Alvis Ain’t Dead: Continuation Cars Keep the Dream Alive

It’s fifty years since The Alvis Car Company closed its factory in Coventry, yet they’ll still sell you a brand new model…

Rather than continue full-scale production, Alvis now hand builds ‘continuation’ cars. These are designed and built according to the original drawings, but benefit from some modern components and build quality.

Both road-legal pre-and post-War continuation cars are available, using key components such as chassis and engine blocks unused since production stopped in 1968. Carefully stored in their original boxes for 50 years, the Alvis-designed in-line six-cylinder engine, available as either a 3.0-litre or 4.3-litre variant, has been developed from the original Works designs and, thanks to fuel injection and modern engine management electronics, meets legislation in a number of markets.

Remaining firmly faithful to Alvis’ original spirit and design focus a century after it was founded, the Continuation Series has been extended to include two chassis and six body options. Each derivative takes around 5,000 hours to build by hand at its Kenilworth Works, the home of Red Triangle, Alvis’ service and restoration centre. All six models are different in character, with period bodywork styles created by prestigious coachbuilders of the times. There’s the 3-litre Park Ward Drop Head, 3-litre Graber Super Coupe, 3-litre Graber Super Cabriolet, 4.3-litre Vanden Plas Tourer, 4.3-litre Bertelli Coupe and 4.3-litre Lancefield Concealed Hood to choose from.

Those powered by the 4.3-litre engine are true continuation cars, as the chassis numbers follow on from the numbers allocated to the pre-war production run.

“Our models are, literally, what Alvis would have created had it not halted production for over 50 years,” explains Alan Stote, owner of The Alvis Car Company. “The factory had planned to build 150 4.3-litre chassis in 1938. As the site suffered serious damage by bombing in 1940, only 73 chassis were completed so we will continue that series, with new chassis, built to the original drawings.”

All models are made to an individual specification, with owners encouraged to visit the Works and review some of the 50,000 drawings, build sheets and history files for inspiration.

“Blending history with modern technology is a delicate task, which the brand has undertaken sensitively,” adds Stote. “We are mindful of our original core values that ensured Alvis cars never suffered the fate of so many other British brands, which fall foul of quality standards and gained a bad reputation as a result. It can be a very practical and relaxing way to enjoy a classic driving experience, with added peace of mind thanks to a three year warranty.”

Adding comfort to history, the Continuation Series offers a range of options including automatic transmission and power steering on the 3-litre models. Air conditioning, audio systems and servo-assisted brakes are optional across the range.

Alvis has worked closely with VOSA to ensure that each car is IVA-approved and, therefore, road legal.