The Turquoise Beauty

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I cannot generally comment upon the paint colours of veteran and vintage cars – I know so little about the subject. I can vouch for a few in the 195os to the 1990’s – the vehicles my family owned here and in Canada. For the most part they were plain-coloured, though there was a two-tone Chevrolet in 1956 that was rather dazzling. And I’m happy to say it has been the subject of a very good 1:18 scale model – more on that one day.

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All this to introduce the rather startling colour of the 1934 Speed 20 Alvis. The pictures are taken on two separate occasions – last year and this year, but I daresay that if you are 82 years old one more makes little difference. I cannot say whether this is a factory colour, though I rather hope it is. It is glorious.

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The Alvis attracted my attention due to the large size of the headlamps and the high transverse spring in the front. That, and the low bonnet line, give it a particularly racy feel as a saloon. It is evidently not the sort of vehicle one would expect to see on Route 66 in the dustbowl with chairs and chickens attached to the roof.

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Not that you could not do it. I was fascinated to see the chrome attachment points there on the front and rear of the roofline – I should posit a dedicated metal hook, and a removable transverse rack to attach there – perhaps to transport skis to Switzerland or fly rods to Scotland. I have no idea why the designers decide upon a little chrome loop to lift the boot lid instead of a sturdy handle, but perhaps the British motorist is a one-finger person. Evidently he drives on deserted roads with little illumination, if the front of the car is anything to go by. I hope the engine has enough power to cope with the drain on the electrics.

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