The Alvis name was founded in 1919, and reputedly came from a design of piston: ‘al’ from ‘aluminium’ and ‘vis’ meaning ‘strong’ in Latin. The 12/50 and 12/60 models were notable early designs and it was also a pioneer of front-wheel-drive during the 1920s. Alvis built a range of imposing and progressive sports models during the 1930s, but adopted a one-model policy after the war. In 1955, Swiss firm Graber penned a new and very handsome body and the TC108G, TD21 , TE21 and TF21 that followed were noted for their arresting appearance, especially the final stacked-headlamp cars. Competitor Rover took over the firm in 1965 and, from 1967, Alvis was confined to making military machines.