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Your Ride: 1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA

Jeff Perez
23 November 2013

Most of us car guys have a “niche” set of interests. Maybe your into American muscle, or Japanese sportscars — but one of our readers, Jose, has a different kind of niche car hobby; classics. Oh, and we mean classics.

An avid enthusiast and owner, Jose says that the Alvis Speed 20 SA in question is just one of many classics he owns, spanning the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. But these aren’t just garage queens–oh no. Jose and his buddies (also collectors) even took their classics across the Australian outback just last year. Now that’s the kind of enthusiast we love.

Read more about it here:

Alvin 2
Alvin 2

BR: How did you acquire your ride?

Jose: I had been looking for an early Speed 20 and one of the Google searches showed this car being advertised for sale in Wales. I got some pictures and details, went over to have a look at it and test drive it and I was hooked.

PHOTOS: See more Alvis automobiles in our galleries

What drew you to it when you bought it?

I own several classic cars but this is my first pre-war. I have a couple of friends who own similar cars and we actually drove together across Australia last year. So the challenge of a pre-war grew slowly…Bentleys are soooo expensive and 1.5-liter Astons are also less powerful and cramped for my six-foot-plus frame. So, a Speed 20 seemed a good alternative.

The earlier (1932 – middle of 1933) SA cars are the lighter and purer breed. Later versions (SB, SC, SD, etc.) with independent suspension and synchromesh gearboxes became more refined, bulkier and heavier. Not to mention the later 25 and 4.3.


Does it have a name?

Just YY…

What do you feel like when you drive it?

Initially, getting used to the center accelerator pedal (brake on the right) and “crash” (non-synchromesh) gearbox was a challenge, requring double de-cluctching up and down, once you master this though it gives you a sense of acheivement different from an other post-war convertible. You sit low on the double-drop chassis, and the 6-cylinder 2.5-liter engine with 3-SU carburetors has a lot of torque. Not very powerful, but in its day was still capable of 98 mph.

RELATED: See photos of the 1939 Alvis Speed 25 Tourer

What you would change about your car, if anything?

Later on perhaps, a 4.3-liter engine and a silver crest syncromesh gearbox.

What have you done to make it a bolder ride?

Nothing really needed… 


Dream accessory for it and why?

Oh! Just a monit tripmeter for regularity rallies…

Thanks to Jose for letting us share his ride! Want us to feature your ride? Click here to find out how

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