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.
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
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.