Alvis TC21 (1953 – 1956) Review

Alvis TC21 (1953 – 1956) At A Glance


+Rapid and elegant, beautiful coachbuilt versions, great specialist support

-Brakes aren't up to the performance

The Alvis TC21 wasn’t a new model at all, but merely an evolution of the existing TA21, which appeared in 1953. The TC21 also received further updates later that year, and the introduction of an additional higher performance model in the range known as the TC21/100, or Grey Lady as it was widely known as. That car’s ‘100' designation came from its powerful 100bhp output, as well as the fact that it could top the magic ‘ton’, or 100mph. Why the ‘Grey Lady’? Because that was the colour of the 1953 Earls Court Motor Show display vehicle – and it made quite an impression. The extra performance of the new car came as a result of the higher compression ratio and rear axle ratios.

Only small visual clues characterised the ‘new’ Alvis. Twin cooling bonnet scoops were fitted, along with louvres on the side of the bonnet doors, while Dunlop wire wheels were an obvious improvement. As with the TA21, Mulliner built the saloon bodies, and Tickford crafted the drophead coupés. Swiss coachbuilders, Graber, also built a number of stylish variations. The reliance on outside contractors was the reason for Alvis dropping car production – Mulliner agreed to work solely for Standard-Triumph and Tickford was taken over by rivals Aston Martin.

What does a Alvis TC21 (1953 – 1956) cost?