One of the most beautiful English cars, that appeared during the fifties, was undoubtedly the Alvis TD21, a four seater sedan, with a sleek, two door body.
Initially presented as the Type 108/G, the underpinnings of the car were largely based on the much more conservatively styled TC21 Grey Lady, with a separate chassis and a rather modern 3 liter in-line six engine, with 7 main bearings, which had been introduced in 1950.
The new car was designed by the Swiss company of Hermann Graber, which had already gained a sizeable reputation with numerous designs in mainland Europe. A prototype of the car was unveiled in 1955 and it was planned that Alvis would built the bodies under license from Graber, although a number of cars were directly supplied by Graber as well.
In 1958 a new version of the body was presented, which had been further developed in co-operation with Park Ward, who would also take over the construction itself. From then on the car became known as the TD21. It also became available with an open top.
On the technical side it is noticeable that the car was the first to have Lockheed Disc Brakes as an optional feature, then costing 15 pounds, including purchase tax… Furthermore there was a choice between a 4 speed manual and a 3 speed Borg Warner Autobox.
Over the years the car did not change much, but in 1961 a Series II version was presented, which had 4 Dunlop Discbrakes as standard and some changes to the foglights and the rearlight units. Also some modifications to the glashouse and interior parts were made. Engine power had been gradually increased over time from 105 initially via 115 to about 130 for the SII.
Graber produced a number of special bodies on the chassis and in 1963 the last version appeared, recognisable from double vertical headlights, and a further increased engine power from 130 to 150 BHP. This version was dubbed TE21 and a final engine tweak with three carbs resulted in the TF21, which could reach a topspeed of over 190 kph.
The TD21 was phased out in 1964, and 1070 units were made, plus 16 of the initial 108/G model. The TE version saw a total production of 352 while the TF with 106 became the rarest version. Alvis folded as a car company in 1967.