Alvis TA 21
Manufacturer Alvis Cars
Production 1950–1953
1316 produced[1]
Predecessor Alvis TA 14
Successor Alvis TC 21
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
2-door drophead
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) Alvis 3.0 L Straight-6 ohv
Wheelbase 111.5 in (2,832 mm)[2]
Length 182 in (4,623 mm)[2]
Width 66 in (1,676 mm)[2]
Height 62.5 in (1,588 mm)[2]

The Alvis TA 21, sometimes called the 3-Litre, is an automobile which was produced by Alvis Cars between 1950 and 1953. It was the first all new Alvis to be produced after World War II.

The car was available in four-door Saloon and Tickford drophead versions. 302 dropheads were made.[3] The centre section of the body was carried over from the earlier TA 14[3] with minor changes but the engine and luggage compartments were new and accounted for the extra length. The front doors remained rear hinged. Separate seats were fitted at the front and in the rear was a bench seat with fold down centre armrest. Leather trim was used. The saloon bodies were made for Alvis by Mulliners in Birmingham.[1]

The 2993 cc engine was new and produced 83 bhp (62 kW) fitted with a single Solex carburettor and applying a compression ratio of 7.0:1. Unusually, the engine incorporated timing gears at the rear of the cylinder block and a 7-bearing crank to increase smoothness.[4] This was the first appearance of the engine that would power Alvis cars until the manufacturer retreated from passenger car production in 1967, although modifications including increased compression ratios as higher octane fuels became available would enable the power output to be progressively raised after 1953 until, fed by three SU carburetters, it reached 150 bhp (110 kW) in 1965.[5]

Suspension was independent at the front using coil springs with leaf springs at the rear. 11 in (279 mm) drum brakes using a Lockheed system were used, the first use of hydraulic operation by Alvis.[3]

A saloon version tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 88.7 mph (142.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 15.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 19.5 miles per imperial gallon (14.5 L/100 km/16.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1945 including taxes.[2]

Alvis TA 21 Saloon 1950

Alvis TA21 4-door saloon


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robson, Graham (2006). A-Z British Cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "The Alvis 3-litre Saloon", The Motor. January 16, 1952. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sedgwick, Michael; Gillies (1993). A-Z of cars 1945–1970. UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  4. "Second Hand car guide supplement", Practical Motorist 6 Nbr 68: between pages 768 & 769. date April 1960. 
  5. Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 

Further readingEdit

  • Clarke, RM (1989). Alvis gold portfolio 1919–1967. Cobham, Surrey, England: Brooklands Books. ISBN 978-1-870642-84-2. 
  • Culshaw, D (2003). Alvis three litre in detail: TA21 to TF21 1950-67. Beaworthy, Devon, England: Herridge and Sons Ltd.. ISBN 978-0-9541063-2-4. 

External linksEdit

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