Crested Eagle

Crested Eagle Description

The Crested Eagle model was introduced in May 1933 and continued in production until 1939,602 chassis being produced.  All were designated as ‘touring and thus had the ‘T’ prefix to the type designation rather than the ‘S’ of the sporting cars.The chassis and bonnet line were higher than those of the other six cylinder models and it usually carried more commodious coachwork. A novelty at the time was the transverse leaf independent front suspension, a first for a British production car.

Two chassis lengths were available, 10 ft. 3 ins. or 11 ft. with six cylinder engines of 2148 or 2511 cc, based on the contemporary Silver Eagle and Speed Twenty units with minor alterations. Initially an ENV pre-selector gearbox was used, with the selector on the steering column. Most of the running gear came from the Alvis standard parts bin, notably the brakes, ‘jelly mould’ wire wheels and rear axle. As usual Marles steering gear was used. Gearing was rather lower than that on the more sporting cars to improve flexibility.  Some had single Solex carburetters , others the familiar triple S.U's.

Competing in the luxury class most carried four or six light saloon or chauffeur-drive limousinebodies. A very few had drophead coupé or tourer bodies. Coachbuilders Cross & Ellis, Charlesworth Bodies Ltd. and Mayfair Carriage Company dominated this model Alvis, but there were at least eleven (11) other coachbuilders utilised.

Late in 1934 the 2762 cc engine from the SC Speed Twenty could be specified and this became the standard engine in 1936, along with the all-synchromesh gearbox. Carburation was usually the single Solex, but some cars had the triple S.U. arrangement.  The 1937 Crested Eagles could be ordered with the 3571 cc engine as fitted to the Speed 25 as an alternative to the 2762 cc unit. This raised maximum speed from 74 to 84 mph. Many cars concealed their wire wheels behind ‘Ace’ discs as befitted a formal car. Whilst a comprehensive instrument panel was installed the main dials were much smaller than the ‘soup plate’ variety found in the later Speed models.

Of the 602 Crested Eagles produced over 7 years, research indicates that fifty-one (51) have survived: forty-two (42) as complete cars, four (4) as specials, and five (5) as just a chassis or a collection of parts. Of course, we’re hopeful that there are cars “out there” that we just haven’t heard about for 30 or 40 years. Sadly many Crested Eagles were broken up to yield spares for their more glamourous sisters. This is a great pity as the larger engined variants go very well indeed by 1930s standards, with good roadholding and brakes, and the roomy bodies are appreciated by passengers.


Crested Eagle Designations

Wheelbase was either 10’ 3” or 11’ . Engines were in-line, 6 cylinder.  The 19.82 HP engines generally had a single Solex carburetor and the 25.63 HP engines carried triple SU carburetors.  There were multiple designations depending on year produced, displacement, and chassis length:

TE: Years - 1933, 1934, 1935.  16.95 hp, 2148 cc
TD and TE: Years - 1933, 1934, 1935.  19.82 hp, 2511 cc
TF and TG: Year - 1936.  19.82 hp, 2762 cc
TJ & TK: Years - 1937, 1938, 1939.  19.82 hp, 2762 cc
TA & TB: Year - 1937.  25.63 hp, 3571 cc
TC & TD: Years - 1938, 1939.  25.63 hp, 3571 cc

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