One car every dashing man about town coveted in the 1930s was the gorgeous Alvis Speed 25 – a sleek machine that would never fail to look super-stylish arriving outside a stately home ahead of that discreetly decadent country-house weekend.
Opinions haven’t changed. Many classic car aficionados consider the beautifully proportioned Speed 25 to be one of the finest vehicles produced in the 1930s – not only for its stunning appearance, but also for advanced technical features that characterized all Alvis cars and make them a pleasure to drive today.
The marque produced its first vehicles in 1920 and continued in business until the 1960s. Although Alvis built various saloons, the company’s real forte was the sports tourer. The powerful Speed 25’s immediate predecessor, the racy Speed 20 series, was introduced by Alvis after a brief foray into front-wheel drive with the pretty, innovative but not-very-successful 4/15s and 8/15s of the late 1920s.
Capitalizing on their sporty reputation, Alvis produced the popular Silver Eagle in 1928 with the option of a two-seater, coupe, drophead coupe or saloon body. The Speed 20 Series followed in 1932, ushering in the spectacular flowering that Alvis enjoyed in the 1930s. This came to a climax with the introduction of the Speed 25 in 1930, and who can say how far the company would have developed this superb model if World War II had not intervened.
Three types of Speed 25 were manufactured – a two-door sports tourer, a two-door drophead coupe and a two-door sports saloon. Today, these sought-after classics command top prices, and their quality build has ensured that over half the production run has survived. Anyone lucky enough to slip behind the wheel of a Speed 25 (over 200 are out there somewhere) will be effortlessly transported back to the Golden Era of Alvis.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
1936 (until 1940)
3,571 cc OHV Straight Six
Top speed of around 90 mph (145 km/h)
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
The end of the line for the Speed 25 came in late 1940, production ceasing abruptly when the Luftwaffe bombed the Alvis factory in Coventry – and when the company resumed car manufacture in 1946 it was with the solid but much-less-glamorous TA-14.