1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA Series Tourer by Vanden Plas

Alvis Speed 20 SA Series Tourer by Vanden Plas

Year: 1932
Chassis no: 9885
Registration: GY7177
Registered In: UK
Price: £135,000

1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA Series Tourer by Vanden Plas

Chassis number: 9885

Registration number: GY7177

Though the Speed 20 was in production in four series from 1931 to 1936, it is generally agreed that the earliest, the SA with its beam front axle, had a more appealing purposeful stance, and was the most responsive to drive. GY7177 carries the most desirable coachwork, the lovely 'low door' Vanden Plas foursome tourer, with that company's inimitable grace and style.

Copy documentation on file shows that chassis number 9885 was sold new by London's main Alvis retailer Charles Follett to one Charles Percy Groseland, but he only retained the car for a year before moving abroad. The next owner was the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, of the car-building Talbot family; a recent owner wrote to the present Earl, and received a charming reply saying that the Speed Twenty had been his father's favourite car, of which a copy is on file.

GY7177 changed hands several times in the post-war era, with a long period in the hands of a Mr Clark, then to John Whiting, before purchase in 2002 by a friend of his, Ian Murray, who retained it until 2019 with a benign regime of sparing but constant use, including touring. Though the car remained in fine driving condition, its cosmetics were beginning to show their age.

The last time the car changed stewardship was in 2019, and the new owner decided (with a long experience of the finest pre-war cars) to embark on a programme of cosmetic refreshment. It was found that the coachwork was remarkably sound structurally, and it was refinished in the very handsome 'period' colour of Brewster Green. The interior still retained the original leather but after nearly nine decades it was passing beyond acceptable condition and accordingly it was re trimmed in a very well-chosen shade of red leather, with matching carpets and a new hood.

One interesting aspect of the interior is that it retains the smaller lightweight dash panel typically found in the Charles Follett racing team cars. 


Lifting the bonnet of any 1930s six-cylinder Alvis is always an enjoyable experience, and in this case it is unusually impressive, having undergone detailed preparation, with extensive attention to the wiring, generally a prudent aspect of maintaining a car of this age. The work was carried out by a prominent pre-war specialist, and the bill is on file.

Additional documentation includes copies of the original Car Record, an old-style continuation logbook, a V5C Registration Certificate, and bills for the aforementioned works. This example has the appeal that these wonderful cars have always had for the discerning connoisseur of the best English sporting machinery.

The car drives particularly well & is a faster alternative & more sporting then an equivalent derby Bentley. Very Easy to drive, these Alvis gear boxes tended to be way ahead of the competition.  The paint is of course brand new as is the leather & hood along with the full length tonneau cover so the car presents beautifully.  A useful luggage rack is fitted to the rear for long distance touring.  Condition wise this has to be one of the best available & is ready for immediate use.

We will be photograhing the car properly upon its arrival with us next week.

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Vehicle details

Additional Information / Service History

1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA Series Tourer by Vanden Plas

Chassis number: 9885

Registration number: GY7177

Though the Speed 20 was in production in four series from 1931 to 1936, it is generally agreed that the earliest, the SA with its beam front axle, had a more appealing purposeful stance, and was the most responsive to drive. GY7177 carries the most desirable coachwork, the lovely 'low door' Vanden Plas foursome tourer, with that company's inimitable grace and style.

Copy documentation on file shows that chassis number 9885 was sold new by London's main Alvis retailer Charles Follett to one Charles Percy Groseland, but he only retained the car for a year before moving abroad. The next owner was the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, of the car-building Talbot family; a recent owner wrote to the present Earl, and received a charming reply saying that the Speed Twenty had been his father's favourite car, of which a copy is on file.

GY7177 changed hands several times in the post-war era, with a long period in the hands of a Mr Clark, then to John Whiting, before purchase in 2002 by a friend of his, Ian Murray, who retained it until 2019 with a benign regime of sparing but constant use, including touring. Though the car remained in fine driving condition, its cosmetics were beginning to show their age.

The last time the car changed stewardship was in 2019, and the new owner decided (with a long experience of the finest pre-war cars) to embark on a programme of cosmetic refreshment. It was found that the coachwork was remarkably sound structurally, and it was refinished in the very handsome 'period' colour of Brewster Green. The interior still retained the original leather but after nearly nine decades it was passing beyond acceptable condition and accordingly it was re trimmed in a very well-chosen shade of red leather, with matching carpets and a new hood.

One interesting aspect of the interior is that it retains the smaller lightweight dash panel typically found in the Charles Follett racing team cars. 


Lifting the bonnet of any 1930s six-cylinder Alvis is always an enjoyable experience, and in this case it is unusually impressive, having undergone detailed preparation, with extensive attention to the wiring, generally a prudent aspect of maintaining a car of this age. The work was carried out by a prominent pre-war specialist, and the bill is on file.

Additional documentation includes copies of the original Car Record, an old-style continuation logbook, a V5C Registration Certificate, and bills for the aforementioned works. This example has the appeal that these wonderful cars have always had for the discerning connoisseur of the best English sporting machinery.

The car drives particularly well & is a faster alternative & more sporting then an equivalent derby Bentley. Very Easy to drive, these Alvis gear boxes tended to be way ahead of the competition.  The paint is of course brand new as is the leather & hood along with the full length tonneau cover so the car presents beautifully.  A useful luggage rack is fitted to the rear for long distance touring.  Condition wise this has to be one of the best available & is ready for immediate use.

We will be photograhing the car properly upon its arrival with us next week.

RICHARD BIDDULPH
SALES & VALUATIONS

m: +44 (0) 7967 260 673
e: richard@vandp.net

SIMONE DELLA CORTE
SHOWROOM MANAGER

t: +44 (0)7377 070 943
e: simone@vandp.net

MICHAEL KLIEBENSTEIN
EUROPEAN SALES and MARKETING

m: +49 170 204 3831
e: michael.kliebenstein@t-online.de

JAN KURTY
EASTERN EUROPE SALES and MARKETING

m: +44 7872 932 675
e: kurtyinterbiz@btinternet.com

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