1930 Alvis Silver Eagle Sportsman Saloon

The sole surviving example,
1930 Alvis Silver Eagle SA 16.95hp Atlantic “Super” Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Carbodies
Chassis No. 8109
Engine No. 9738
Car No. 12870
Body No. 6613
Registration No. LG 3480 (UK)

The survival rate of vintage motor cars carrying enclosed coachwork can only be described as poor at best, so we are proud to offer for sale here this remarkably original and extremely rare Alvis Silver Eagle Saloon, that offers sporting looks and lusty performance combined with the practicalities of four door saloon coachwork.

Copy factory records on file indicate that this Alvis Silver Eagle Atlantic saloon, Car No. 12870, was unusually built on Alvis’ most sporting chassis of the day (the ‘SA’), and despatched to James Edwards & Sons Ltd of Chester on the 19th February 1930. The four-door sports saloon design was by Carbodies (no. 1613) and the records note black paint with “standard” green leather upholstery. Unusually chrome radiator and fittings were supplied, most British built cars other than Bentley still using nickel silver at the time. Also noted is the Rawlings patent “finger chopper” driver’s window allowing for hand signals to be administered quickly. Perhaps the ideal solution for those afflicted with road rage? Gratifyingly the Alvis Silver Eagle still retains all of these original features and is even supplied with the original orange coloured headlight covers for use in foggy conditions.

The first owner is noted as R.G. Cornelius of Brunswick Street, Liverpool who registered the car LG 3480 in December of 1930, presumably given the length of time the Alvis remained with the dealers it had been used for demonstration purposes. Subsequent owners are listed as follows:

• Lincoln Jones, Worcester College, Oxford – 1936 – 1938
• Ian Roberts, Cedar House, Wickham, Newbury – 1938 – 1950
• Peter James Harding, Peter’s Folly, Inkpen, Berks –  1950 – 1960
• Max Williamson, Hillcrest Road, Cashes Green, Stroud – 1960 – 1976
• Edward “Ted” Roberts, Newent, Glos – 1976 – 2013

Also noted on the Alvis factory records for the car is an engine change on 4th November 1960 from the original 16.95hp unit (no. 8556) to a vintage 20hp unit (no. 9738) that the car retains to this day. Correspondence between Ted Roberts and the Vintage Sports Car Club is contained within the substantial history file offered with the car and notes that, as the block and cylinder head were cast pre-1931, the Silver Eagle is still eligible to run in the vintage class within The Club. It is thought to be one of three remaining vintage-designated 20hp Alvis engines. The 2511cc six-cylinder 20hp engine (the forerunner of the engine used in the Alvis Speed 20 and the largest then available), with the SA’s triple SU carburation and close ratio gearbox, allows for exceptional performance from the sports saloon whilst the car remains entirely vintage for competition purposes. Ted Roberts remarked that the Alvis could climb Birdlip Hill in top gear and would still be accelerating as he crested the hill. It still does.

The immediately preceding owner purchased the Silver Eagle Saloon and has since engaged various specialists to carry out sympathetic refurbishment. A new set of wire wheels and tyres were supplied by Richard Brothers, while well-known Alvis coachbuilder Keith Hill attended to general re-commissioning and areas of ash framing. Harry Fraser, based here at Bicester Heritage, was entrusted with the careful repair of the upholstery and subsequently competed in the car at the Kop Hill Climb in 2015 as part reward for services rendered. Recent servicing work and a tune has been carried out by Classic Performance Engineering. Since acquisition by the current owner the Alvis has been treated to further mechanical works by Classic Performance Engineering and Keith Pointing, including a new cylinder head gasket and the fitment of electric fans for use in heavy traffic. Furthermore, the current owner has gently enhanced the paintwork, particularly on the bonnet, whilst retaining the originality and feel of the car.

Offered for sale in remarkably original, yet well cared for condition, this rare and sporting vintage saloon is accompanied by a substantial history file containing continuation buff log books, hand books, invoices for recent works carried out and a copy of the Alvis factory record for the car. This fast vintage saloon will offer the new owner a rare opportunity for high speed vintage motoring in the comfort of a four door saloon from one of the most respected and highly sought after marques of the vintage era. It is thought that just six of these Atlantic Sports Salons were produced, of which this is the sole survivor. Viewing of this rare and impressive car is welcome by appointment.


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