founded in 1919 by T. G. John, and started out
making the rather mundane side-valve 10/30. Alvis
enjoyed a successful period between 1920 and
the outbreak of war, and was considered at the
time a worthy competitor to the likes of more
famous marques such as Bentley. The 4.3 liter
iteration offered a top speed of just over 100
mph, a speed to which only truly great cars would
ever aspire in those days.
The company was to
re-emerge in 1946 with the TA14, having spent
the war years manufacturing airplane engines,
armoured cars, all-wheel-drive vehicles and other
military hardware. Post-war Alvis models were
rather conservative Grand-Tourers, although they
enjoyed an enviable reputation for quality and
performance. Their first was the TA14,
however it borrowed heavily on pre-war designs.
Freshly designed models would follow in 1950
with the TA21, then in 1955 with the TC21 “Grey
The high point of their post
war production was undoubtedly the TD21, a car
that was remarkably beautiful and has always
been highly desirable. These later cars carried
elegant bodies designed by Swiss coachbuilder
Graber, and were produced for Alvis by Park Ward.
In 1965 the company was taken over by Rover and
production of passenger cars ended in 1967. Today
it is no longer part of the Rover concern, but
it still manufactures military vehicles.