Lot Number

1934 Alvis Speed 20 SB Sports Tourer by Cross & Ellis

Sold For $159,500

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 5 - 6 OCTOBER 2017

Chassis No.
Engine No.
Serial No.
  • 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, it is 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.

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