Alvis cars were introduced in 1920 with the 10/30 model. The most famous vintage Alvis is the 12/50, produced from 1923 with an overhead valve engine. This was a successful sporting and racing car. The Alvis Front-Wheel-Drive (1928 to 1929), the first production FWD car in the world, was also a successful racing car.
During the 1930s the Alvis became a luxury sports car with the introduction of 6 cylinder cars such as the Speed 20, Speed 25, 3.5-litre and 4.3-litre models. The short chassis 4.3-litre car was favourably compared with the Bentley and Lagonda models at the time. Saloon cars, such as the Silver Crest and Crested Eagle, and the smaller four cylinder cars such as the Firefly, Firebird and 12/70 were also available.
After World War II Alvis produced the TA14 model, almost identical to the pre-war 12/70, which kept the company afloat until the 3-litre models were produced, the most famous being the Grey Lady (TC21/100) and the Graber bodied models (TD12, TE21 and TF21).
Alvis cars continued to be manufactured until 1967, when companies were encouraged to merge in order to compete in world markets. Alvis and Rover combined because of their interest in military products – Rover's Land Rover and Alvis' range of military equipment and vehicles.
This signalled the end of manufacture of Alvis cars, but not the end of the passion they generate in their owners and admirers. Although it is over forty years since the last Alvis car left the works there is still a strong following for this quality marque.