Alvis Silver Eagle SA 16.95hp Atlantic saloon

Page 309 “The Vintage Alvis” make note of a four way car road test, which included an experimental 19.82hp Atlantic saloon engine size of 2511cc. The same size as fitted to the 1932 Speed 20 SA. The difference in performance of the four cars was astounding the slowest to 30 mph in top gear taking a 4.5 second longer to get there that the 19.82hp engine Atlantic. The book goes on to state that three cars were made by December 1930 then two further early in 1931 I understand all were cast in the vintage period.

This Vintage Silver Eagle Atlantic Sports Saloon is the sole survivor of its production; the factory records confirm that car number 12870 was built on Alvis’ most sporting chassis for its time (the SA). Despatched to dealers James Edwards & Sons Limited of Chester on the 19th February 1930. With four-door sports saloon body design by Carbodies (body no. 1613) the factory records note black paint with “standard” green leather upholstery the colour pallet remains to this day. Other noteworthy points include unusually chrome radiator and fittings. The Rawlings patent “finger chopper” driver’s window allowing for hand signals to be administered quickly, retaining all of these original features. Even supplied with the original orange coloured headlight covers for use in foggy conditions.

The first owner is noted as R.G. Cornelius of Brunswick Street, Liverpool who registered the car LG 3480 in December of 1930, subsequent owners are listed as follows:

  • Lincoln Jones, Worcester College, Oxford – 1936 – 1938
  • Ian Roberts, Cedar House, Wickham, Newbury – 1938 – 1950
  • Peter James Harding, Peter’s Folly, Inkpen, Berks –1950 – 1960
  • Max Williamson, Hillcrest Road, Cashes Green, Stroud – 1960 – 1976
  • Edward “Ted” Roberts, Newent, Glos – 1976 – 2013
  • Dan Geoghegan Bicester Oxfordshire 1913 – 2018

Now going back to my opening paragraph regarding experimental 19.82hp engine Atlantic saloon. Originally LG3480 left the factory with a 16.95hp (engine number 8556) however in the latter part of 1956 Peter Harding acquired one of these vintage experimental 19.82hp engines, the continuation log book inequitable state the engine change on the 13th December 1956 where engine number is altered to 9738 rated at 19.8hp. This inequitable evidence on when the engine  change was compleated. The next owner Max Williamson then wrote to Alvis on the 4th November 1960 informing them of the previous owners' alterations. Alvis wrote back on the 8th November confirming the source of this engine along with confirming as being one of the 19.82hp variants. 

Correspondence between Ted Roberts and the Vintage Sports Car Club contained within the history file notes that, as the block and cylinder head were cast pre-1931, the Silver Eagle is still eligible to run in the Vintage class in club events. It is thought to be one of three remaining vintage-designated 20hp Alvis engines of 2511cc. The SA’s triple SU carburation and close ratio gearbox allows for exceptional performance from the sports saloon whilst the car remains entirely vintage for competition purposes. I have just commissioned the fitting of a new register 4.5:1 CWP, so she could now be the ultimate fast road Alvis sports saloon.

Under the watchful custardy of Alvis stalwart Dan Geoghegan the survival of this the rarest of any Alvis saloon was secured. New wire wheels and tyres were supplied by Richard Brothers, while well-known Alvis coachbuilder Keith Hill attended to general re-commissioning and areas of ash framing. Harry Fraser, entrusted with the careful repair of the original upholstery. Servicing work and a tune carried out by Classic Performance Engineering along with Keith Pointing, overseeing the fitment of electric fans for use in heavy traffic, along with gently enhanced the paintwork, particularly on the bonnet, whilst retaining the originality and feel of the car.

LG3480 is now offered for sale to make space for another original and equally important sporting Alvis, the vendor feels that another owner would be the best place to enjoy this unique and highly important survivor from Alvis Limited Coventry.

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