The Alvis TF21 Credit: Paul Jolly

COLUMN: Blue flashing lights in rear view mirror were common fault with Alvis

Jim Parker

Paul Jolly – Classic Car Specialist and Valuer:

Alvis were an independent manufacturer of high-quality sporting coupes and convertibles produced in the Birmingham area until 1967.

Sadly, they never kept up to date with evolving markets, and their last model, the TF21 was not too different from the 1950s production models.

Many might say this was their charm, with Mulliner coachbuilt bodywork to match any Rolls Royce or Bentley.

I have sold many of these and have great fondness for them.

On one such delivery to Louth in Lincolnshire, I had reason to test the speed capabilities on the final sector, a fast but undulating A road.

Now these cars had a recurring fault with their rear-view mirror. Blue flashing lights would appear quite frequently and today was no exception.

However, this particular blue flashing light was accompanied by two rather cross police officers in their Triumph 2.5 PI squad car.

It was a very hot day and I have to admit to being close to the magical 100mph as I tried not to be late.

I pulled over on a downhill section and they came up behind with very stern faces.

Did I realise how fast they had been forced to drive to catch me up, they enquired?

“No’” I replied, “I was having a nice day out in the countryside and was very sorry to cause them such bother.”

At this point, there was a very loud bang followed by the hissing of steam emitting from the Triumph as its radiator gave way.

A large quantity of frothy green liquid came pouring out from under the front and ran down underneath my Alvis and around the tyres.

“Look what your car has done to my nice shiny wire wheels,” I protested. “They took me hours to clean, you know.”

My expression of disgust was likened to witnessing the neighbour’s dog cocking a leg on my gatepost.

“Well, if you don’t mind, I have an appointment to attend to and must be getting along.”

I left the scene rather more sedately than I had arrived.

Final score: Alvis: One. Triumph: Nil.