South East Alvis owners tour to Kent

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More than 50 cars representing the South East section of the Alvis Owner Club congregated at Chiddingstone Castle for their annual autumn meet last month.

For many members, the day started at the Grasshopper Hotel near Westerham for breakfast as 20 cars met to make the cross-country dash to the event, including Mike and Jan Baker in their 1938 Speed 25. It was one of three machines with Charlesworth drophead-coupe bodies to take part in the event.

On arrival, the castle’s 35-acre grounds hosted the Concours d’Elegance, which had a class for pre-war saloons and open cars, plus one each for post-war saloons and convertibles.

Ray McMullen’s fantastic 1927 12/50 Mulliner – the oldest Alvis at the event – took top honours for pre-war models. Tony Smith’s TD21 triumphed in in the post-war saloon class, while Philip Olden’s TD21 drophead was voted best convertible.

Event organisers made use of the gravel car park as a setting for the day’s driving tests, which put participants’ dexterity and judgement to work as they navigated the cone-marked layout.

One machine competing was Paul Thornton’s Speed 25 Charlesworth DHC. It is one of only two cars to survive from the 1940 production run, before the Coventry factory was bombed in November of that year.

Winner of the challenge, though, was Steve Horne in his Speed 20. He took the Arthur Hardy Award for the best score of the day. Jane Torrance scooped the Ladies’ Award in her TD21.

AOC member Phil Olden brought action of a different kind as he auctioned off 90 items, ranging from books and tools to a Speed 25 camshaft still in its original factory packaging.

To view a short video from the day, click here.

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