Here begins a four part series of Max’s recollections of his first car (recently restored) to coincide with Alvis Day being held at his home tomorrow.

Recounting my early days with the 1923 Alvis SA 12/50 – Chassis 2345 – Engine No. 2689 

Early in 1950…

I first saw the Alvis in a farm shed in Chullora where the drive -in theatre was a few years later. I went there to talk to a bloke about a Doctor Blake type Standard sedan. I didn’t see the bloke or his Standard, fortunately as it happened. 

            The Alvis was lying in a shed side on to the paddock with a couple of cows looking after it. A chassis on four fat wire wheels, a 4-cylinder engine lying beside it. A-L-V-I-S cast into the side cover. Aluminium gearbox with a brass gate with 5 slots surrounding the right hand lever. On the same shelf were a generator in an aluminium casing, a starter motor and some instruments in a box, the most notable being a Speedometer that went to 100mph, an ammeter and a light switch bezel of which rotated as it revealed the words “side” and “all on”, remains of a clock and a 60psi oil gauge, indicating that this was a pressure fed engine, rather than a “splash and pray” type. 

There was also a small door with a lock and inside handle, a triangular section of bodywork with a small 3-piece folding trap door, some pieces of curiously bent aluminium beading and four mudguards that all looked like front ones. No back ones. There was no radiator or exhaust manifold, but an inlet manifold with a brass carburettor. There was also a long curved nickel plated 3-inch exhaust pipe with a fishtail and a very robust bracket, and a pair of headlights. Steering and wheel were in place, but there were no front brakes.

I didn’t have the Box Brownie so there is not record of the scene, other than my fading memory. 

Fifteen quid and a trip on a gas company truck and it was home.

First thing to do was put a roof over it. My sister Joyce dubbed this hastily built shed the “bomb house.”

Lee-Anne’s Loiterings – fading memory on the subject of vehicles – I don’t think so!

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