During the period between 1983 and 2002, the car remained intact but immobile because of a serious engine derangement. Pressure of work, grandchildren and other commitments meant that the repairs were never really started and it was only the diagnosis of terminal cancer that provided the urgency that was to see the car restored to racing status.

 

Sadly, Robert didn’t see the finished article, although he was instrumental in the route chosen for the restoraton of the engine. After his death, the car passed to his daughter, Lulie.

 

Lulie’s husband, Robert Hunt, felt that whilst the engine could be restored to a reliable and robust state, the rest of the car was very much an unknown factor. Not only had it lain unused for the past twenty years, but parts of it would not have been attended to for a considerably longer period and in the intervening period the weight of traffic had increased significantly (remember that throughout its life HP6161 has been licenced for and used on the public highway). For this reason during the summer of 2002, the car was fully dismantled for the purposes of inspection and restoration. Details of the actual restoration can be found in the relevant sections of the technical pages, but the finished vehicle was finally rolled out of its garage on 7th August 2006, some four years and approximately 4500 hours of workshop time later.

 

Since then, HP6161 has been raced at Prescott and appeared at the Brooklands Centenary and a number of other historic events. As it is licenced for road use, it has been driven to events close to home, although the driving position and sparse comfort of the cabin (such as it is) mean that longer-distance events require more planning and a trailer.

 

Read more about:

1983 to 2002

Off the road for restoration

Alvis Racing Car No. 1 - Off the road

2002 to 2006

Restoration highlights (to come)

2006

Roll-out; 7th August (to come)

Current

Driving impressions (to come)

 

Current

There’s always more to do..... (to come)

left: Robert Wicksteed aboard HP 6161 sometime during the 1990s at Hoglens - the family home outside Kettering in Northamptonshire.

 

Although highly polished (as it always was under his stewardship), the car pictured here is missing all of the engine internals and its only appearance between 1983 and 2006 was for a push-on part at Silverston in the Alvis enclosure.