Alvis four-cylinder front wheel drive sports car, 1928.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:10) of a front wheel drive supercharged Alvis sports car. The Alvis Car & Engineering Co Ltd was established in Coventry in 1921, and its first car, the 10/30 quickly gained the firm a reputation for producing quality, performance sports cars. Following the succesful use of front wheel drive in racing cars, Alvis decided to make use of it in a road car, making them the first manufacturer of any size to do so when they introduced this model in 1928. The car was initially popular, but sales declined due to the fact that drivers needed to learn different driving techniques from those they were used to with conventional cars and, it is said, due to opposition to front wheel drive from insurance companies.