Charles S. Crail Automobiles in Santa Barbara, California is elated to add this super rare 1951 Alvis TA21 Drophead Coupe by Tickford to its inventory. This is not a car that you see every day and your local car show may not even have one. That’s because the drophead coupe variant of the 1951 Alvis TA21 is very special and was not mass-produced. Before we get into all the numbers and features, let’s go over the history and background of this unique vehicle.
The Alvis TA21 automobile was manufactured by Alvis Cars between 1950 and 1953. It debuted to the British public on March 16, 1950–the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The car was available in four-door Saloon and Tickford drophead versions; this example is the latter of the two. The total production number for TA21 models is 1,316. Only 302 drophead coupes were made and only 80 of those were left-hand-drive cars like this one. Special features include Lucas headlamps, Trico windscreen washer, bonnet ventilators, polished wood cappings, twin carburetors, sun visors, a kilo speedometer, and Dunlop tires.
The middle body section was carried over from the earlier TA14 automobile with minor changes. It featured independent front suspension and a new, overhead-valve, six-cylinder, three-liter engine mated to a manual shift. The engine and cargo compartments were new, however, to account for the extra length. The front doors remained rear-hinged. Inside the cabin, separate seats were fitted at the front and a bench seat was placed in the rear with a fold-down center armrest. Leather trim was used throughout for an elevated look and feel. Perhaps the most interesting feat was that this car boasted many handling traits similar to that of a sportscar. Those styling cues combined with a low center of gravity and a nice amount of space made this a fine car that catered to those who wants a sportscar and family car at the same time.
This rare beauty is finished in a Willow Green paint with a fawn leather interior and soft top. A new top and boot were installed; the interior wood was refinished, and the trunk reupholstered. New Wilton carpeting was installed with brightwork redone as needed. The sale of this car includes the factory build sheet, a complete service file, and the vehicle’s extensive history.
It is believed that the first owner of this 1951 Alvis TA21 Drophead Coupe was Pia Beck, a famous Dutch jazz pianist and singer. She was considered to be "best Jazz pianist in the world" and performed for numerous distinguished guests like General Eisenhower, the British Royal Family, and Freddy Heineken. Pia Beck also owned more than 47 different cars in her lifetime; open sportscars were her favorite, though. The car was later put in the Museum in the Netherlands, and later sold by the English car dealer Stephen Langton in 1987 to John Dela Bosco who exported it to Canada. In 1988, Dela had the car fully restored for his wife, Geri, who owned the car until 2014. Now, this valuable collector car can be yours.
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