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Another Defunct British Automaker Is Back In Business

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After decades of dormancy, Alvis is building faithful "continuation" examples of five original designs.

They don't built 'em like they used to, goes the saying. That expression ought to be updated though, because some actually do. And they're more often than not based in the UK.

Like Alvis, a long-defunct British automaker that's now being revived. But unlike, say, Mini or De Tomaso, the reborn Alvis Car Company isn't making new cars. Or at least not cars with new designs. Instead it's dedicated to producing "continuation” examples of the original models it made back when it was last up from its founding 100 years ago until it folded in 1967.

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And it's not just producing one or two models, either, or even multiple variations on the same design. The Alvis Continuation Series includes no less than five models spanning decades of original production, including the Vanden Plas convertible, the Bertelli coupe, the Lancefield concealed-hood cabriolet, the Park Ward drophead coupe, and the Graber coupe and cabriolet. Each is being faithfully reproduced from the original drawings and will get a new chassis and engine number. And in a rather unusual twist, the reborn company isn't sourcing engines from an external supplier, like most continuation-production outfits do.

Alvis has recreated a bespoke 4.3-liter straight six, based on the original 1936 design, but upgraded with fuel injection and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Some are slated to use a smaller 3.0-liter engine.

Additional nods to modernity have been kept to an apparent minimum, with updates made to meet current emissions and safety standards. Buyers will also be able to order some models at least with automatic transmissions, power steering, climate control, and modern audio systems. But the bare bones, as you can well see, are decidedly (and deliciously) old-school. And we dig that very much.