Silver Eagle (PVT)

Silver Eagle (PVT) Description

These cars had little in common with the previous Silver Eagles except the name and show Alvis’ continuing development using the ‘parts bin” approach whilst cleverly using model specific assemblies to differentiate them from their stablemates.

The SF 16.95 Silver Eagle, also known as the Sixteen, was introduced late in 1933. The chassis was similar to that of the Firefly, itself based on that of the SA Speed Twenty, but was adapted to accommodate the all-synchromesh gearbox with massive cruciform bracing. Wheelbase was 9’ 10½”, identical with the Firefly, whilst the beam axles and 20” centre locking wheels were as on the Firefly. The familiar 14”self-servo cable operated brakes featured, with changes to the operating mechanism layout but with the central pedal retained. Springs were half elliptics all round and lubrication was simplified by grouped remote grease nipples. The six cylinder engine, of 67.5 x 100mm bore and stroke for 2,148 cc retained the separate cast iron block and head mounted on an aluminium crankcase, but with a three point mounting rather than the eight bolt flange system of earlier Silver Eagles. The open flywheel and cardan shaft drive to the gearbox were retained however. Four main bearings supported the crankshaft. This engine closely resembled the SB Speed Twenty unit with the rear timing drive and auxiliaries layout. Three SU carburetters  were  fitted and the radiator had a flat front as on the Firefly, but sloping towards the rear.

As was normal Alvis practice, three body styles were offered: saloon, drophead coupé and tourer. Cross & Ellis supplied most of the bodies of all types, with other suppliers being few and far between, though Holbrook and Mayfair also made some. There were two versions of the salon: a four light sports saloon and a more formal six light model. Both saloons and the drophead coupé were priced at £598 whilst the four seater tourer was £585.

Top speed of the saloons was 75 mph with a 0 – 60 mph acceleration time of approximately 23 seconds.

After 200 SF 16.95 chassis had been produced, it was superseded in late 1934 for the 1935 model year by the SG 16.95 Silver Eagle. The main changes were to the engine, which had the stroke lengthened to 110mm for 2,362cc. A larger and more robust crankshaft was fitted in an improved crankcase with revised lubrication arrangements. The dynamo and water pump drive remained the same, but upgrades were incorporated in the instruments themselves. Coachwork was little changed but the radiator was given a slight ‘V’ shape. For 1936 a front bumper and DWS mechanical jacks were added. 500 SG Silver Eagles were made, with the last despatched in October 1936. The replacement in the Alvis range was the Silver Crest.

The SF and SG Silver Eagles were, in modern terms, the ‘entry level’ six cylinder Alvises: essentially ‘up-engined’ versions of the Firefly and Firebird bridging the gap to the Speed models and the Crested Eagle. They were undoubtedly a sales success: relatively compact cars of sporting demeanour yet smooth and quiet.

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