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Term Description
AAT The Alvis Archive Trust, a separate legal entity set up by the AOC to hold the Archive Assets that have been collected by the AOC and its members. See http://alvisarchive.com/
Alvis Register A club catering for the Alvis models up to 1932 only, excluding the Speed Twenty and Firefly. Complementary to the AOC.
Beetle Back A style of coach work applied to the rear of typically a 2 seater body, where the body ends in a curved as opposed to a more flicked up pointed tail as on the Ducks Back. The tail contains a single dickey seat.
Coachbuilder The company responsible for the manufacturer of the bodywork fitted to the car. Most coachbuilders had the capacity to design as well as manufacture coachwork. Alvis did not make bodywork but ‘bought in’ from outside coachbuilders. Most bodies were to standard designs built in series so that Alvis could sell complete cars of catalogued types. Sometimes the same design was supplied by more than one coachbuilder. Occasionally coachbuilders were commissioned to produce ‘one-off’ bodies or short series of non-standard bodies.
Coupé Strictly, a car with one row of seats, well-appointed with large doors and wind-up glass windows. It may have a fixed or opening roof. See DHC and FHC.
D Back Saloon or Limousine A saloon or limousine where the body extends behind the rear axle line, and curves forwards as it reaches the lower end. Often fitted with an external luggage rack. Many Alvis, especially the ‘Silver’ Models were built with this style of bodywork.
de ville position A saloon or limousine where the body extends behind the rear axle line, and curves forwards as it reaches the lower end. Often fitted with an external luggage rack. Many Alvis, especially the ‘Silver’ Models were built with this style of bodywork.
DHC Drop Head Coupe. A car with a folding hood and which is more luxuriously appointed than a tourer. The hood may be two position, i.e. open or closed, or three position, which adds the ‘de ville’ option. The Continental term is ‘cabriolet’ and the American ‘convertible’.
Dickey (Seat) A seat outside the main cockpit of the car, usually of a temporary nature and at the rear of the car. Typically created by opening the boot of the car which forms the passenger’s back rest.
Ducks Back A style of bodywork, typically seen on two seater 1920s Alvis where the rear of the body work finishes in a raised pointed tail with a single dickey seat.
FHC Fixed Head Coupe. A car built to resemble a drop head coupe or convertible, but with a fixed roof made of the same material as the rest of the body e.g. aluminium. One result is that sometimes the room for rear passengers is restricted. The French describe this body as a ‘faux cabriolet’.
FIA Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. The governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organisations. It has its HQ in Paris.
Four (4) Light Saloon The typical window configuration on most four and two door saloons built by Alvis, with 2 windows per side.
LHD Left hand drive. Not available on Alvises until after WW2.
Limousine A large saloon, with glass division separating the front compartment, intended for chauffeur drive. Usually six light. Normally will have two additional folding seats for occasional use let into the division or the floor.
NEC The National Exhibition Centre. A series of large exhibition halls near Birmingham in Warwickshire. The British Motor Show was held there from 1978 to 2004.
Replica The original body has collapsed or simply been discarded, to be replaced by a more desirable, usually open, variant, but of a recognisable Alvis type. Sometimes anachronistic.
RHD Right hand drive. All Alvises up to 1946 were RHD.
Six (6) Light Saloon A saloon body that has 3 windows per side. This term predates quarter lights etc. and is typically used to describe a saloon where there is a window behind the rear door. This term has been overtaken by the use of the word limousine, which is what most 6 lights were. This term is seen combined with others such as “D Back Saloon” in modern adverts.
Sedanca de Ville Also known as a Town Car in the US, is a body style characterised by a four door saloon style body with an open front compartment and an enclosed rear compartment. The style was typically employed when the car was driven by a paid chauffeur.
Special Usually found where the original coachwork has disintegrated. Frequently the chassis has been shortened and a more sporting body fitted to the owner’s own design, often home-built. Other mechanical alterations, such as larger engines and multiple carburation are often found.
Tourer This term covers a wide variety of bodywork, but in the Alvis context generally refers to an open car, two or four door, with a hood and removable side screens. It may be narrow and light, semi-sporting in form, or large and wide. Vintage examples often have a separate windscreen for the rear compartment. A four door tourer with glass wind-up windows is and ‘all-weather’ or ‘convertible saloon’.
Van A commercial vehicle with a roofed box type rear compartment for carrying goods, typically built over a car chassis.
Woody A modern term to describe what used to be known as a ‘shooting brake’ or nowadays as an ‘estate car’. Two or four door with a commodious rear compartment with doors at the back and constructed almost entirely of wood, including the panelling. The framing is often exposed.
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