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Alvis TA 14 and TB 14 1946 - 1950

our thanks to the Alvis owners club


The Alvis car factory was badly damaged by the Luftwaffe in 1940, and by the end of hostilities the main activities of the company were outside car manufacture, yet Alvis came back with incredible resilience to play a significant part in Britain's post-war motoring history. The first postwar production was the TA 14, developed from the 12/70 under very difficult conditions. Wheelbase and track were increased, by 2" and 4" respectively, to 9' and 4'6", the chassis strengthened and Girling twin leading shoe brakes fitted, still mechanically operated. 16" bolt-on steel disc wheels replaced the older car's 17" knock-on wires and the rear axle progressed to a hypoid type, lowering the propeller shaft.

1949 TA 14 Mulliner saloon

Modifications to the engine were minimal, the bore being increased to 74 mm and the capacity to 1892 cc, and a horizontal SU carburettor replaced the downdraught unit. Power went up a fraction, to 65 bhp. Mulliner again supplied the standard saloon body, cleverly adapted from the 12/70 one to give greater roominess, retaining the sunroof, and both Carbodies and Tickford provided dropheads, the latter being more expensive.. Top speed was down to 75 mph, no doubt the poor quality of post-war petrol and rising weight were to blame. After the war, Alvis experienced serious body supply problems, and many TA 14 chassis were given bodies by a whole series of builders.

1949 TA 14 Carbodies DHC

These range from elegant saloons such as the two door model from Duncan Industries through conventional dropheads to a variety of what used to be known as shooting brakes, but are now referred to as utilities or "woodies". The post-war tax regime favoured these confections, hence their popularity. They came in great variety, some were quite pretty, but others looked as though they were intended for occupation by poultry. It appears that the Alvis agent in Belgium was very active, and many cars went there, some in chassis form, where they received some very sporting bodies.

1949 TA 14 Tickford DHC

One car, resembling the Bugatti Type 57 "tank" cars, appeared at Le Mans, unfortunately without success. Brussels coachbuilder F.J. Bidée produced some innovative and elegant designs. These Belgian sports models formed the basis of the TB 14, a twin carburettor, 68 bhp, sports version with a rather bulbous body by AP Metalcraft. Many of these were left hand drive, the 14 being the first Alvis chassis to allow this option in the export-conscious postwar days. The grille on this model was not on traditional Alvis lines and not calculated to appeal to the more conservative buyer. Top speed went up to 80 mph. It seems that a number of the LHD TB 14s were sold on the domestic market.

1947 TA 14 Duncan saloon

The TA 14 sold extremely well, in large numbers for an Alvis, and accounted for the last profits ever made by the car division. Even though cars in general were easy to sell in the immediate postwar period, TA 14 sales were high for an expensive car. It also introduced Alvis to new markets far from the UK, even in South America. Significantly some chassis went to Switzerland where three found their way into the hands of top-flight coachbuilder Hermann Graber.

Many Fourteens have survived and the model deservedly has a strong and enthusiastic following. A total of over 3,400 TA and TB 14s was made over its five year production life.

1950 TB 14 AP Metalcraft 2 - seater


1948 Alvis TB 14

dimensions & weights
Wheelbase 2743 mm 108 in  
Track front 1372 mm 54 in  
rear 1372 mm 54 in  
Length 4432 mm 174.5 in  
Width 1689 mm 66.5 in  
Kerb weight 1245 kg 2745 lb  
Type S-4
8 valves total
2 valves per cylinder
Bore × stroke 74.00mm × 110.00mm
2.91 in × 4.33 in
Bore/Stroke ratio 0.67
Displacement 1892 cc
(115.457 cu in)
Unitary capacity 473 cc/cylinder
Compression ratio 6.73:1
Fuel system 2 SU carbs
Aspiration Normal
Max. output 68.9 PS (68.0 bhp) (50.7 kW)
@4000 rpm
Max. torque
Coolant Water
Specific output 35.9 bhp/litre
0.59 bhp/cu in
Note: A value of -1 means that
the car cannot attain that speed.
0-50mph (80 km/h) 13.90s
0-100mph -1.00s
Top speed 129 km/h
Power-to-weight 54.62 bhp/ton
Engine location Front
Engine alignment Longitudinal
Transmission 4M
Drive RWD