1924 Alvis 12/50hp Sports
Beginning in 1922 and using the 10/30 as a starting point, Alvis's newly appointed Chief Engineer Captain G T Smith-Clarke and Chief Designer W M Dunn created the car that effectively established Alvis's reputation - the immortal 12/50. The latter was powered by a new overhead-valve engine of 1,496cc, and on its competition debut at Brooklands in 1923 secured a legendary victory in the premier 200-Mile event crewed by Harvey/Tattershall. The production version went on sale later that same year priced at £550. Sporting coachwork predominated on the early chassis, with tourers and saloons appearing as time went on. If not over-burdened by weighty coachwork, most were capable of around 75-80mph. A 1,598cc engine became available in 1924, together with front-wheel brakes, while a four-speed 'crash' gearbox was used throughout the model's life. From 1926 onwards the 12/50 benefited from a significantly stronger platform chassis.
A model of exceptional importance for Alvis, the 12/50 was briefly superseded by the front-wheel drive models but swiftly reinstated, remaining in production until 1932, by which time it was being built with a new 1,645cc engine. Well designed and well built, the Alvis 12/50 was robust and easily maintained, qualities that only encouraged enthusiastic appreciation among its owners. This essential durability, plus the fact that the factory continued to offer support until it ceased car production in 1967, has made for a relatively high survival rate. Today the Alvis 12/50 is one of the most highly sought after of pre-war sporting cars, with an enthusiastic following worldwide.
An early model with rear brakes only, this Alvis 12/50 was restored in New South Wales, Australia in the 1960s, which included fitting the attractive aluminium 'duck's back' replica coachwork. Following damage to the crankcase in the 1970s, the engine was rebuilt again using a cylinder block close in number to the original (original crankcase with car).
The current vendor purchased the Alvis in 2013 and re-commissioned it, fitting a new cylinder head, clutch, and magneto. Imported into the UK in 2016, the car is now running well and is described by the private vendor as in generally excellent condition. Offered with sundry bills and a V5C registration document, it represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of these iconic Alvis sports cars at a relatively affordable price.