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Silver Crest

Silver Crest Description

These cars, and their four-cylindercompanion the 12/70, were designed by George Lanchester, who was on the Alvis staff at the time. They were intended to appeal to a slightly wider market,especially business users, and be simpler to manufacture than the Firebird andSilver Eagle models they replaced. A higher proportion of bought-in componentswas used in their manufacture, although finish was to traditional Alvisstandards. Both used engines with block and crankcase cast together in iron,with the timing chain at the front. The Silver Crest was made with 6 cylinderengines of 67.5 x 110 mm, 2362 cc (TF 16.95) and 73 x 110 mm, 2762 cc (TD19.82).

The name Seventeen was initially usedfor the smaller-engined car. On the earliest cars a single Solex downdraughtcarburetter was used on the smaller engine, soon changed to triple SU units ason the larger. Outputs were 95 bhp for the larger engine and 68 for thesmaller. These engines were mated to a unit-construction all-synchromeshgearbox of more compact design than that used on the "Speed" models;very good it was too.

Design of the 10' wheelbase chassiswas lightened and simplified compared to earlier models. Independent frontsuspension was by transverse quarter - elliptics and wishbones, whilst at therear conventional half-elliptic springs were to be found. The rear axle andsteering gear were "bought in", from ENV and Burman - Douglasrespectively. 16" bolt on wire wheels featured, along with fully compensatedBendix-Cowdrey rod-operated brakes, instead of the Alvis system used hitherto.

Saloon bodies were by Holbrook; fourand six light styles being offered. They were comfortable and roomy. Maximumspeed was 71 or 80 mph according to the engine fitted. These are very practicalcars and it is greatly regretted that so very few survive of over 340 made. Special bodywork was confined to a short run of very pretty dropheads by Cross & Ellis, and a solitary limousine by Cross & Ellis which happily survives.

Andrew Wisdom

Silver Crest Model Secretary

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