1938 Alvis Speed 25 Drophead Coupé by Charlesworth


  • 3½-litre straight-six engine
  • Elegant art deco styling
  • Excellent paintwork and walnut interior trim

The Appeal

Alvis’s Speed 25 model was a very capable motorcar for its day. It is sleek, suave and elegant, and the 3½-litre straight-six engine provides superb performance, making this an eminently useable car even on today’s roads.

The metallic paint remains in good order, and the drophead roof can be lowered for cool open-air motoring. And the eagle sitting atop the tall radiator distinguishes this as a high-class automobile, along with the sizeable Lucas headlamps and copious application of chrome plating. 

This Alvis would make a very useable addition to your fleet, if you enjoy the elegance of 1930s styling, along with the superb performance of an overhead valve 3½-litre engine. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered on 28th November 1938
  • Now registered in France 
  • The car is accompanied by an extensive history file 
  • French Certificat d’Acquisition and Certificat d’Immatriculation on file 
  • German TÜV documentation dated 2017
  • Photocopied Handbook of Instructions for the Speed Twenty-Five

 The Interior

  • Retrimmed Red leather interior 
  • Beautiful walnut veneers 
  • Comprehensive original instrumentation

Opening the rear-hinged doors allows you to step into another world, one basking in the warm glow of high figured walnut veneer and the comforting embrace of rich leather. 

The adjustable seats exhibit some signs of use, with the leather seats having clearly been used for enjoyable driving. The covers have stretched a little but remain in good condition with a little creasing. Matching carpeting covers the floors and footwells, and is neatly trimmed in leather. 

In front of the driver, the dashboard is swathed in walnut veneer, which remains in fantastic condition with few signs of use. The grain pattern is beautiful and the lacquer is high polished. Extensive instrumentation provides the driver with all the information needed, including water temperature, oil pressure and battery charge rate.

A large Bakelite steering wheel sits in front of the driver. Its centre boss sports the horn button, as well as hand throttle lever, ignition advance and lighting switch.    

To the rear, a spacious boot allows excellent luggage carrying capacity, and it its neatly finished in the same leather-trimmed carpet as the rest of the interior. 

 The Exterior 

  • Smart metallic grey paintwork
  • Excellent chrome plating
  • Underside very well presented 
  • 3 position "Mylord" convertible

With its coachwork crafted by Charlesworth, this Speed 25 is elegant, stylish and smart. The flowing, voluminous wings sweep gracefully towards the rear, and the convertible roof adds an extra layer of versatility to an already very useable car. The roof looks very clean and tidy, with only light signs of use and a little creasing. It features chromed hood irons and a fitted cover for use when lowered.

The metallic grey and silver paintwork appears to be in very good condition throughout, with very few marks or blemishes that we could see. There are, of course, a few scuffs and chips which the car has gained through use, especially near the doors, but nothing which we think detracts from the car’s overall appeal. 

A tall, imposing radiator sits a the front of the car, surmounted by a cast eagle and blanket by substantial Lucas headlamps with fluted glass and tripod bulb holders. The excellent chrome plating continues on the spot lamps, twin electric horns and the wide front bumper. 

The car sits upon wire wheels, which look smart and tidy. There is little evidence of damage to the paint or the chrome centre spinners and they are shod in a set of Goodrich Silverstone tyres. A side-mount spare wheel cover sits on the left-hand front wing. 

Underneath, this Alvis looks clean and tidy for its age, with the usual layer of oil to the underside of the engine bay and specs of road dirt to prove that the car has been used. Otherwise, the chassis, running boards and floorpans appear to be in good condition. 

 The Mechanics 

  • 3½-litre, straight-six engine
  • Central chassis lubrication system
  • Triple S.U. carburettors 

Underneath the long bonnet of this Alvis resides its powerful 3½-litre straight-six engine. This capable motor features overhead valves and triple carburettors, which help propel the car to speeds suitable for use in modern traffic. 

The engine bay is clean and tidy, and features plenty of interesting details such as the lever-operated central chassis lubrication system, cleats for a rawhide hammer used to tighten the wheel spinners, and a brass plate detailing the car’s lubrication requirements. 

Underneath, the running gear appears to be well presented from what we could see, and the car is fitted with telescopic front shock absorbers. 


In all, this Alvis Speed 25 is very well presented throughout. The Charlesworth body is elegant and versatile, and the interior is very nicely finished in leather and walnut veneers. It is a capable tourer, ready to be driven and enjoyed. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1938
  • Make Alvis
  • Model Speed 25 Charlesworth
  • Colour Black and Silver
  • Odometer 10,398 Miles
  • Engine size 3571
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Moulins
  • Location International
  • Country France
Bidding history
18 bids
  • jacob.r•••• £87,000 23/03/23
  • JaM3s £80,000 22/03/23
  • jacob.r•••• £78,000 22/03/23
  • JaM3s £76,000 22/03/23
  • jacob.r•••• £72,500 22/03/23
  • JaM3s £70,500 22/03/23
  • jacob.r•••• £66,500 22/03/23
  • JaM3s £64,500 21/03/23
  • jacob.r•••• £60,500 21/03/23
  • JaM3s £59,500 20/03/23

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