18th November 2018
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Alvis owners enjoy an ‘amazing’ tour

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The roads of yesteryear were alive again last week when a group of classic car fans visited the isles.

John Ratcliffe (secretary) and Edgar Shields (president) of the Alvis Owners Club visited Shetland last week for a tour. They are pictured with Mr Ratcliffe's 1034 v20 two-door sports saloon. Photo: Dave Donaldson

John Ratcliffe (secretary) and Edgar Shields (president) of the Alvis Owners Club visited Shetland last week for a tour. They are pictured with Mr Ratcliffe’s 1034 v20 two-door sports saloon. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Members of the Alvis Owner Club motored up in a selection of their favoured machines.

Seven impressive looking cars were driven from as far south as the Midlands to the ferry terminal in Aberdeen before being shipped up for a tour.

The drive included a visit to Vaila Isle on the West Side and a visit to the Sumburgh Head lighthouse.

Club president Edgar Shields said the venture had been well worthwhile.

Mr Shields drove his Alvis TF-21 – one of the last to be made by the famous British company – from his home in Cupar, Fife.

“The people who came – the furthest travelled came from the Midlands. The others are from Scotland.

“We had been there six years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s an attraction to go to the most northerly part of Britain. We went to Sumburgh Head and really liked the new visitor centre there.

“The next day was a very special visit. We had been invited to go to Vaila Isle.”

He added there was plenty of interest from passers by about the visiting classics.

“It really was quite amazing. I think the word spread. It was very obvious, the drivers that waved to us as we went past, and the Shetland [Classic] Car Club people met up with us when we were leaving.”

Of course, Shetland has a strong relationship with the classic car – as its regular, ever-popular classic car show can testify.

But what, exactly, is the appeal of Alvis? Mr Shields is in no doubt.

“They are British classic cars. They always had gone for advanced engineering in their day.

“Alvis would make the chassis and engine and specialist body coach-builders would add the bodies to them. It meant there were a range of styles and appearances that people found attractive. And of course they had very advanced engineering.”

He added the welcome in Shetland had been well worth coming for.

“The scenery was great but the thing that really was so nice was how we were made to feel so welcome by the people in Shetland.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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