Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ranting Stan's Sunday Drive: Alvis TE21

It's been a glorious late May weekend here in Slough - the sort of weekend that makes you wish you had a convertible car to waft around in.

Not that long ago, British manufacturers could have supplied you with a plethora of drop dead gorgeous drop top models to choose from - from the utlilitarian but wonderfully fun Moggy Minor to rampant beasts like the E Type Jaguar and everything in between.

The Alvis TE21 didn't slot between those two examples above - instead it stood apart from just about anything else on the market. Everything about it screamed class - but it wasn't just a very well put together and very desirable motor car, it had a five speed gearbox, 130 bhp (later 150 bhp) and a suspension you could adjust from the dashboard.

Built in Coventry by a company more famous these days for putting tanks together, the TE21 had an equally impressive presence and air of solidity as the Challenger II does today - but it was also unbelievably beautiful.

In our modern world where cars tend to be bog standard conservative or utterly vulgar and model development is focus grouped into oblivion such a machine could not exist today. I'm just glad it once did and that it was British, although - could it have been anything else?

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