Hershey

5-6 October 2017

1934 Alvis Speed 20 SB Sports Tourer by Cross & Ellis

  • Chassis no. 11337
  • Serial no. 16394
  • Engine no. 11787

  • Matching numbers throughout
  • Known ownership history
  • The only known Cross & Ellis Speed 20 SB in the U.S.
  • Eligible for prestigious concours and driving events


The SB is the second version of the Alvis Speed 20; updated with an all-synchromesh gearbox, making it the first production car with this feature. Add that to its independent front suspension, and the Speed 20 SB was one of the most technologically advanced British cars of its day.

This example, chassis number 11337, is one of just 41 built with the Cross & Ellis Tourer body; 29 of which are known to survive today, with this car being the only one known in North America. All of its numbers match those of the Alvis Car Record: “Speed 20 SB 19.82 Cross & Ellis 30294 Tourer, chassis 11337, engine 11787, car 16394, English Registration NG 7165, Green, dispatched 6 June 1934 to Mann Egerton & Co., Ltd., Norwich, Norfolk.” The car was originally delivered in green exterior over green leather trim, with black weather equipment and green wheels.

Its original owner, Martin Hodson, bought the Alvis in 1934 in Norfolk, England. Around 1959, he sold it to G.B. Pearce of Hampshire, who sold it in 1961 to Al Chambers of Powell, Ohio. In 1973, Mr. Chambers sold it to Roy R. Tausch in Novelty, Ohio, who raced the car at Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, and Nelson Ledges. His adventure at the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1977 was recorded in an Alvis newsletter and recalled in an article by automotive journalist Dennis Simanaitis. After the passing of Mr. Tausch, the car was stored by his family until it was discovered in 2006 by John Graham.

At this point, Mr. Graham reported the car appeared with its rare Cross & Ellis Tourer body and with only 38,624 km on its odometer. Mr. Graham, having assessed that the car was in complete but not roadworthy condition, shipped it to New Zealand where restorers Errol and Rod Tempero started a comprehensive restoration. The focus was to keep the car as period-correct as possible and, at the same time, make it a great driving experience. The original engine was refurbished and fine-tuned to factory specifications, while every effort was made to properly and authentically restore the chassis and body. One exception in originality was the choice to change the interior to fawn, rather than the original green, and the wheels to silver, to contrast with the original green exterior color.

The current owners report it starts easily, runs smoothly, and is easy to shift and drive. It comes with a 1934 owner’s manual, several Alvis books, full side curtains, and a tonneau cover. This is the only Alvis Speed 20 SB Cross & Ellis Tourer known in North America, a lovely example of one of the most groundbreaking British automobiles of the Classic Era. Its ownership history is fully documented, and the car remains in excellent condition throughout.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more