Classic Car Catalogue

Alvis 1930

FWD 8/15 - discontinued
FWD 12/75  
12/50 TJ (from 1923)
Silver Eagle SD - new model
Silver Eagle SA - new model

Great Britain

September '29
The FA 8/15 eight-cylinder engine has a cubic capacity of 1491 cc (55 x 78.5 mm) and develops 95 bhp at 5500 rpm. It has an overhead camshaft, two magnetos and a multi-plate clutch with four-speed gearbox ahead of the engine.

FWD 8/15

wb: 10 ft 0 in. 8 cyl.
1491 cc
125 bhp
sports roadster   discontinued



FWD 12/75

Front Wheel drive        
sports saloon        
4 seat sports        
2 seat sports        



12/50 TJ

wb: 9 ft 4 1/2 in. 4 cyl.
1645 cc
50 bhp
- new version
drophead Coupé    
2 seat sports    



Silver Eagle

wb: 9 ft 4½ in. 6 cyl.
1991 cc;
6 cyl.
2148 cc
72 bhp
- new model - this year only
saloon SD SA  
drophead Coupé SD SA  


Motor Sport June 1930

THE actual car tested by Motor Sport was the same vehicle that had earlier in its life been used as an effective, and as it proved very speedy, substitute for the famous Blue Train. Without wishing to enter into any discussion on the relative merits of cars and trains, which have lately been occupying the attention of various manufacturers, it must be obvious that a car used as this was, had been through a fairly rough time. Continuous high speed demonstration work in the hands of many drivers, for many thousands of miles is much more likely to find out any weakness or liability to wear, than a similar period in the hands of one owner, who, however hard he might drive, would be certain to take more care of it. Therefore, when we took over the car from Henlys Ltd. for a few days we were particularly interested to observe the manner in which it had stood up to its work.
It has always been characteristic of the standard Alvis product, that it has never led one to expect a performance which is not forthcoming. Rather it is the opposite that one finds. The Silver Eagle sports 4-seater, as will be seen from the photograph, is a thoroughly good looking but modest motorcar; a car that anyone would be pleased to be seen in, and at the same time one that will not attract unwelcome attention by "looking fast."
Its manners from the point of view of other road users and the public in general are beyond reproach, while from the driver's point of view, a car which is quiet and smooth running is much pleasanter to handle on the road, and enables higher speed to be indulged in without annoying anyone.
All these points became immediately evident as we took the car out of London, but when we reached the open country we were genuinely surprised to find how its smoothness was combined with real speed capabilities.
The makers' claim is that the car is capable of 85 m.p.h. With many firms, this would mean that, given everything in its favour and time to get to it, such a speed is possible.
With the Alvis it means that it will at any time on the level reach and hold 85 m.p.h. and any stretch of a mile is sufficient distance to reach it. At this speed, which was at tamed quite a score of times in a couple of days of using the car as a fast hack, the control was all that could be wished, while even when taking really atrocious surfaces at well over 60 m.p.h., there was never the least difficulty in holding it on the required course. Cornering is good, but it would seem that the chassis could be lowered slightly with advantage. The ground clearance is remarkably large for a sports car, and it should be possible to reduce it without difficulty.
The only sign we could detect of the hard life the car had led was the fact that the hum of the indirect gears was slightly more pronounced than on a new model, but when it is considered how many different hands must have tried their strength on that gear lever, it is a great tribute to the wearing qualities of the gear box that the change still functioned perfectly, was easy to manipulate, and free from any special tricks.
The brakes came up to expectations and no difficulty was experienced in bringing the car to rest in 65ft. from 40 m.p.h. on a good surface. Bottom gear was used but little under ordinary driving conditions, starting on the level in second being common practice. This gear gives a maximum speed of 40 m.p.h., while 60 m.p.h. in third is attained without fuss.
The engine is free from any vibration period in its speed range, which is remarkably good. Although the gears were used liberally and continuously in the open country, as we were frequently in a hurry, when in traffic top gear could be used almost exclusively if required.
The six cylinder engine is only 2,100 c.c. which makes its performance with such a generous sized body rather remarkable. Mixture is supplied by three S.U. carburrettors, and this arrangement undoubtedly contributes greatly to the very smooth behaviour of the engine at all speeds. On one occasion with rather favourable circumstances we reached 90 m.p.h. which shows that the makers' claim of maximum speed is by no means exaggerated. The price is £675.

Motor Sport October 1930
In 1929 the Alvis car and Engineering Co., introduced. their "Silver Eagle" Sports model, and since its inception it has enjoyed a high degree of popularity. For the new season the "Silver Eagle" has been still further improved, the principal modifications being a lowered chassis and a new type radiator. Automatic shutters controlled by a thermostat are fitted to the latter, and other special features include a special dual ignition system (consisting of a Polar inductor magneto and a high tension coil), and three carburettors with a mixture control from the steering wheel.
Brief specification is as follows:
Engine: 16.95 hp. six cylinders, monobloc casting, 67.5 mm. bore x 100 mm. stroke, 2148 c.c. capacity. Detachable head. Crankshaft of heat treated steel, balanced, with four bearings. Connecting rods have anti-friction bearings die cast into position. The pistons are of special aluminium alloy. Valves in head actuated by push rod mechanism.
Gear Box: Close ratio gear box providing four speeds forward and reverse. Right hand change, direct drive on top speed.
Rear Axle: Spiral bevel. Differential case is a steel drop forging.
Steering: Of new pattern designed for easy, but definite steering with low pressure tyres.
Springs: Semielliptic front and rear. All springs enclosed in grease-filled leather gaiters, and are fitted with " Silentbloc " bearings.
Chassis Price, £525.



  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
10.05.1930 Double Twelve 3 3 2 34 Mrs. Bruce Silver Eagle 1,991 c.c. 13th 1500-2000 3rd
          30 C. Paul / H. W. Purdy 1,991 c.c. 16th 1500-2000 4th
23.08.1930 Tourist Trophy 4 4 3 30 Cyril Paul FWD 1491 cc 8 (s) 4th 1.1-1.5 1st
          31 Harold Purdy FWD 1491 cc 8 (s) 6th 1.1-1.5 2nd
          29 Leon Cushman FWD 1491 cc 8 (s) 7th 1.1-1.5 3rd

Alvis Straight-Eight 1 ½-Litre Supercharged Front-Wheel Drive racer.

Front wheel drive, eight cylinder.
In the 1930 TT the Alvis team swept their class in first, second and third position and only failed to beat the Alfa Romeo 1750s for outright victory.

Double-Twelve at Brooklnds.