TC21 Description

The TC21 emerged in Mulliners saloon form in March 1953 and was a development of the TA21. Mechanically, the chassis crossmember under the gearbox was altered slightly to allow better routing of the exhaust, and a larger, deeper fuel tank resulted in a slight ridge across the boot floor.

The saloon body was similar to the TA21 up to body number M3150 with external door hinges and one-piece doors with pressed steel up around the door windows. From body M3151 the door hinges were concealed, and the tops of the doors had slender chromed brass window frames. Body M3151 was on chassis 25298, but some later chassis numbers had earlier bodies to use up bodies already built.

The TC21/100 option emerged in late 1953 to boost flagging sales. Experimenting with compression and back axle ratios resulted in breaking the magic 100mph.

Three show cars were produced in mid-October, all with Mulliners saloon bodies. Chassis 25377 with body M3161, registered ORW517, chassis 25383 with M3159, ECP689 and 25373 with M3186, LYS 756. The first two were both at the Earls Court Motor Show in November whilst the last was at the Glasgow show. It was at this point that Sales Director Stanley Horsfield first referred to the Earls Court car 25377 as “Grey Lady” due to its special grey metallic paintwork and its grey interior with grey leather. The Glasgow show car was in the same colour scheme.

ORW517, Ch.25377 went on to be the press car and featured in many articles, but no evidence has emerged that it survives, nor is there evidence of the survival of ECP689. LYS756 Ch.25373 is however still in Scotland and currently being restored.

The show cars were fitted with all the options - cowls to the bonnet tops, louvres instead of hinged flaps to the bonnet side panels and centre lock wire wheels. Wheels and brake drums were chrome plated. Under the bonnet 8:1 compression ratio cylinder heads were fitted, and the rear axle ratio raised to 3.77:1. Thereafter production cars would have an assortment of these options depending on what the customer requested.
The TC21 Tickford drophead did not appear until early 1954. Tickford started a new body numbering range AL1 to AL100 for the TC21. Contrary to some suggestions, not all dropheads were to TC21/100 spec. As with the saloon they were available with any combination of the TC21/100 options.  The Tickford dropheads built in 1953 were designated TA21 and carried the old body numbering range T20xxx.

Carrosserie Hermann Graber bodied 26 TC21 chassis with a variety of individually styled bodies and again not all were to TC21/100 specifications.

As these cars approach 70 years old, they will have had many things done to them over the years. Some had upgrades done by Alvis, some by dealers, and some by owners or during restoration.

TC21 Mulliners

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TC21 Tickford

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TC21 Graber

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