Alvis back on track

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It is good to hear that the 1924 Alvis which the late Eric Benfield restored so meticulously and raced in VSCC events is receiving a complete restoration by its new owner. Two of these cars competed in the 1924 JCC 200 Mile Race, along with Sir Alistair Miller in the less-specialised 1923 12/50-type racing Alvis.

I was intrigued to find that the 1924 Alvises had only a single contractingtype drum transmission brake, as the Brooklands regulations insisted that “one of two independent brakes must operate on the driving wheels so that speed can be checked even if the propeller shaft or driving chains have carried away”.

This single brake would have been adequate for speed trials and hill-climbs. I am told that later a second internal-expanding brake was used, with the drum on the special lightweight differential-less back axle.

One problem arises, that of the correct colour for the Alvis as raced in the 1920s. For the ‘200’ it had to be yellow, a class-recognition rule, and it seems this was retained when T G John entered one for CM Harvey to drive at the 1925 Easter BARC Meeting. After that the works cars were unpainted.

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