The Alvis Register

The Club for the Vintage Alvis Enthusiast

Alvis 12/50 logo
1919-1933 Models 10/30, 11/40, 12/40, 12/50, 12/60, FWD, 14.75, 16.95 Silver Eagle
Image of Coachwork
1928 SD 12-50 2-str sports


Alvis did not make their own coachwork, and most cars had standard bodies built by the Coventry firms of Carbodies or Cross and Ellis. Although Alvis offered a standard range of body colours, purchasers could specify an individual paint colour and extras to suit their own requirements. After the body had been built and trimmed, the car was returned to the factory for checking and road-testing before despatch. In a few cases Alvis supplied the chassis only and the customer commissioned a body from a coach-builder of his choice. Similarly, virtually all the new cars exported, mainly to Australia and New Zealand, were shipped in chassis form and were bodied by  local coach-builders.

A comprehensive range of standard designs was available, updated as fashions and tastes changed. More photographs of these can be found in the Gallery section. Typically this included 2/3-seaters, 4-seater tourers, four- and six-light saloons and the three-quarter or Doctor's Coupé.  Fabric "Alvista" bodies were made as well as the traditional steel or aluminium panel on ash-framed coach-built bodies. Most body styles were offered on both four- and six-cylinder chassis.  In earlier years open cars predominated, but towards the end of the vintage period improved designs and customers' demands for greater comfort substantially increased the demand for closed cars.

The earlier 12-50 sports models were generally fitted with a polished aluminium 2-seater body with a single dickey seat in the pointed tail. (Popularly known for obvious reasons as the‘duck’s-back’).A modified 2-seater sports body, again with single dickey-seat, (known unofficially as the ‘beetle-back’) was introduced on the SD 12/50 sports chassis in 1926, and further modified versions appeared on the TK and TL 12/60 chassis and on some 16.95 Silver Eagles between 1930 and 1932.

The initial development and maintenance of this website has been made possible by generous bequests from Register members Brian Smith and Peter Ellington-Robinson, and the kindness of the Trustees of the Fund set up in memory of Len Holbrook in making the residue available to the Register for this purpose.