The Alvis TE21 was a two-door, four-seater coupe or two-door, four-seater convertible with a front engine and rear-wheel drive. It was made from 1963 to 1966 when it was superseded by the Alvis TF21, a car which has the distinction of the being the last of Alvis’ grand tourers.The TF21 was built from 1966 to 1967
The Alvis Three Litre Series III, more popularly known as the TE21, first appeared in late 1963 and it represented a refinement of its TD21 predecessor. As with the older model, there was a box-section chassis and a steel body with aluminum trunk, hood. Most bodies were made by Park Ward. There were independent front coil springs and wishbones with an anti-roll bar and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs with telescopic dampers and recirculating ball steering. Braking was by discs all around and the TE21 could be distinguished from the TD21 via its vertical dual headlamps and new cylinder head that boosted the power output to 130 bhp. Wire wheels remained an optional extra.
Power steering became optional from late 1964 onwards and in March 1966 the TE21 was largely replaced by the Alvis TF21, although the former Alvis remained available to special order. The Alvis TF21 boasted a new dashboard layout, upgraded suspension and a more potent engine with a raised compression ratio, triple carbs and 150 bhp on tap, which was good for a top speed of over 120 mph. The gearbox was a ZF 5-speed, and a Borg Warner 3-speed automatic was an optional extra. As Alvis came under the Rover and then the British Leyland corporate umbrella, car production ended and the last TF21s were built in 1967.
The Alvis TE21 and TF21 are distinct, elegant and rare cars, and the soft tops in particular are highly sought after. Restoration can prove to be very expensive, but they are rewarding cars both to drive and to look at, and they offer more exclusivity than other premium big cars of the day like the Bentley Continental.