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.