Classic British carmaker Alvis has expanded its range of part-original continuation models, which are fascinatingly built from original designs using a range of original parts.
Not familiar with Alvis? We don’t blame you, but here’s a choice nugget for you: on 26 August 1938, just a year or so before the outbreak of World War II, The Autocar magazine described the 4.3-litre Alvis as a cut-price supercar.
If we told you that you could buy one with zero miles on the clock, your choice of three coachwork options and modern, reliable fuel injection for the classic 4.4-litre straight-six, maybe we’d pique your interest. If we then added that you’d get modern disc brakes and a three-year warranty, you’d think we’d gone mad. But you can.
Alvis has expanded its range of 4.3-litre cars (named despite the engine measuring 4387cc) to include exact continuations of the 1930s Bertelli Sports Coupé, Lancefield Concealed Hood and Vanden Plas Tourer body styles, created from the original drawings and complete with chassis numbers that follow on from the planned pre-War production run. Company owner Alan Stote says the cars “are, literally, what Alvis would have created had it not halted production for over 50 years.”
There’s also a new, wider range of 3-litre models designed in the 1960s. Originall designed as a chassis that coachbuilders could supply custom bodies for, the new recreations even go as far as to use original chassis and original engine blocks modified to work with up-to-date fuel injected heads. The old parts have, incredibly, been stored at Alvis’ Kenilworth Works site in the English Midlands ever since the nearby Coventry factory closed in 1968.
The coachbuilt bodywork options for the 3-litre, whose original chassis uses wooden frames beneath the metal panels, now span the Park Ward Drop-Head, Graber Super Coupé and Graber Super Cabriolet; three of the most stylish and luxurious options of the day. Both the 4.3-litre and the 3-litre take 4-5000 hours to painstakingly recreate. The latter makes an extremely tempting alternative to a classic Aston Martin, too.
All Alvis models are designed for regular road use and have disc brakes for safety’s sake, but servo-assistance is option for a more modern feel. You can even update your chosen car with air conditioning and a stereo. Naturally, there’s also the option of a matching three-piece Connolly leather Alvis luggage set, for maximum retro luxe charm.
Prices start at around £250,000, but, depending on the chosen customisation options, that figure could rise a long way. Still, with Aston Martin DB4s, DB5s and DB6s fetching much more than that even in sub-optimal condition, a zero-mile Alvis with three years of manufacturer backup seems like a steal.