Alvis Racing Car No. 1

The Body


One can argue that the shape and construction of HP6161’s body was largely informed by the 1921 10/30 racers that competed in the coup de voiturettes and elsewhere. Minimalist and lightweight, constructed from Aluminium, Ash and plywood, they offerred little protection to the driver and mechanic, and less comfort. In private ownership, a more comfortable seating arrangement seems to have been adopted; but it is almost certain that in racing form, the seat squabs would have been removed with only the structural backs remaining to offer support. Indeed, removing the seat base actually improves the driving position and close examination of works driver Harvey’s actual position in early photographs supports this supposition.




Above: Harvey in the 1921 10/30 raacer

During the recent restoration, the original body was ‘retired’ on the grounds that further use would have caused unacceptable deterioration. A copy of both the frame and skin was created based on the original shape, returning the car to the original ‘sprint’ specification, with an inboard petrol tank replacing the very visible bolster variant that was added for the 1923 Brooklands race when HP6161 was turned into a reserve car.

Keen-eyed observers will note the absence of the traditional Alvis cast Aluminium pedal board. It is believed that this was missed out primarily because the relocation of the engine and other components some 4½” to the rear would have prevented its use because of the revised pedal geometry.

More pages to come soon.