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Collection Item

Alvis Front Wheel Drive

This revolutionary front-wheel-drive car raced at Brooklands many times, including the 1931 Double Twelve-Hour Race.

The Alvis FWD was the first British production front-wheel-drive car. This one was delivered to Commander John Rooper RN in 1928. It had been intended for the Alvis team in the 1928 Tourist Trophy a few weeks earlier, but it was not completed in time. Although it started life with a supercharger, it soon had twin carburettors fitted instead.

On 5th August 1929, Rooper entered it in two BARC Handicap races and, in one of them, achieved an average speed of 96mph. After Rooper sold the car in 1930 it appeared in more Brooklands races including the 1931 Double Twelve-Hour Race, driven by Edward Farley and Philip Fotheringham-Parker.

Collection Data

Date Built
1928

Location
Campbell Shed

Category
Cars

Technical 
Specifications

  • 1481 cc, 4-cylinder overhead cam (originally with Supercharger)
  • Engine layout reversed with gearbox and differential in front
  • Inboard front drum brakes Rear beam axle with leading arms and leaf springs
  • Although it started life as a production supercharged ‘Tourist Trophy’ model, it had the supercharger removed and twin carbs installed. The large scuttle fuel tank holding over 20 gallons, as raced by John Rooper, has also been replaced.

Races & Records

  • 1929, 2 Brooklands Automobile Racing Club Handicap races, achieving an average speed of 96 mph in one.
  • 1930, race at Brooklands by Edward Farley.
  • 1931, Junior Car Club Double Twelve Hour Race by Farley and Philip Fotheringham-Parker