The History of Alvis: A Look at the British Car Maker

Alvis is a British car manufacturer that was founded in 1919. The company was known for producing high-quality luxury cars that were popular among British aristocracy and the military. Over the years, Alvis produced a range of cars, from sports cars to limousines. The company was also known for its innovative engineering and was one of the first car manufacturers to introduce front-wheel drive and independent suspension.

Early Years

Alvis was founded in Coventry, England, by T.G. John, a talented engineer who had previously worked for Daimler. John’s first car, the Alvis 10/30, was introduced in 1920 and featured a 1.5-liter engine and a four-speed gearbox. The 10/30 was well received and established Alvis as a serious player in the British car market.

In 1923, Alvis introduced the 12/50, which was one of the first sports cars to feature front-wheel drive. The 12/50 was also notable for its advanced engineering, including a lightweight aluminum body and overhead valves. The car was a huge success and helped to establish Alvis as a company that was capable of producing high-quality sports cars.

World War II

During World War II, Alvis produced a range of military vehicles, including the Saladin armored car and the Stalwart amphibious truck. Alvis also produced engines for fighter planes, including the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon engines.

Post-War Era

After the war, Alvis returned to producing luxury cars. In 1950, the company introduced the TC 21, which featured a 3.0-liter engine and a top speed of 90 mph. The TC 21 was followed by a range of other luxury cars, including the TD 21 and the TE 21.

In the 1960s, Alvis was acquired by Rover, and production of Alvis cars ceased in 1967. However, the Alvis name was revived in the 1980s by Red Triangle, a company that specializes in the restoration and maintenance of Alvis cars. Today, there are a number of Alvis cars that have been restored to their former glory and are highly sought after by collectors.


Alvis is remembered as a company that produced high-quality, innovative cars that were ahead of their time. The company’s engineering achievements, such as front-wheel drive and independent suspension, were groundbreaking and helped to shape the future of the automotive industry. Alvis cars are still highly regarded by collectors and enthusiasts, and the company’s legacy lives on through the restored cars that can be seen at vintage car shows and museums around the world.



Wendell is a sought-after speaker and trainer, having presented at conferences all over the world. He is also a regular contributor to industry publications, and is the author of two books on SharePoint.

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