Chassis no: 13308
1936 Alvis Speed 20 Sports Saloon by Charlesworth.
Registration number: DPN539
Chassis number: 13308
The last of the speed 20 series; an SD model, this car was delivered new in 1936. Being an SD model it has the SC's larger 2.7-litre engine (good for an easy 90mph) improved Marles steering box and suspension, stiffened chassis and twin electric fuel pumps plus slightly wider bodywork. The low-slung chassis endowed the car with tremendous handling and grip for its day: “'When cornering it is not only free from rolling – the low build sees to that – but the layout is such that it clings to the intended path at quite unexpected speeds, and when centrifugal force does eventually produce a skid, it is of the rear wheels only and easily controlled,” observed Motor Sport's tester.
Although the car was available in rolling chassis form to receive a coachbuilt body of the owner’s choosing, the majority of customers plumped for the handsome Charlesworth Saloon bodywork that you see here. By the time production came to an end in late 1936, just 1,165 Speed 20's of all types had been built and all are increasingly sought-after today.
Delivered new to the Brooklands Motor Company in August 1936, DPN 539 is one of the last Speed 20 models produced. Long periods of cherished ownership mean that the car stands proudly in its original colours which, naturally, have been refreshed periodically with re-plated brightwork giving the car a smart appearance. The interior has benefited from new carpeting and headlining whilst the woodwork has also been refurbished. The leather seats are beautifully patinated and the car presents the best of both worlds with a welcoming, lived-in interior and shining chrome and paint. The original art decco style door cards are in place on all four doors.
On the road the car drives extremely well with a stong powerful engine allied to the renowned all synchromesh Alvis gear box. These are fast cars, every bit the equal of derby Bentleys & indeed make an excellent more sporting & faster alternative to an equivalent Derby. The proportions of the body are particualrly pleasing to the eye being both well balanced & sporting. The drivers window interestingly slides an inch backwards for ventilation when the winder is turned clockwise or alternatively winds down the window in a conventional manner when tuned anticlockwise.
Pleasingly, the car comes with its original & well thumbed handbook in addition to assorted bills & a wiring diagram.
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