvis boasts restored body­work, a full ser­vice and a fac­tory-fit­ted au­to­matic gear­box, Mike Re­naut checks it out.

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

This Alvis looks smart, with smooth and shiny paint over straight body­work boast­ing ex­cel­lent panel gaps. In the ex­ten­sive his­tory file are the orig­i­nal log­book and pe­riod owner’s man­ual. A stack of bills, in­voices and let­ters, some go­ing back to 1972, sug­gest the car has been well looked af­ter. New car­pet and door trims, cylin­der head gas­ket and gear­box mounts were fit­ted in 2015. Ex­haust man­i­folds were re­placed, along with the boot seal and front dampers. Paint and body­work ren­o­va­tion was done by mar­que spe­cial­ists be­tween 2000 and 2002 as part of a com­pre­hen­sive cos­metic restora­tion that in­cluded a new mo­hair hood. A com­plete re­wire with new loom was un­der­taken in 2001. Much of the trim in­clud­ing bumpers was rechromed too. Chas­sis and sills were struc­turally re­paired, while sev­eral older welds were fur­ther im­proved. Body re­pairs were ev­i­dently fin­ished in lead and pho­tos are in­cluded. The owner kept a run­ning cost to­tal that had ex­ceeded £41,000 by that point. Close in­spec­tion re­veals the body­work’s mi­nor blem­ishes that are con­sis­tent with use.

Me­chan­i­cally all is well. A mar­que spe­cial­ist car­ried out a 3000-mile ser­vice with full in­spec­tion and 100-point check in 2017, and in­voices re­veal some £8700 was spent dur­ing the year. The need for new top wish­bone mount­ing rub­bers was noted but no flaw was ap­par­ent dur­ing our test drive. Though not legally re­quired, the car was Mot’d in March 2018.

The cold engine fires will­ingly and idles smoothly at an in­di­cated 750rpm. There is no smoke or fluid leaks and tem­per­a­ture and oil pressure gauges seem nor­mal. The engine bay would ben­e­fit from a clean and some paint – no­tably on the bulk­head and air­box – but noth­ing ap­pears to need at­ten­tion. An ad­justable Ken­lowe elec­tric fan is mounted in front of the ra­di­a­tor. All four Miche­lin ra­di­als have suf­fi­cient tread.

The non-pow­ered steer­ing feels heavy at low speeds but light­ens no­tice­ably on the move, while the brakes halt the Alvis far bet­ter than ex­pected. The car also boasts the op­tional Borg Warner three-speed au­to­matic. The gear se­lec­tor is po­si­tioned be­low the pe­riod MW/LW ra­dio, and the auto makes this a very re­lax­ing drive with gear changes all but im­per­cep­ti­ble. Re­verse also en­gages with­out jolts or bangs.

The con­vert­ible top, in­clud­ing plas­tic rear win­dow, is in great con­di­tion – just mi­nor ex­te­rior scuffs and some head­lin­ing marks. The fold­ing mech­a­nism and rear pas­sen­ger cour­tesy light op­er­ates per­fectly, and there’s a clip-on ton­neau. The mel­lowed grey leather in­te­rior has no tears or ob­vi­ous wear, the rear seat looks new and there are front in­er­tia reel seat­belts. The wood dash­board, door caps and car­pet are de­cent, though the boot car­pet is worn.

The con­di­tion and driv­ing im­presses. It’s only let down by a dusty and messy engine bay, but a few ca­ble ties a good pol­ish there would re­sult in an extremely nice ex­am­ple.

Smart Alvis drop­head comes with plenty of his­tory

Seats, dash­board and car­pets im­press

Engine bay tidy-up would boost ap­peal

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