One day a man came into the shop at Enmore where I worked to enquire who the owner of the Alvis parked outside in Stanmore road was. His name was Norm Adams, who started the Alvis Car Club and was the President for 21 years. He gave me the little green card that invited Alvis Owners to the meetings at 333 George St, Sydney. He also told me about Marc Pain, who had spare parts. Thus, I was able to acquire a radiator and bonnet. Now the “Bomb” looked like an Alvis, sort of.
There was a street corner welding bloke nearby who offered to build a better body. It took him a few weeks of spare time and lots of scrap steel. The shape of the body was determined by the bits I had. One door, triangular top of the tail with its folding trapdoor, aluminium beading from the top coaming and the elegantly curved outside exhaust pipe. I often wondered if it is heavier or lighter than the customary wood. My car seemed to be faster than the other 12/50s in the Club. Is it lighter or do I have bigger feet?
The steel frame was panelled in scrap aluminium from an aircraft disposals yard at Villawood. There were rows of rivet holes up the sides. No new materials then, after all we still had wartime rationing till after the 1949 election.
I drove the 12/50 for many years as everyday transport. Back and forth to Tech College at Ultimo, in and out of Sydney, chasing spare parts for the business at Gymea Bay and later at Carringbah. Then at Central Mangrove where it became the service vehicle for my trucking business. I once carried a 6LX Gardner diesel cylinder block in the back taking it to the machine shop. And also a Leyland diff in a trailer going to a rescue at Yass. I had almost worn a track from Carringbah to Lidcombe where the Leyland and Foden parts people were.
To be continued…