Alvis Racing Car No. 1

The Chassis


A very visible feature of the chassis is its spider-like individual members, liberallly drilled with holes up to 2” in diameter. The basis for the design was a stock item from Thompsons in Rotherham which had been used on the preceding 12/40 (side valve) models with some reports of problems caused by cracks in the main chassis rails. The same chassis was selected for the No.s 2 and 3 Racing Cars, as evidenced by period photographs, but it appears that the rest of the batch were consigned (without bodies) to Australia, where Alvis had a growing following. As well as drilling virtually all metalwork (Arthur Cummings, the machine shop foreman, estimated that some 20lbs weight had been saved by this measure alone), the front cross member was relocated rearwards together with the engine. It is speculated that this may have been done to improve weight distribution and handling.


(left) The nearside combined headlamp/radiator mount, made from solid bronze, sitting astride the destinctive front cross member.

(right) A close-up of the damaged chassis section. A break in the lower part of the rail occurred where the subframe brace was fixed. Alvis create a tight-fitting fillet (drilled, naturally!) and redesigned the brace. During restoratation, the rail was re-welded and the fillet reinstated for historical accuracy.