Curbside Classics: Strange Things in Wyoming

A holiday in Wyoming can be relied on to include great things by the roadside. Such as bears, moose, elk and buffalo. But a 1926 Alvis?

Yes, a 1926 Alvis 12/50, and still registered and taxed in the UK. Only 3,700 were built.

And a 1935 Alvis 3 1/2 litre. This was a larger engined version of the Speed 20 and Speed 25 – and only around 1,100 of all verisons were built.

Alvis was a relatively new company, formed after WW1. It never achieved the volume of Rover, but competed at that point in the market, with a range of sporting saloons, alongside light military vehicles. Eventually, in 1965, Alvis was absorbed into Rover, and the car brand died. The military business was sold to an independent Alvis plc, which passed into British Aerospace in 2003.

The 12/50 had a 1645cc engine, and this one has Alvis’ distinctive ‘duck’s back’ body, seating three.

They were driving across North America on an epic endurance trip, accompanied by a Lagonda that CC’s European Editor Roger Carr believes is a 1933-35 M45, powered by a 4.5 litre OHV straight 6.

Lagonda was one of the most prestigious of the British sporting / luxury cars of the period, and only 410 M45s were built – so finding one one anywhere is remarkable, in Yellowstone NP even more so.

These brave adventurers were supported by what we must now call a mark one Forward Control Land Rover from 1977 (the mark 2 Landie having been announced that very day!), fitted with the famous Rover V8.

And, yes, it’s a bit chilly in Wyoming in September. Minus 3 degrees Celsius at 8am, according to my Mustang.

Sorry, Kia Soul.

Didn’t deter these guys though.

Elsewhere in Yellowstone National Park, we encountered the relatively normal sight of 4 Austin Healey 3000 mark 2s, on the return leg of a road trip from San Francisco to North Dakota for the Austin Healey Club annual conclave. Rotten job, but someone had to do it.

Is the yellow original?

I’m not qualified to guess the age of this Beetle, but it was a long way from home – Georgia.

And does anyone know what this is?