1964 Alvis TE21 Series III Drophead Coupe

The history of Alvis began with the Anglo-French DFP, the car in which W.O. Bentley began his career. Over fecund and fallow years Alvis persisted, winning more than its share of competition accolades and inspiring unusual loyalty among its customers. Its success was abetted by a policy of supplying only rolling chassis. Coachbuilders responded by fitting some of their most attractive and sporting designs on them. Its Coventry works, building Merlin aircraft engines at the time, were destroyed by a 1940 mass bombing raid. Founder T.G. John died in 1946 but was succeeded by J.J. Parkes (more famous for being father of Ferrari racing driver Michael Parkes) who kept up Alvis's reputation for quality, sporting cars with notable reliability. In 1950 Alvis Chief Engineer Alec Issigonis (creator of the Mini) developed the TA21, a six-cylinder overhead valve engine with independent front suspension. Its penultimate expression, the TE21, arrived in 1961 with coachwork designed by Graber of Switzerland and built by Mulliner Park Ward under license. Its envelope body with stacked vertical quad headlights was available as a saloon but more importantly as a sleek Drophead coupe. The three liter (2,993cc) overhead valve six-cylinder engine made 130hp. The chassis incorporated four-wheel disc brakes and a ZF five-speed gearbox. It would be in production for only two years before Alvis was absorbed by British Leyland to concentrate on building light scouting and armored vehicles for the military. This 1965 TE21 Drophead Coupe with coachwork designed by Graber and built by Mulliner Park Ward has been converted to left-hand drive by the Alvis specialists at Red Triangle Autoservices in the UK where it was owned by the company CEO. It was given a bare metal repaint upon arrival in the U.S. and has been fitted with electronic ignition, a thermostatic cooling fan, engine compartment heat extractor fan, Reuter reclining seats, front seat inertia reel seat belts and a Harvey Bailey Engineering suspension. Forward relocated pedals and a telescopic steering column help adapt it to taller drivers. Finished in blue, it has centerlock chrome wire wheels and a newly upholstered interior. It received an Award of Merit at the 2011 Ironstone Concours and has been used regularly by its prior California owner, not only demonstrating its reliability but also keeping it sharp and ready for instant use.

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