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Despite looking tired and in desperate need of some TLC, this Alvis TD21 Coupe certainly has a story to tell.
Built in 1963, its claim to fame is that movie legend Robert Michum drove the car in the 1978 film ‘The Big Sleep’.
Now this classic car is up for auction with Historics at Brooklands. There’s no reserve price – but press reports suggest the four-seater will be available for £15,000.
For good measure, the sale will also include a DVD of the film.
‘One of the most enchanting owner-driver cars imaginable…’
According to the auction materials, this particular Alvis model was originally launched in October 1958 and was notable for the overwhelming press and public acclaim.
‘Autocar’ magazine described it as ‘one of the most enchanting owner-driver cars imaginable’. The auction publicity text describes it as ‘a forlorn example of what was once the cream of quintessentially British sports touring cars’.
The Alvis TD21 was an updated version of the TC, a car popular for style and performance but not for passenger and luggage accommodation. Mulliner Park Ward, by then a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce, was approached for the re-design with the British market in mind.
The new TD21 resembled Hermann Graber’s original but allowed for greater room in areas where the previous model lacked space. In 1960, ‘The Motor’ magazine tested the car and measured its top speed as 103mph, accelerating from 0 to 60mph in 13.5 seconds.
The vehicle being auctioned still bears its original registration 1999 KX and is one of the last cars to be built over the car’s production span of five years. At the time, it would have been twice the price of a comparative Jaguar.
A potentially worthwhile investment …
While this is a considerable restoration project, it does come with a substantial number of original parts. And, according to the publicity materials, ‘there will be very few items left to purchase’.
The website reads: “The bodywork is gold metallic and the interior has beige leather seats which are apparently all original…
“…These models are highly sought after and are a great tribute to British sports car manufacturing of the period.”
To tempt potential buyers, the auctioneers also revealed that one of this car’s successors – a 1964 Alvis TE21 convertible – raised eyebrows and received a cheer at the auction hall when it fetched £158,800 in May last year.
Astonishingly, this was twice the estimated price.
The sale takes place on March 3, 2018 at Ascot Racecourse, in Berkshire.
Read more about Adrian Flux’s Classic Car Insurance.
Images supplied by Historics at Brooklands.
- Are you working on a classic car restoration that will be finished this summer? Email Louise Hepburn at [email protected]