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Below are excerpts of the latest Allard news - just click a headline to read the whole story. If you own an Allard and would like to know more about it, please click here to contact us. We hope you enjoy the site!

Wednesday
Oct292014

What you doing the last weekend in May?

 

You could say it's been a few years since we've hosted an Allard gathering, but we are happy to announce that we're partnering with Steve Earle and the SVRA to have an Allard gathering at the 2015 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival! Unfortunately there are aren't too many details at this time, but they'll be firmed up in the next few weeks (things have been a bit crazy at General Racing with the recent SVRA merger). What we can confirm are the dates...the gathering will take place on May 29-31 (the weekend after Memorial Day). The gathering won't be just for racers, we'll have a special car show, Allard paddock, dinners, wine tastings, and even a poker run! If you are interested in coming, please click here to email us. We hope you can make it!

Monday
Oct132014

Review: "Racing Through The Forest"

The premier showing of RACING THROUGH THE FOREST took place at Pebble Beach’s Spanish Bay resort as a part of the Monterey Peninsula’s 2014 ‘Car Week’.

The focus of this 80-minute film documentary is the Pebble Beach Road races that were run just a few miles from this pristine golf resort. This film gives a succinct portrayal of this historic venue – beginning with the inaugural 1950 running, through the events in 1956 that set the stage for the purpose-built Laguna Seca Raceway some 20 miles to the east.

By means of a well-paced balance of narration, historic race footage and interviews with key players, it effectively presents the Pebble Beach Road Races as a microcosm of the post WWII sports car racing scene in the US.  The Pebble Beach racecourse comprised of a series of hay bale-lined two lane streets and some unpaved roads winding through the towering Monterey pines of Del Monte Forest. Most of the cars in the 1950 race were an array of British imports and California home-built specials, and the drivers were all amateurs – some with strong track records, but many with little or no training or experience.

While the Pebble Beach course itself saw little development in the seven years of its operation, the story clearly reflects how both cars and drivers became more sophisticated – and faster – with each passing year. It all came to a head in 1956 when Ernie McAfee and his Ferrari went out of control on the downhill home stretch, became airborne and flew sideways into one of the aforementioned Monterey pines.

The timing of this production was most fitting, as it includes a blend of familiar, and also never-before-seen race footage – along with current day interviews with several race veterans reflecting on their experiences from 60+ years ago. They included Bill Pollack, winner of the prestigious Del Monte Trophy in ‘51 and ’52; and Derek Hill, son of Bill’s close friend Phil Hill, who won the main event in ’50, ’53 and ’55.

Both Bill and Derek, along with other Pebble Beach Race veterans, were present at this premier showing. They all did a great job of sharing their insight and experiences after the screening. The show’s poster is focused on Tom Carsten’s iconic black Allard J2 that was Bill Pollack’s primary mount, a car that gets considerable footage throughout the movie.

This is a very well done professional production, a ‘must see’ film for all vintage racing enthusiasts. The producers are currently concentrating on film festivals and other private screenings, with a showing at the Blackhawk Museum on Sept. 19, and the Peterson Museum in LA in October. After that they are preparing for Sundance Film Festival in January. We’ll share more when information about distribution comes available.

-Chuck Warnes

Wednesday
Oct012014

Early autumn in the high peaks of the Adirondacks is about as perfect a time as one can imagine for a wee motoring adventure.  Thus we accepted the invitation to take the J2 Allard north for the 7th annual Keene Mountain Hillclimb reunion in Keene, New York.  Keene is just a long stone's throw from Lake Placid.  In the early days of the event, which ran from 1950 to 1966, Allards and Allard personalities figured large.  More on that later.

We motored up on Friday the 19th in beautiful sunny weather.  While only late September, the high peaks were already sporting the first blush of autumn's colors.  It was lovely.

Meeting at Marcy Field in Keene, a tiny grass airstrip snuggled within the mountains, we had the warmest of greetings from the organizers, Mike and Ann Hartson, who could not have been more welcoming. They created this reunion seven years ago and are credited with keeping it and the memory of the hillclimb alive.

The Keene Hillclimbs were a fixture in the early days of postwar sports car competitions in the northeast of the USA but, perhaps oddly enough, they didn't actually begin with the SCCA. In those days around New York there were several clubs that vied for prominence.  The SCCA was one of them and it ultimately succeeded.  Another was the Motor Sports Club of America (MSCA).  Also founded and centered in New York, it is said that the Motor Sports Club may have been for folks who either weren't welcome in the SCCA or at least didn't feel welcome.  There's a fair bit of controversy there to this day so we'll leave that discussion alone for now.  Suffice to say that Keene was first a fixture of the Motor Sports Club.

By the early fifties the Motor Sports Club was well established with its signature event, the "Great American Mountain Rally."  It started in Manhattan or in Poughkeepsie, NY, and ran up into the Adirondacks or into the Green Mountains of Vermont.   One of the usual stops was the Mountain House at Keene and a hillclimb took place there.   Later the hillclimb became a standalone event.

Nowadays the hillclimb reunion is a gathering of enthusiasts with appropriate cars from the entire span of the event.   Some of the original drivers come as well, though their number is dwindling. There are three or four runs up the hill, but it is no longer a speed event. For one thing, one might meet traffic coming down.  That experience could prove interesting, but not too pleasant for the soccer mom motoring down the hill.  That being the case, we took out the rollover bar and popped on the head rest fairing.  Instead of full face Bell helmet we took along a period cork-lined leather one.  Nomex was forsaken in favor of an old leather flying jacket and a pair of old fashioned driving gloves.  The Allard and yrs trly looked the part.

The hill at Keene is one and one half miles long with eight twisting turns and a "thank-you-m'am" bridge.  The grade ranges from almost nil to as steep as 18 percent and rises 800 feet from the starting line to finish.  The bridge has since been replaced with something more driver friendly.  Otherwise, the course is as it was fifty years ago.

In the 1954 event Erwin Goldschmidt won handily in his 4.5 liter Ferrari.  He may have driven an Allard in an earlier event but hadn't won.

In 1952 the only Allards competing were a K2 driven by one John Bye of Montclair, New Jersey and a J2 driven by Fred Nemith of Troy, New York.  Nemith finished fifth overall.  As one would expect, there were a number of J2's and J2X's figuring in the results over the years, but, at Keene, the most successful Allard driver of them all was the late Bob Bucher in his ex-Goldschmidt JR, known as "Big Jake."  Big Jake was caddie powered and was likely the most successful of all of the JRs when they were new.  (Yes, a case can and should be made for the one Sidney used in the UK for hillclimbs and some circuit races.)  When Bucher drove it the paint was still what I believe it had been for Goldschmidt, dark red with a white and blue band around the grill opening. Near the end of its career it had a fairly low full width rollover bar and may have been repainted a brighter red.    Bucher turned in FTDs in '56, '57 and '58, setting new course records every year.  He was quite a driver.

By '66 the event was finished due to the town finally getting tired of the noise and the folks who lived along the road complaining that they couldn't get in and out of their driveways while it was going on.

The organizers would seem to have unlimited enthusiasm so the 8th reunion taking place next autumn must be considered a forgone conclusion.   We rather expect to be there.   Even more Allards would be a pleasant addition.

                                                                           jimdonick

Friday
Sep262014

Andrews AFB, 1954

Very cool color racing footage from the 1954 Andrews AFB races. You'll see a number of Allards including Fred Wacker and his  8 Ball.

Thursday
Sep252014

Allard Register #63

 

Click here or the image above to download the latest issue of the Allard Register. We hope you enjoy it!

Sunday
Sep212014

Goodwood Revival, 2014

This year's event saw only one Allard racing...Bob Francis in his ex-Mille Miglia J2. Bob started out on the 10th row in 25th position. By the end of the 90 minute Freddie March Memorial Race, Bob and his co-driver worked their way up to 12th place. Congrats!

Click the below to watch a brief recap of the race along a with a graceful spin by Bob.

Thursday
Sep112014

Allard Art...

We’ve always been fans of automotive art, specifically Allard related art. One of our favorite artists is Stefan Marjoram (www.stefanmarjoram.com/art.htm) and we commissioned him to create an Allard sketch, which is shown above. We’ll be printing a limited number of t-shirts, note cards, and maybe a few prints – all available for reasonable prices. We’ll let you know on the web site when they are available.

Monday
Aug252014

Le Mans, 1951

We are excited to share these recently unearthed photos from Le Mans in 1951. It's interesting to note the dramatic change between Le Mans in 1951 and what the race has become today. The #2 car of Alfred Hitchings & Peter Reece is featured prominently. The team crashed on lap 22, but managed to make the end of the race, finishing 214 laps. Unfortunately their last lap took more than 30 minutes, which disqualified the team.

Who can you spot in the photos?

 

Wednesday
Aug132014

Allards Two Fastest Sports Cars on Mount Equinox Hillclimb 2014

Finishing 2nd and 3rd behind a single-seat Lotus 18 Formula Junior, the Whimsey Racing Team of Allard K2 and J2 proved the fastest two-seat sports cars on the slopes of the fabled Mount Equinox in 2014.  Run on the 9th and 10th of the August, the annual jewel in the crown of the VSCCA calendar had 39 entries this year ranging from E-Type Jaguar, Aston Martin and Maserati to MGs of all shapes up through the MGA, a pair of SAAB Quantums (highly strange, even for an Allard guy), God-knows-how-many Lotuses (Lotii?) several prewar specials, and a Hillman Minx of all things. 

Allards have always done pretty well at Equinox from the earliest days.   For a number of years, the event was chaired by Bob Girvin who always managed a spectacular climb in his Chrysler-powered Allard GT.  Back in '51 or '52 the large engine class was won by an Allard K2 and lately yrs trly has done pretty well in the K2, and then in the J2.

For 2014 the road surface was as bad as anyone had ever seen it.  Remember, this is a road in the mountains of Vermont with logging trucks rolling up and down it through the ice and snows of the winter.  For those of a certain age, it's not unlike the Ho Chi Minh Trail after the B-52s were done. Over the years I've suffered stress cracks to the body as well as broken gearboxes, engine mounts and such.  The road is about 5.3 miles long with over 3000 ft of elevation change.  There are eleven or more hairpins and countless turns and curves of lesser radius.  It's a tough challenge.

Even with that all taken into account, this weekend was special.  Mike Donick at the wheel of the K2 managed to break the magic five minute mark with a 4:59.18, and beat my best time (set a few years ago) in that car by nearly a second.   He was second overall behind a magnificently driven Lotus 18. The K2 has proven a great vintage racer for over thirty years.  A couple of seasons ago I beat a pretty serious Aston DB3S in a road race at Lime Rock Park

Yrs trly took a while to get dialed in this year (he's not getting any younger), but by end of weekend was third behind Mike and a second and a half ahead of the next car, a Lotus VII.  The next car was a pretty impressive E-Type.

This is being written a couple of days after the event and the two of us are still smiling.

                                                           jim donick

Friday
Aug082014

For Sale: Allard K3 3192

Click here or on any of the photos to view the gallery

The Allard Register records show that 46 of the 63 Allard K3’s produced still exist. Chassis 3192 is one of the most original preserved Allard K3’s.

This car was delivered to Noel Kirk Motors on Los Angeles on July 9, 1953 where it was fitted with the 331 Cadillac engine and three-speed transmission that it still retains – along with left hand remote shifter located in the door well. 3192 was ordered with green paint and green interior and it still carries that original color combination (most K3 interiors have been redone in black or tan). The car was repainted and the original seats were re-done in 1990 prior to the Monterey Reunion. Also included are the original tool kit, Smith’s side jack, and chrome Noel Kirk badge.

The car’s original owner, Dan Schacht of LA, put 23,000 miles on it before knee problems forced him to park it in 1962. The current owner, Dr. Martin Allard (no relation to the UK Allard family), purchased the car in 1979. Despite the 17-year hibernation, the only work required was some minor tweaking to free up the stuck Lincoln Zephyr gearbox.

Martin has driven the car on a regular basis, putting about 26,000 miles on it over the past 35 years. In 2012 Martin and his K3 completed every mile of the North American Tribute Mille Miglia. This unrestored K3 was featured on the 1980 Allard Owners Club Christmas card, and looks just as handsome today as it did 34 years ago.

Martin has decided it is now time to part with 3192. This 2-owner car is located in Carmel, CA and is being offered for $180,000. Interested parties should click here to contact the seller.