Talk:Alvis TC 108G
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Although the article mostly talks about the Willowbrook-bodied cars, the agreement with Willowbrook being the only reason Alvis built the chassis, the picture shows one of the Graber Specials. Hermann Graber bodied almost as many 108Gs as Willowbrook in 1957-8, but his cars looked very different, crisper and more modern, while the Willowbrooks were patterned on his 1955 Paris Show TC 21/100 and were already a little dated. (Those Detroit reverse-slope C-pillars, like a Vauxhall PA Cresta -- not one of Hermann's better ideas.) The Park Ward body for the TD21 and its successors was adapted from this later Graber style. Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:31, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
- I've added a picture of the Willowbrook car - from the back — as you have indicated that is its distinctive feature.Eddaido (talk) 00:49, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
The article quotes a figure of 37. Kenneth R. Day, in The Alvis Car (Lewis Cole & Co., London, 1966), p.170, says, 'TC. 108G (1956-1957): Chassis numbers 25909-25945 (31 made -- some of these chassis numbers were not used).' So it appears 36 chassis were sanctioned but only 31 actually produced. Day, then President of the Alvis Owner Club, wrote his book with the cooperation of the Alvis company and access to the company's records; the company chairman JJ Parkes contributed a foreword.
On p.36 Day says, 'Since 1950 Carrosserie Graber of Berne had been fitting their own bodies to the 3 litre chassis for sale in small numbers to Swiss customers, (8 in 1955 and 11 in 1957) and for exhibition at the Geneva Show. Arrangements were therefore made in 1955, by purchasing the manufacturing rights, patterns and jigs, to build the body here; the actual work was undertaken by Willowbrook Ltd., of Loughborough and during the next three years the 3 litre chassis was sold with this body as the T.C. 108.G (only 16 cars were built).' That is, 16 Willowbrook-bodied cars were completed.
Sixteen is the usual production figure for the TC 108G, found for instance in Michael Sedgewick & Mark Gillies, A-Z of Cars 1945-1970, Bay View Books, Bideford, Devon, 1993, ISBN 1-870979-39-7, p.17. But again this only refers to the Willowbrook cars. If 31 chassis were built, then Graber seems to have bodied 15, including those 11 in 1957. (By 1958 he would have been running out of chassis, as Alvis didn't make any for some months until late that year, resuming production for the Park Ward-bodied TD 21.) The article refers to 'other coachbuilders', but Willowbrook and Graber seem to have been the only ones involved. The Willowbrook car failed to sell, shifting only 16 units in three years, because of its excessive price at £3,451 and seven shillings. (The Autocar, 22 March 1957, reproduced in R.M. Clarke, Alvis Gold Portfolio, as cited, p.159.) Note that about a third of the all-up price was purchase tax. A year later the Park Ward TD 21 came in at £2,993 for the saloon and £3,293 for the drophead (not an option on the Willowbrook car) and you got more room, better interior finish and better looks -- not surprisingly, as Park Ward were the specialist coachbuilding division of Rolls-Royce -- so Motor on 9 October 1958 called the TD 21 'a very competitively priced car in its specialist field' (Clarke, op. cit., p.163). Alvis went on to sell 1,067 TD 21s in 1959-63. Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:30, 2 June 2019 (UTC)